Sebastien Loeb rebounded from a rocky first stage to win Tuesday’s stage and climb up to fifth in the general standings, 1m56s behind the new overall leader Giniel de Villiers of South Africa, driving for Toyota Gazoo Racing.
“Yes, it was a good stage for me with no problems. We tried to take a good rhythm and to keep it,” said Loeb, who is driving a 2017 Peugeot 3008 entered by the private team PH Sport.
“It wasn’t easy to keep the same rhythm all the time, but finally we did a good stage with no big mistakes and we won the stage. It was no problem, the road position – it was a good one, to start a bit behind. It was a good choice. So, for the moment, everything is okay.”
The second day of the rally started at a good pace for 13-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel, but he lost almost 20 minutes in the dunes halfway through the stage, before his teammate Cyril Despres came to his rescue. The Frenchman’s long halt in the first zone of dunes proved costly as he finished 15 minutes behind Loeb. Nasser Al-Attiyah also had a day to forget, completing the special in provisional 11th place, 7m37s off the pace.
“For us it was not an easy stage,” Peterhansel said. “We started with some electrical problems inside the car: no microphones, no air conditioning, no wipers, nothing was okay. I lost my concentration a little bit and after I got stuck in a really bad place. We are happy because Cyril stopped for us and pulled us out. In the end we have lost a lot of time, but without the help of Cyril I think we would probably still be in the same place, so it’s okay.”
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