Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret are now in the overall lead thanks to their pace as the fastest 3008DKR Maxi today, second-quickest on the stage. They navigated the stage with almost no mistakes and lead by three minutes and 11 seconds. All the PEUGEOT cars set second to fifth fastest times on the stage today, demonstrating the consistency and reliability that are essential on the Dakar.
It was a very good day for Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz. Classified third on the stage, the Spanish duo made only a couple of minor navigation mistakes, and continued their climb up the leaderboard to sixth overall.
Fourth-fastest on the stage behind the Spaniards was the duo of Cyril Despres/David Castera, who had a tough task in running first on a sandy stage with some tricky navigational challenges. Despite a small scare 2.5 kilometres into the stage, they are now just over three minutes behind their team mates Peterhansel/Cottret in the overall classification: the blink of an eye in Dakar terms.
A fifth-quickest time on the stage was enough for Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena to maintain fourth overall: true to their strategy of surviving the sand dunes in Peru to strike later on terrain that is better suited to them. With a careful approach, they preferred to get out of the car to check the gradient of a dune in the first part of the stage before committing to it. They fulfilled their mission to finish the stage safely, with the fifth best time keeping them close to the overall podium.
CLASSIFICATION OF STAGE 3
1. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, 3h9m8s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +4m5s
3. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +6m07s
4. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, 7m43s
5. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MCO), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +8m34s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +10m11s
7. Bernard Ten Brinke (NED) / Michel Perin (F), Toyota 4WD, +18m07s
8. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +18m56s
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL), Mini 4WD, +22m42s
10. Lucio Alvarez (ARG) / Robert Howie (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +23m01s
CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 3
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, 6h34m58s
2. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi +3m11s
3. Nasser Al Attiyah (QAT) / Matthieu Baumel (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +7m43s
4. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MCO), PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi, +10m11s
5. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (ZAF), Toyota 4WD, +11m23s
6. Carlos Sainz (ESP) / Lucas Cruz (ESP), PEUGEOT 3008 DKR Maxi, +14m47s
7. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD) / Michel Perin (FRA), Toyota 4WD, +31m18s
8. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Bernardo Graue (ARG), Mini 4WD, +35m19s
9. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE), Ford 4WD, +38m56s
10. Nani Roma (ESP) /Alex Haro (ESP), Mini 4WD, +42m56s
Stéphane PETERHANSEL (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°300)
2nd of stage 3, 1st in overall classification
“It was another very nice stage that was typical of rally raids, with big dunes, lots of off-road driving, and a few bits of fesh-fesh. It was a bit easier than yesterday as we had the tracks from the bike riders in front of us, which were obviously helpful in terms of navigation. We got slightly lost twice, once because we got confused with the road book, and once because of my fault, when I decided to follow a bike rider: they’re not always right! I wouldn’t say that we were driving safely today, but we were certainly trying to minimise the risks. Now we’re in the lead, and I think that’s what consistency brings you, so it’s not a bad idea so far. All the top drivers are still in the fight: as Peugeot drivers we have to stay together and stay strong.”
Carlos SAINZ (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°303)
3rd on stage 3, 6th in overall classification
“No problems today. There was just one place where we had to turn around to gather the speed to go over the dune, around halfway through the stage. And then on one waypoint we had to turn around as well, because we missed it in the dust the first time. But the rest was OK, so we are staying focussed and concentrated. The car feels good.”
Cyril DESPRES (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°308)
1st on stage 2
“We got caught out in the early part of the stage, which meant that we had to brake hard and went into a dune. That actually calmed us down out a bit, so it was a good wake-up call! We were first on the road today and kept a good rhythm despite that. Stéphane eventually got past us and we were able to run together for a bit. This is Peru: these stages are so complex that you always have to be on your guard, going quickly when you can and slowing down when it’s necessary. We’ve got off to a good start and now we just need to keep going like this!”
Sébastien LOEB (PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi n°306)
3rd on stage 2
“We didn’t get off to a great start in the first part of the stage today: we made one or two small mistakes that nonetheless were useful as a lesson to us for the rest of the day. As for the rest, I think we had a good pace but it was very tricky: we wanted to avoid taking any big risks. We also had a problem with the automatic deflation system for the first part of the stage, but that was sorted out thanks to our mechanics at the bivouac.”
The Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi is based on the Peugeot 3008 SUV that won the 2017 European Car of the Year award. And that’s not the only Dakar competitor from Peugeot based on a Car of the Year winner: the Peugeot 405 was voted European Car of the Year exactly 30 years ago, in 1988. It went on to win the Dakar (in T16 guise) in 1989 and 1990.
Stage 4 (Tuesday 9 January)
SAN JUAN DE MARCONA > SAN JUAN DE MARCONA. 444 kilometres, of which 330 kilometres are competitive.
In a nod to the origins of the Dakar, this stage will get underway in a straight line from the beach, with four cars at the front. The drivers will then have to tackle a 100-kilometre long sandy section (one of the longest such sections ever seen on the Dakar) with dunes of all shapes and sizes. The final challenge of the day will be getting through a canyon, which is tricky to find.