Dakar Rally leader Loeb 'got screwed' by bike tracks in third stage

Dakar Rally leader Sebastien Loeb has admitted that he "got screwed" on Wednesday's stage by following bike tracks that went the wrong way

Dakar Rally leader Loeb 'got screwed' by bike tracks in third stage

The third stage of the event was the first proper navigational challenge for the crews, and Loeb lost three minutes to Peugeot team-mate Stephane Peterhansel in an eventful day that also included a puncture for the World Rally Championship legend.

Loeb described finding the navigational waypoints on the route as "difficult".

"The first 100 kilometres were complicated in terms of navigation," he said.

"We got lost because we followed the bikes' lines, which were wrong, so we found ourselves in trouble.

"We needed to follow lines off-road, but not all bikes' lines followed the same direction.

"We couldn't venture elsewhere and [the lines we followed] were wrong, so we got screwed.

"We struggled a little bit - I know that we lost four minutes to Peterhansel in the first sector.

"It's not so bad - it was a tough day, but we could have lost a lot more."

Peugeot appears to have the battle for overall victory to itself following the retirement of lead Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and problems for his team-mate Giniel de Villiers, but Loeb expects a fierce fight with Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz Sr.

"Every time Peterhansel is off-road he's very fast," said Loeb.

"Carlos is always pushing, so it will be a tough battle.

"I don't know what to expect, because so many things can happen.

"Nasser in particular was quite quick - he caught up with us despite getting screwed too.

"I tried to keep up with him on winding tracks with lots of gravel and that's when it got obvious that our two-wheel drive didn't help.

"On quick, slippery sections, he was a bit faster and I lost time letting him through.

"It was tough, there were difficult sections, so I'm not surprised there were mistakes in that stage."

Loeb heads into Thursday's stage with a 42-second lead over Sainz, with Peterhansel four minutes back - having lost a lot of time on Tuesday when he was held up in the dust of other cars.

shares
comments
Peterhansel heads Peugeot 1-2-3 as Loeb retains overall Dakar lead
Previous article

Peterhansel heads Peugeot 1-2-3 as Loeb retains overall Dakar lead

Next article

Dakar 2017: Cyril Despres takes rally lead as team-mates hit trouble

Dakar 2017: Cyril Despres takes rally lead as team-mates hit trouble
Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey Plus

Injury, COVID, camels and redemption: A MotoGP star's Dakar odyssey

Danilo Petrucci’s decision to switch to rallying at the conclusion of his time in MotoGP at the end of 2021 raised many eyebrows. Deciding to make his rally raid debut at the Dakar courted scepticism. With his debut almost over on several occasions before it began, Petrucci’s Dakar odyssey was a wild affair full of ups, downs and a run-in with a camel. He sat down with Autosport to reveal all

MotoGP
Jan 25, 2022
The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut Plus

The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut

OPINION: Audi has been a disruptive presence on the 2022 Dakar Rally, with its new hybrid RS Q e-tron taking three stage wins so far. Its impressive pace and resilience on one of the world’s toughest tests also bodes well for the Dakar’s future as it seeks to attract new manufacturers

Dakar
Jan 12, 2022
How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory Plus

How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory

Having tasted plenty of success in the World Rally Championship in the past, Prodrive took its off-road excursions to a new level with its first Dakar Rally entry this year. Now well-versed in the challenges that the famous rally-raid event possesses, Prodrive can learn from those lessons for next year's tilt at Dakar honours

Dakar
Jun 2, 2021
Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar Plus

Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar

The nine-time World Rally champion is heading to the Dakar Rally with an all-new project, and is joining up with the team he often fought against in the WRC - Prodrive - in his quest to finally add the most famed rally raid of them all to his bulging CV

Dakar
Dec 4, 2020
Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge Plus

Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge

With a stunning success record in motorsport, Prodrive is targeting a new crown by entering the 2021 Dakar Rally. David Richards provides an update on the programme, how COVID has slowed its plans and its options on who sits behind the wheel of its new car

Dakar
Jul 16, 2020
Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid Plus

Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid

How significant was Fernando Alonso's first cross-country rallying podium on a Saudi Arabian event last weekend? Very. The next leg of his post-F1 quest for versatile glory is going very well so far...

Dakar
Nov 12, 2019
What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet Plus

What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet

Double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso took on one of his biggest challenges yet in the five-day Dakar warm-up event, Rally Morocco. Alonso gives his thoughts on his progress in a "bittersweet" event, and whether he will contest the Dakar

Dakar
Oct 10, 2019
Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures Plus

Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures

Fernando Alonso is edging closer to a Dakar debut, but he should take heed of the lessons rallying legend Sebastien Loeb has learned through several near-misses, despite his promising performances at the event

Dakar
Aug 22, 2019