Because he wants to catch up in the competition with the defending champion, the record winner of the Dakar Rally, Stephane Peterhansel, chases through the desert. A dune then spells doom for the Audi driver and his co-driver. The two have an accident - and have to get out of the rally.
Record winner Stéphane Peterhansel looked back on his horror crash during the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally with some distance. "During the accident I lost consciousness," said "Mister Dakar", whose title ambitions had vanished into thin air on Friday due to the accident, in the bivouac on Saturday evening.
On the way from Ha'il to Riyadh, the Audi driver wanted to make up time in the Toyota against the defending Qatari champion, Nasser Al-Attiyah. He and his co-driver Edouard Boulanger steered towards a dune too quickly. "It was a gentle dune, if you get there at 60 to 70 kilometers per hour, the tires stay on the ground," explained Peterhansel: "You fly at 120 to 140 kilometers per hour."
The Dakar record winner cannot remember the hard impact, he complains that he lost his memory for several minutes. It was even worse for his co-pilot Boulanger, who suffered a fractured vertebra. "When I jumped out of the car, I saw Edouard in pain," said Peterhansel. "I realized that the race was over for us." Boulanger will fly to Munich for an operation on Sunday, Peterhansel wants to visit him there.
For Audi, at least since the seventh stage on Saturday, all dreams of success have been unleashed. The rear suspension of former DTM champion Mattias Ekström broke during the stage and the Swede lost more than three hours to the competition. In addition to Peterhansel, team-mate Carlos Sainz had an accident the day before and fell too far behind in the fight for the title.
Peterhansel is the most successful driver in the Dakar Rally. He won the motorcycle classification six times between 1991 and 1998 and has been successful eight times in cars.