Sat, 06/01/2018 - 23:00
The first stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally was the shortest at just 31 kilometres, but it already provided a sharp taste of the action to come, with competitors launched straight into the dunes. All four PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi crews concentrated on getting through the stage with no problems.

• Starting first on the road by virtue of their 2017 win, Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret finished the stage 11th after adopting a relatively cautious approach. They had a scare on the road section just a few kilometres before the stage when they were hit from behind by another vehicle, but without damage to their 3008DKR Maxi.
• In the hot conditions, Cyril Despres/David Castera got off to a solid start from the Peruvian capital of Lima with the 15th best time. While they set a consistent pace through the sandy stage, they are more than aware that the real test only starts tomorrow.
• Former Dakar winners Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz made use of their vast experience to survive the sand dunes and reach the Pisco bivouac one place behind Despres/Castera in 16th place.
• For Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena the focus had to be on reaching the end of the stage after they suffered a problem with their brakes early in the stage, finishing five minutes down.
1. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, 14m22s
2. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Michel Perin (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +25s
3. Nicolas Fuchs (PER) / Adrian Mussano Fernando (ARG), Borgward 4WD, +34s
4. Bryce Menzies (USA) / Peter Mortensen (USA), Mini 2WD, +38s
5. Nani Roma (ESP) / Alex Haro Bravo (ESP), Mini 4WD, +53s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +54s
7. Lucio Alvarez (ARG) / Robert Howie (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +1m12s
8. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (DEU), Mini 2WD, +1m36s
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL), Mini 4WD, +1m45s
10. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +2m04s
11. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +2m15s
15. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +2m36s
16. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +2m39s
29. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MCO), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +5m37s
Stéphane Peterhansel (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°300)
11th on stage 1

“I was not really confident in the dunes today. The sun was really high, so there was no shadow at the top of the dunes which made them difficult to read. We came across a biker who had fallen. Because I didn’t really have the feeling, I decided to play it safe, and we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”
Cyril Despres (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°308)
15th on stage 1

“It was a decent enough start; I was cool, no real problems. The dunes were a bit of a white-out but my feeling with the car was good. The wind was blowing a bit of sand off the crests, the visibility wasn’t great. If anything the stage was a bit short for my taste: I prefer the longer endurance stages, but our overall time was fine. I’m feeling positive and the main thing now is that the Dakar is finally underway; it’s great to be here and I’m looking forward to what comes next.”
Carlos Sainz (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°303)
16th on stage 1

“Overall, it was the sort of stage where there was far more to lose than to gain. By attacking, you might get a few seconds...or lose a few minutes. So we decided to proceed carefully. The PEUGEOT 3008DKR is working well. The serious stuff starts tomorrow.”
Sébastien Loeb (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°306)
29th on stage 1

“It was terrible for me because I lost the brakes completely after three kilometres, and I did 28 kilometres without brakes at all. I had to go very slow because it was quite tricky over the crests of the dunes: you couldn’t see the downhill and it was easy to make a mistake. It was important not to take any risks in this situation, so I just finished the stage, this is what I wanted after the problem. We are here, we will solve it and it will be a new start tomorrow, but a difficult start today. I think it’s just a brake problem so in the service it shouldn’t be a problem.”
PEUGEOT has been present in Peru for more than 70 years. Since January 2017 the company has been represented by SK Berge in Chile and Colombia as well. SK Berge’s capabilities in Peru when it comes to automotive sales, logistics and financial services are vital when it comes to meeting the growth targets of PEUGEOT in Peru.
Day two consists of a loop of 278 kilometres to and from Pisco: with only 11 kilometres of liaison, it’s the first full-length test of the rally. As the cars will set off before the bikes, there will be no tracks for the leaders to follow. This will make good navigation crucial, putting the focus onto the job of the co-drivers. With canyons in the first 40 kilometres of the special stage followed by sand dunes, the terrain will offer a varied test. 

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