Sébastien Loeb warns the competition

Sébastien Loeb warns the competition

Winner of the 9th stage of the Dakar despite two punctures, Sébastien Loeb was satisfied to take four minutes from his rival Carlos Sainz, and will do everything to make up for his deficit by the end of the rally on Friday.

After finishing second in the Dakar three times, Sébastien Loeb seems well on his way to finishing on the second step of the podium once again. This Tuesday, the Alsatian Prodrive driver took 4’14 from his rival Carlos Sainz (Audi), but his delay in the general classification is still more than twenty minutes (20’33). Winner of the 9th stage, the nine-time world champion was satisfied, and said he was ready to give everything until the end.

“The stage was not so simple. Halfway through the stage, we already had two punctures, so we had to be a little careful. Apart from that, we rode well, no particular mistakes. There are fewer and fewer steps, it’s getting smaller. We’re doing the job, we’ll see. There are a few days left, there are miles left. Let’s try! Physically, I feel good. I sleep well at night, everything is fine (smiles),” reacted the pilot upon arrival at the microphone of The L’Equipe Channel.

Lurquin: “If we punctured, the rally was over”

His Belgian co-driver Fabian Lurquin was satisfied to have had a quiet day from a navigation point of view, even if one more puncture could have changed everything. “When we’re behind, we follow the track a bit, and they gave us a good track, we just took 30 seconds to look for a crossing point. For us it was easier. Séb rode really well. Because of our punctures, we did 200km without a (spare) wheel, and if we punctured, the rally was over. The tire gods were with us today. In these cases, we don’t ask too many questions. If we drive too slowly, it’s useless, we lose all chance. And if we die, it’s destiny », he philosophized, still at the microphone of The Channel L’Equipe. There are now three stages remaining, and a total of 1,026 kilometers of special stages, for the Franco-Belgian duo to achieve the feat of finally winning the Dakar.

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