Stephane Peterhansel claims he considers himself “genuinely blessed” to have completed next on Stage 7 of the Dakar Rally soon after currently being hamstrung by two various issues.
Peterhansel was preventing 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 end.
Following fixing the difficulty and resuming the phase, 20km later on the French driver felt a little something “truly peculiar” in the motor vehicle and it was only just after arriving in the bivouac that he discovered the suspension was broken.
Irrespective of the double mechanical challenge, the 13-time Dakar winner finished just 48 seconds at the rear of stage winner Al-Rajhi, and crucially in advance of his two main rivals Carlos Sainz Sr and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Peterhansel, who has held the over-all lead since the 2nd phase, admitted that he would have “struggled” to make it to the finish had these challenges propped up before in the day.
“Nowadays we have been seriously blessed,” Peterhansel told Autosport. “We experienced two difficulties that could have value us a ton. To begin with, we had a big affect with a wheel and we destroyed the rim [40km before the end]. It was not achievable to eliminate the wheel [easily], so we dropped five minutes just to clear away it.
“Once we set the rim we restarted, but 20km just before the finish the car felt seriously weird. We ended up sliding a large amount, so we concluded the phase at the velocity of a taxi driver.
“Arriving at the bivouac in Sakaka, we realised that the rear [suspension] arm was damaged and we have to have to alter it. We had a common glimpse at the car or truck, we started out to work on the auto waiting for the support truck in the race, the T4, with the spare parts. At the time the truck comes, it will consider a optimum 30 minutes to repair the problem.
“We were fortunate since if it took place 100km ahead of the end, I believe we would have struggled to end. With 20km to the conclude, on the contrary, we managed to complete.”
Subsequent his sixth complete inside the best-3, Peterhansel extended his lead around Al-Attiyah to 7m53s, gaining just two minutes on his Toyota rival, whilst Sainz slipped 41m06s guiding him in the other Mini buggy.
While Peterhansel stays in striking distance for Al-Attiyah, the French driver suggests he can be relieved that the rally didn’t “just take a further turn” in the 1st section of the marathon stage.
“We remaining Ha’il, we ended up primary the over-all with a 6-minute gap on Nasser, and today a lot less than 8 minutes, so we are even now in entrance,” Peterhansel explained.
“We are extremely assured due to the fact the hole is not major, but it is continue to a gap. We are a bit annoyed for what happened, but truthfully the aid is even bigger because if the injury was even larger the race could acquire a different turn.”
Peterhansel, Al-Attiyah and Sainz have dominated Dakar for more than a decade, acquiring won all but two editions of the occasion in between them due to the fact it moved absent from its African-European roots in 2009.
Requested why they have been so much forward of their rivals in the latest a long time, Peterhansel, who has additional 7 wins to his tally because switching to cars in 1999, said: “The a few of us share the very same mentality, the exact perseverance.
“In a way it is not ordinary that there aren’t new motorists ready to problem us. Possibly it is the variety of willpower, but truthfully, I never see it as normal. As we get older, also the physics responds differently, but we are nevertheless in this article, chasing the earn.”