Stephane Peterhansel has beaten Peugeot team-mate Sebastien Loeb to take his 13th victory on the Dakar Rally.
Peterhansel finished 5mins 13secs up on Loeb, but was pushed all the way by the nine-time WRC champion, who was taking in the event for only the second time. Cyril Despres was third to give Peugeot a clean sweep of the podium, albeit more than 28 minutes further back.
“This is a superb win for Peugeot and I was delighted to have such an exceptional car,” Peterhansel said after his latest Dakar triumph, his seventh on four wheels.
“I was also glad that Bruno Famin didn't issue any team orders. It was an open fight all the way to the finish. We faced stiff competition, not only from our own team-mates, with three other strong drivers in the squad, but also from the other teams.
“It didn't take long for an initial hierarchy to emerge, though, and soon there were just four, then two drivers challenging for the victory.
“My duel with Sebastien was intense and also quite stressful. At the same time, we had tremendous fun driving.
“It was never easy because Sebastien is a proven champion and extremely fast, and he has plenty of experience of managing from in front, so it was never straightforward for us, as can be seen by the small gap that separated us at the finish.
“A 14th victory? Why not!”
“It was a good event for us and, even though we ended up second, we were involved in the thick of the fight for first place from start to finish,” Loeb added.
“After the small engine problem we suffered early on, we never stopped pushing. It was very exciting because we were flat out all the time, especially on the anti-penultimate and penultimate stages. It was a tremendous rally.
“It's a shame our scrap ended when I punctured yesterday. Overall, we had great fun and we ended up second on what turned out to be a highly complex event, while Peugeot ended up first, second and third. That's an extraordinary team result!”
Behind, Nani Roma and Giniel De Villiers were fourth and fifth for Toyota, while Orlando Terranova rounded out the top six.
Carlos Sainz retired in the first week after crashing.
Final Dakar Rally 2017 standings (cars) – Top 10:
1. Stephane Peterhansel / Jean Paul Cottret
Peugeot 28h 49m 30s
2. Sebastien Loeb / Daniel Elena
Peugeot +5m 13s
3. Cyril Despres / David Castera
Peugeot +33m 28s
4. Nani Roma / Alex Haro Bravo
Toyota +1h 16m 43s
5. Giniel De Villiers / Dirk Von Zitzewitz
Toyota +1h 49m 48s
6. Orlando Terranova / Andreas Schulz
Mini +1h 52m 31s
7. Jakub Przygonski / Tom Colsoul
Mini +4h 14m 47s
8. Romain Dumas / Alain Guehennec
Peugeot +4h 24m 01s
9. Conrad Rautenbach / Robert Howie
Toyota 4m 40m 13s
10. Mohammed Abu-Issa / Xavier Panseri
Mini 4m 53m 30s