Victory at the Silk Way Rally

Peugeot triumphs for the second consecutive year

  • Cyril Despres/David Castera make it two out of two, as the winners of the 2016 Silk Way Rally triumph again this year, having held the lead for the entirety of the second week of the race. Their Peugeot DKR #100 eventually won with a margin of one hour and five minutes, over a total of 9599 kilometers those 4094 kilometers of which were on timed section.
  • Peugeot unbeaten on the 2017 Silk Way! A Peugeot was in the lead after every one of the 13 days of the Silk Way Rally, courtesy of Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena, Stéphane Peterhansel / Jean-Paul Cottret and Cyril Despres / David Castera. In total, the Peugeot ‘Dream Team’ won ten stages, with seven one-two stage finishes, as well as two one-two-three stage finishes.
  • Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret eventually finished fifth, having won five stages. Their chances of winning were eliminated in the fourth stage, when they lost much time following a roll, having had to repair their car on the stage.
  • While the three crews had mixed fortunes on the Silk Way Rally, their Peugeot racing cars proved to be both fast and reliable. Introducing the Peugeot DKR Maxi, for its first competitive outing at Silk Way Rally, the Peugeot Sport engineers had the confirmation they needed that all their hard work had paid off. The technical evolutions are in the right direction, contributing to increased overall performance and giving the drivers added confidence.

Peugeot has triumphed again on the Silk Way Rally, which took place from Russia to China over two weeks, having also claimed the event last year with Cyril Despres. The French brand set off from the start in Moscow with three cars: one Peugeot DKR Maxi for Loeb, and two examples of the current Peugeot DKR, which also locked out the podium on the Dakar Rally in January.

The Peugeot DKR Maxi featured a wider track that was 10 centimetres longer on each side, as well as other technical improvements that were being trialled on the Silk Way Rally, for the Dakar Rally next year. Sebastien Loeb used it to lead the rally at an impressive pace for the first week, claiming four stage wins in total. With an advantage of more than an hour, Loeb crashed the day after the rest day in Urumqi while driving off the main track to avoid a rocky river bed. His car tripped over a drainage channel, damaging it badly, and although the DKR Maxi was eventually able to be repaired, Loeb sprained a finger and couldn’t continue. Despite this misfortune, the French duo gained more experience and know-how of tackling long distance events.

Following Loeb’s accident, Despres took over the lead, having driven faultlessly from start to finish. He only had two problems, getting stuck in a hole during the first week, and becoming perched on a sand dune three days from the finish, but these were relatively minor issues that didn’t prevent him from leading the rally commandingly, to claim his second victory in cars, after a distinguished career on bikes.

Peterhansel, the winner of the Dakar Rally this year (and the most successful driver in Dakar history) had his chances of Silk Way Rally victory ruined in the first week, when he lost two hours after an accident. Nonetheless, from the bottom of the overall classification he fought back resiliently to claim a top-five finish, setting more fastest stage times on the Silk Way Rally than any other driver. Not only that, but Peterhansel performed a vital role as ‘guardian angel’ over Despres in the closing stages of the rally, helping his colleague to maintain his leadership by being on hand to assist in the event of any issues. This proved to be invaluable, with Despres able to drive securely in the knowledge that his team mate was on hand. This is ‘Team Spirit’ by Team Peugeot Total.

The Silk Way Rally was an essential part of Team Peugeot Total’s preparation for the Dakar Rally, with the team testing numerous technical and logistical solutions that will be put into place on the most famous endurance rally of them all in six months’ time.

Bruno FAMIN, Peugeot Sport Director / Team Manager Peugeot Total
“As we expected – or perhaps even more than we expected – the Silk Way Rally took a huge toll on all the competitors, with two of our cars being caught out by accidents. And they were in good company, because many other competitors faced the same problems. Congratulations to Cyril Despres and David Castera, both of whom performed faultlessly throughout the length of the rally to claim their second win here. While Stephane Peterhansel is ‘Mr Dakar’, I think we can now safely say that Cyril Despres is ‘Mr Silk Way’!”

Cyril DESPRES, Team Peugeot Total Driver Winner of the 2016 & 2017 Silk Way Rally
“It’s been a fantastic rally, a huge adventure, and I’m very happy to continue my progression as a car driver with another win here: on an event that I’m very fond of. To set off in Moscow and end up in China…it's really an amazing event.”

Stéphane PETERHANSEL, Team Peugeot Total Driver 5th overall (cars) of the 2017 Silk Way Rally
“Mixed emotions for me at the end of this rally. On the one hand, for myself, I am disappointed as I am a competitor and so the only result that really interests me is winning! On the other hand, I am very happy for Cyril and the whole Peugeot team for another victory here, and I’m also pleased that we were able to carry out the job of assisting him.”

Sébastien LOEB, Team Peugeot Total Driver
“The rally did not end the way we wanted it to for myself and Daniel, but I’m very happy for the whole Peugeot team and especially Cyril and David for this important victory. Now we will continue the development work, using all the important lessons we have learned from Silk Way, in preparation for the Dakar.”

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