- Cyril Despres in sixth place
- Problems for Carlos Sainz
Having endured a tough time yesterday, Stéphane Peterhansel and David Castera (both FRA) were able to claim their first daily win together on today’s third stage from Marcona to Arequipa. Cyril Despres and Jean-Paul Cottret (both FRA) crossed the line in sixth place. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (both ESP) were all out of luck today after damaging the front left suspension in a ditch. They both had to wait for the race truck and are still out on the stage.
Everything went according to plan today for Peterhansel and Castera. The two Frenchmen started in 17thplace, working their way up in the MINI JCW Buggy to embark on a tough battle for victory against Nasser Al-Attiyah. After 342 stage kilometers, they finished over three minutes ahead. “It was a complicated day today,” confirmed Peterhansel. “We had to deal with every type of surface that you can find in Peru. Navigation was also very difficult, with a lot of high, soft dunes that are not so easy to deal with. It was easy to make a mistake but David did a very good job. We work well together.” The two Frenchmen are now in third place in the overall standings.
The day may not have been without its challenges for Despres and Cottret but claiming sixth place allows them to move up to sixth position in the overall standings. “It was a lovely stage to start with: navigation was fine and we did well over the dunes,” said Despres. “But then we were looking for a GPS point that was not marked at the correct kilometer in the roadbook. There were motorbikes everywhere and we had to really take care with the car.”
After the special stage, the crews still had to spend a few hours on the connecting stage to Arequipa. Today, the mechanics and engineers must prepare the cars for the next two days. The marathon stage is scheduled for tomorrow evening and the drivers and co-drivers will have to do without the support of their teams.