Silk Way Rally
SILK WAY RALLY: CYRIL DESPRES THE WINNER
41 vehicles and 21 trucks set out from Moscow on July 8 to cover the 9,000 km and more and 14 stages between Russia and China. The least that can be said is that there was no shortage of action. Over the first 8 days, the Peugeot teams won every stage bar one, when Bryce Menzies snapped up the seventh stage with MINI.
Midway through the race, French champion Sébastien Loeb was out in front with four stage wins over two for Peterhansel and just the one for Cyril Despres. But after a team accident on the ninth stage, Sébastien Loeb was forced to withdraw, meaning that Peugeot were now pinning their hopes on the twosome of Cyril Despres and David Castera to win the event.
The Frenchman, a former motorbike racer and five-time winner of the Dakar rally on two wheels, proceeded to pick up a second win at the Silk Way Rally, ahead of compatriot Christian Lavieille. For their part, the team of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret came in fifth, an excellent result despite their accident on the rally's fourth stage. It was also a great race for Bryce Menzies, driving in his first Silk Way Rally and putting in a highly commendable performance.
According to Cyril Despres, it was a mix of consistency and luck that helped him win the race. "Thanks, too, to the engineers at Peugeot Sport and all the mechanics for having put together such a competitive car." After Russia, BFGoodrich and Cyril Depres will meet up again in Peru. "I'm looking forward to the start of the Dakar 2018 with the Peugeot DKR Maxi. That's clearly my next objective…" Well done again Cyril for a great win.