Cyril Despres won a stage for the second time in his Dakar career: a feat that was as much down to the skills of his navigator David Castera, who managed to guide them through the complex terrain without getting lost. They now lead the rally overall from their team mates Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret.
Peterhansel/Cottret had a neat day in which they were second on the stage and now also lie second overall, just under half a minute behind their team mates.
Just off the overall podium, fourth in the general classification, is Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena. They completed the PEUGEOT top-three lock-out of the stage times and are now moving rapidly up the leaderboard, with a car that was perfectly reliable.
Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz were hindered by Lucas feeling unwell, but under challenging circumstances they recorded a top-six finish on the stage to move into the top 10 overall, despite having to change two wheels after the tyres came off the rim.
CLASSIFICATION OF STAGE 2
1. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, 2h56m51s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +48s
3. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MCO), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +3m08s
4. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +7m26s
5. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Bernardo Graue (ARG), Mini 4WD, +12m53s
6. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +13m09s
7. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (DEU), Mini 2WD, +13m50s
8. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +14m51s
9. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +15m04s
10. Ronan Chabot (FRA) / Gilles Pilot (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +16m13s
CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 2
1. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, 3h21m18s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +27s
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +5m44s
4. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MCO), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +6m09s
5. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +12m15s
6. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Bernardo Graue (ARG), Mini 4WD, +12m50s
7. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (DEU), Mini 2WD, +12m50s
8. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +13m12s
9. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +14m32s
10. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Michel Perin (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +17m43s
Cyril DESPRES (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°308)
1st on stage 2
“It was a difficult stage as the dunes were quite high, both going up and going down. There was also some very soft sand: we passed three or four cars that were stuck and we saw a couple of accidents. But these are the sort of hazards that you just expect on the Dakar. It’s the first time that our Maxi has come to these wide open, spaces in competition – which you don’t really find in testing – and the car is working very well. David too did a great job with the navigation and wasn’t caught out by all the different tracks from the previous cars. Our strategy seems to be a good one so far, but tomorrow is another day.”
Stéphane PETERHANSEL (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°300)
2nd of stage 2
“It was a good day for us but not a perfect one: we had to go back three times to find the waypoints, which cost us a few minutes. Apart from that it was a nice stage with some big dunes, lots of driving off-piste, and some beautiful scenery along the coast. The navigation was definitely the trickiest bit, but I prefer stages like these ones rather than those of yesterday: these are proper Dakar stages. We’ve shown that we’re in the fight.”
Sébastien LOEB (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°306)
3rd on stage 2
“Today was definitely better than yesterday! On the whole, it was a pretty good stage for us; we lost a bit of time looking for waypoints on three occasions, but I reckon everyone had the same problem: it wasn’t easy on this stage with complicated navigation. Peru is all about getting through the stages without losing too much time and for now we’re doing that with a reasonable pace through the dunes, which isn’t where we are strongest. The car worked well on what was a very complicated stage with lots of places to catch you out.”
Carlos SAINZ (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°303)
6th on stage 2
“The stage started quite well, we were quite fast in the beginning. We caught and passed Cyril, but then we thought we had missed a waypoint, so we turned round and lost a bit of time. Then we caught Seb, but we also had a tyre come off the rim twice during the stage. At the end, we were lost again looking for a waypoint so we had to drive around a bit and dropped more time. It was a tricky stage, especially for my co-driver Lucas, who was sick, but we got through it.”
In 2017, PEUGEOT launched its new SUV range to the Peruvian market in the following order: PEUGEOT 2008, 3008 and 5008. The PEUGEOT 3008 SUV has enjoyed huge commercial success. In the fourth quarter of 2017, it even became the company’s best-selling model in Peru, ahead of the Partner and the 208.
Stage 3 (Monday 8 January) Pisco to San Juan de Marcona. 502 kilometres, of which 295 kilometres are competitive.
The day’s challenge lies mainly in off-road driving, on a dry lake as well but as well as through canyons. Navigation will be critical on this very rapid stage.