the organisers of The Dakar have decided not to penalize Stepháne Peterhansel by the refuelling allegedly illegal that he did on the stage Monday. The X-Raid team (Mini) had been reported to the French Peugeot for having filled the tank of his 2008 DKR in an area not permitted, but the commissioners understood that ‘Monsieur Dakar’ has not committed any irregularity.
The regulation that has saved Peterhansel is clear. The article 38P4 provides that “the assistance is authorised in the neutralisation, for the pilots that are still in competition”, that is what made the veteran frenchman, and that is what we protested the X-Raid team. Bruno Famin, competition director of Peugeot, he did not understand the complaint: “The refuelling is performed in the neutralization, not in the special. We always try to play clean, but it seems that some do not”, he complained.
At the end of the ninth stage, Peterhansel declared to the commissioners, as well as the representative of the X-Raid, who spoke to the daily AS: “it’s All about a criterion of interpretation. We consider that the refuelling was carried out in a place that is not allowed and they say the opposite”.
After this confirmation, Peterhansel keeps the second place of the overall standings, a little more than seven minutes off the leader, Carlos Sainz… except that X-Raid wins the appeal that has announced that it will bring.