After a gruelling race across the rough terrains of Argentina and Bolivia, the 2016 Dakar Rally finally comes to an end with Peugeot taking the win. Surprisingly, it was not Sebastien Loeb or Carlos Sainz who took the win as 2016 is the year for Dakar veteran Stephane Peterhansel to shine.
Assisted by his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret, this victory brings his tally up to 12 wins, coming exactly 25 years after his first on a bike. Peterhansel now has won the Dakar Rally six times on bikes, and another six on cars, making him the most successful Dakar racers of all times.
For the 2016 conquest, Peugeot had fielded four 2008 DKRs for the event and three of them made it to the finish line. Coming in second from the four was Renault duo Cyril Despres and David Castera, while a severe crash suffered by Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena on Stage 10 forced them to finish in ninth place. The duo of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz failed to finish.
“This is a huge satisfaction for us. Before the start, a result like this was far from guaranteed,” said Peterhansel. “My feeling was that the team was still a bit young, but in fact everything came together extremely well. We had the nice surprise of seeing that our car was extremely competitive throughout WRC-style stages”, he added.
“The results have surpassed our expectations because we came here just to show the performance of the car. And we’ve achieved that objective well throughout all different types of conditions. That goes to show that we have accomplished the technical mission that we set ourselves,” said Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin.