Wed, 12/07/2017 - 16:30
• Cyril Despres sets his first fastest time of this year’s Silk Way Rally, with his co-driver David Castera successfully navigating a tricky stage on day five to keep up the unbeaten winning streak for Peugeot.
• Navigation was the major challenge of the day, and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena lost time searching the good direction in high grass, finishing 17min down on Despres. They still remain in the overall lead by 50 minutes in the brand new Peugeot DKR Maxi.
• For Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret, broken front-right shock absorber forces them to mechanic on the stage, losing them 52min relative to Despres.

The fifth day of the Silk Way Rally was perhaps the toughest and most challenging yet in terms of navigation: a fast stage from Astana to Semey with multiple route options but only one right way to the next bivouac. Team Peugeot Total had little time to admire it Kazakh Steppe’ stunning scenery as precise navigation being the focus of attention on this special stage.
Cyril Despres / David Castera, who started in 18th position sorted it out well, and shortened the gap on teammate Sébastien Loeb for 17min in the overall classification. Their first stage victory on the 2017 Silk Way Rally provides them some more confidence for the upcoming challenging stages until rest day in Urumqi.
A mixed day compared to yesterday’s glory for the duo in the Peugeot DKR Maxi. As they opened the track, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena took more time to make the right navigational choice and finished in the top 5 (cars classification). The mood is still high as their new car seems to particularly fit to Loeb.
Yesterday, in the backstage, the technical crew worked flat out to set-up the Peugeot DKR #106, demonstrating that team spirit is high in Team Peugeot Total. This morning, at dawn, after 8h of mechanic, Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret were able to align at the stage departure. Unfortunately, they got slow down in their rise when the right front shock absorber broke at the km385. They ended up 15th of the stage and remain back for 3h38 in the overall classification.
Maximum Speed: 182khp
Average Temperature: 23°C
Cyril Despres:
Winner of stage 5 / 2nd overall
“It’s now five days since we left Moscow and I think this has been our first really good day without any problems. The mud and the rain are gone: we had a nice day. David did a really good job with navigation because the grass was really high and you couldn’t see much of the track ahead. It’s a first victory for us. We took a lot of time from our competitors which is really good, and let’s hope that from now on every day will be like this.”
Sébastien Loeb:
5th of stage 5 / 1st overall
“Today the navigation was very, very complex. There were some bits where you were driving and the road just completely ran out. It was definitely the most difficult job in terms of navigation so far. We got lost in a couple of places, it was complicated, and we had to go back. But anyway, we are still here, and the car is working well. Everything else was fine in terms of weather and conditions, it was just the navigation that was difficult today and irritated me.”
Stéphane Peterhansel:
15th of stage 5 / 13th overall (car category)
“Today the special stage was nice to drive and we had a good rhythm. Now our mission is to lend a hand to the other two Peugeots. Thank you to the team for their hard work last night, to repair my car. The technical issue we faced today, just 100km before the arrival, was probably an aftereffect but still, the Team Peugeot Total mechanics are the most professional I ever worked with in my career. It’s a difficult rally where you don’t want to make extra work for the mechanics. Another big stage is behind us, let’s get some good rest and drive safe until Urumqi.”
Semey was known until 2007 as Semipalatinsk, meaning ‘seven-chambered city’ in Russian. It was so named by the first Russian settlers in 1718, who built a fort near a ruined Buddhist monastery made up of seven buildings. The city was the birthplace in 1976 of the two-time former world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Tomorrow the crews will head from Semey to Urdzhar in the south of Kazakhstan: a route lasting 597.13 kilometres including 387.86 kilometres of special stage. Caution is advised in the off-road sections with many potential traps to catch the crews out. As it was today, good navigation will be crucial.

Imagery of the Peugeot DKR racing Stage 5 – for editorial use:  © MCH Photography / PeugeotSport
Team Peugeot Total related content:
‘’Interview of the Day’’ Cyril Despres Podcast:
Last videos of Team Peugeot Total at Silk Way Rally: 


Peugeot Sport :
Aurélie Lehe +33 6 79 50 21 13

Red Bull Motorsport :
Christina Gaither +43 664 88 37 97 1