The heavy rain that affected Stage 5 of the 2017 Dakar Rally didn’t prevent Loeb/Elena from posting today’s fastest time. This evening’s leaderboard is topped by three PEUGEOT 3008DKRs, with Peterhansel/Cottret at the top of the pile in first place.
Poor weather led the organisers to chop 155km off today’s 447km competitive section which provided the drivers and navigators alike with more hard work. Most of the crews reported getting lost at some point.
Running fifth in order, Loeb/Elena collected today’s best time after visiting all the waypoints in front. The Franco/Monegasque crew is the first to claim two stage victories on this year’s event and their performance has seen them leapfrog from fourth to second place.
Peterhansel/Cottret were third fastest and are now in front, 1m9s clear of their team-mates, while navigational difficulties cost the overnight leaders Despres/Castera around 10 minutes.
TYPE OF TERRAIN: high altitudes and WRC-style tracks to begin with.
CONDITIONS: Rain early on, then drier.
WEATHER: Early rain, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 21°C.
AVERAGE SPEED: 87kph
TOP SPEED: 183.4kph
CLASSIFICATION – LEG 5:
1. LOEB Sébastien (FRA) / ELENA Daniel (MON), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, 2h24m3s
2. ROMA Nani (ESP) / HARO Bravo (ESP), Toyota Hi-Lux, +44s
3. PETERHANSEL Stéphane (FRA) / COTTRET J-P. (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +1m31s
4. DESPRES Cyril (FRA) / David CASTERA (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +10m33s
5. DUMAS Romain (FRA) / GUEHENNEC Alain (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +11m55s
PROVISIONAL STANDINGS AFTER LEG 5
1. PETERHANSEL Stéphane (FRA) / COTTRET J-P. (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, 14h2m58s
2. LOEB Sébastien (FRA) / ELENA Daniel (MON), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +1m9s
3. DESPRES Cyril (FR) / David CASTERA (FRA), PEUGEOT 3008DKR, +4m54s
4. ROMA Nani (ESP) / HARO Bravo (ESP), Toyota Hi-Lux, +5m35s
5. HIRVONEN Mikko (FIN) / PERIN Michel (FRA), Mini, +42m21s
“Our three cars all ran well today and are in strong positions, so that’s good news. Our crews spent a little time finding the correct route but they lost less time than many of their rivals. Some big gaps have opened up, although Nani Roma isn’t very far behind. The way this year’s Dakar is unfolding, we could well be the next team to hit trouble. We’re a third of the way into the event now. There’s been drama every day so far and there could well be more to come.”
Sébastien Loeb (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #309)
Leg 5: 1st / Overall: 2nd
“Today’s stage was really difficult, with some tough navigation. We started well but, like the others, we ended up getting lost in the final third and we lost much of the lead we had succeeded in building up. We were still fastest, though, so that’s good, and our car ran like clockwork all day.”
Stéphane Peterhansel (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #300)
Leg 5: 3rd / Overall: 1st
“It was raining when we set off this morning, but it was a nice stage, even though it was technically demanding and a bit muddy in places. The navigation was complex, too, and it looks like everybody got lost, but our mistakes didn’t cost us too much time. We are only five days into the rally and there have already been four different leaders, although there hasn’t been much in it. It’s nice to be in front at this stage but nobody should read too much into it.”
Cyril Despres (PEUGEOT 3008DKR #307)
Leg 5: 4th / Overall: 3rd
“We ran at a good pace on the WRC-style tracks today, which isn’t bad for an ex-biker. The navigation then got a little tighter and we missed one of the headings. We got back on the correct route at the same time as Stéphane which cost us a few minutes, as well as the rally lead. It’s not too serious, though. What’s worrying me most at the moment is how we will be able to tackle Saturday’s stage given the rain that’s falling over Oruro as we speak.”