Arriving at the bivouac in Hami around midnight (GMT+8), Sébastien Loeb (Peugeot 3008DKR n°104) finally decided not to start the 10th stage of the Silk Way Rally. Here is what the French driver had to say upon his arrival.
“We were supposed to drive in a oued (dried up river bed) that was very bumpy. We couldn’t go fast. We could see that it was flat along the banks and in addition I saw a track going out of the oued. We were quite close to the oued. There was a washout perpendicular to it but I saw it too late. We hit it hard. The top shock absorber mount broke. First we tried to strap everything down with tie-downs and in the end we had to wait for the assistance truck which started right at the back and which finally welded up the support. But because it was now night we couldn’t even finish the special. In the beginning we came out of this oued because it was in such a bad state. Everybody else followed us. We were there to show them to go further round. My shoulder hurts but my thumb is causing me more problems from when the steering wheel snapped back…”
An hour later Team Peugeot Total announced the retirement of car no 104.
“My thumb is hurting, I can no longer hold the steering wheel and I don’t feel very well. I won’t be able to continue the race like this. I know that Team Peugeot Total are able to repair the car. But I have to save myself and get better for the rest of our programme. Once again I had a very good feeling driving the Peugeot DKR Maxi. It is a fast and competitive car.”