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Peterhansel: “I think I’m the only one to have won on the three continents”

Crowned Friday with a 14th coronation on the Dakar (8 in the car category, 6 in motorcycle), the French Stéphane Peterhansel admits despite everything to feel “always so much pressure” at the idea of ​​winning the most famous rally-raids, he who won in Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia.

What is your feeling after this new victory, your 14th (eight in a car, six in a motorcycle)?
It’s always so much pressure. Each race is still very complicated to win. You really have to give your all, be complete, have a good team, a good car, a top co-driver. But despite that the error is human and we can make it very quickly, so winning for the 14th time was important. Thirty years between the first victory and that one … I think I am the only one to have won on three continents. Having lived Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia … We are also privileged.

Was it the experience that made the difference?
Experience is not just that. Because Edouard (Boulanger), my co-pilot, had very little. It is also clairvoyance, the analysis of the road book on the navigation side and, for my part, trying not to ignite. When I saw that I was a little slower than Nasser Al-Attiyah (his runner-up in general, editor’s note), I tried not to catch fire so as not to make a mistake and break the car. It’s a whole package. You have to know how to manage at the right time, attack at the right time, avoid getting lost and have a fast and solid car.

Is your unprecedented association with your co-pilot already a success?
In our head, we dreamed of a victory, but from there to materialize, it was another story. I’m not going to say it’s unexpected because he has all the qualities of a co-driver and I still have enough speed. But everything had to fit together and it went well. We speak the same language, and not just because we are both French! When he gives me a note, it’s pretty clear, it was very natural.


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