Stephane Peterhansel says he considers himself “actually fortunate” to have finished next on Phase 7 of the Dakar Rally following becoming hamstrung by two different challenges.
Peterhansel was combating for the phase victory with the Overdrive Toyota of Yazeed Al-Rajhi when a wheel rim on his X-raid Mini broke 40km from the finish.
Right after repairing the difficulty and resuming the stage, 20km afterwards the French driver felt anything “genuinely odd” in the vehicle and it was only after arriving in the bivouac that he identified the suspension was broken.
Irrespective of the double mechanical problem, the 13-time Dakar winner completed just 48 seconds at the rear of stage winner Al-Rajhi, and crucially in advance of his two principal rivals Carlos Sainz Sr and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Peterhansel, who has held the overall guide because the second phase, admitted that he would have “struggled” to make it to the finish experienced all those concerns propped up before in the working day.
“Today we have been really fortunate,” Peterhansel informed Autosport. “We experienced two concerns that could have cost us a good deal. To start with, we had a huge influence with a wheel and we wrecked the rim [40km before the end]. It was not doable to remove the wheel [easily], so we shed 5 minutes just to clear away it.
“When we mounted the rim we restarted, but 20km just before the complete the car felt seriously unusual. We were sliding a good deal, so we finished the stage at the speed of a taxi driver.
“Arriving at the bivouac in Sakaka, we realised that the rear [suspension] arm was broken and we have to have to change it. We experienced a normal seem at the automobile, we began to perform on the automobile ready for the assistance truck in the race, the T4, with the spare sections. As soon as the truck arrives, it will acquire a most 30 minutes to resolve the trouble.
“We had been blessed simply because if it transpired 100km right before the conclusion, I assume we would have struggled to complete. With 20km to the finish, on the opposite, we managed to finish.”
Pursuing his sixth finish inside of the major-three, Peterhansel extended his guide about Al-Attiyah to 7m53s, gaining exactly two minutes on his Toyota rival, although Sainz slipped 41m06s powering him in the other Mini buggy.
Whilst Peterhansel stays inside of hanging length for Al-Attiyah, the French driver says he can be relieved that the rally did not “consider another flip” in the first portion of the marathon stage.
“We still left Ha’il, we had been main the in general with a six-minute gap on Nasser, and currently considerably less than eight minutes, so we are nonetheless in front,” Peterhansel mentioned.
“We are very self-confident mainly because the hole is not big, but it is nevertheless a hole. We are a little bit disappointed for what happened, but honestly the reduction is even larger mainly because if the injury was more substantial the race could consider an additional flip.”
Peterhansel, Al-Attiyah and Sainz have dominated Dakar for additional than a decade, having received all but two editions of the function between them since it moved away from its African-European roots in 2009.
Requested why they have been so considerably in advance of their rivals in recent a long time, Peterhansel, who has additional 7 wins to his tally due to the fact switching to autos in 1999, said: “The a few of us share the exact same mentality, the very same determination.
“In a way it is not ordinary that there are not new motorists capable to obstacle us. Possibly it is the form of self-discipline, but truthfully, I you should not see it as usual. As we get more mature, also the physics responds in another way, but we are nonetheless right here, chasing the get.”