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Peugeot Silk16cWhile the weather was extremely hot in the Kazakh capital Astana after today’s run, the conditions for the 223.48km stage through tall undergrowth were predominantly sticky mud due to more heavy rain.

– On completion of today’s competitive section, the Team Peugeot Total crews reported that it felt like their respective PEUGEOT 2008 DKRs weighed 200kg more than they had done when they set out from Kostanay this morning. Mud had stuck everywhere and it even managed to tear away the rear wheel arch guards. Obstacles concealed by the vegetation were behind slow punctures for the #102 and #104 cars.
– After claiming Monday’s stage, Cyril DESPRES / David CASTERA were first on the road today for a good half of the test which was made particularly challenging by complex navigation. They successfully limited the damage, however, and dropped a minimum amount of time despite falling to fourth overall. Team-mates Stéphane PETERHANSEL / Jean-Paul COTTRET produced a perfectly paced run to win the stage and recover the overall lead. Sébastien LOEB / Daniel ELENA are still third on the provisional leaderboard after posting today’s third-best effort.
– Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 13), competitors face the longest stage of the rally (568.26km) for a total distance for the day of 820.75km.

Bruno FAMIN (Team Manager, Team Peugeot Total / Director, Peugeot Sport)
“We’ve got three cars in tonight’s top four, but our rivals aren’t far behind. Some of them dropped time today but they’ve been pushing us on the stages. There isn’t much of a gap in the classification as it stands and, when you see the long stage that awaits everyone tomorrow, it’s clear that this rally has only just started. We need to stay totally focused.”

Stéphane PETERHANSEL (Leg: 1st / Overall: 1st)
“The first 60 kilometres or so were muddy and very slippery but also lots of fun. There was quite a lot of navigation again and, running some way sown the start order, we were at an advantage because the trail had already been blazed. That said, the mud thrown up by the cars ahead of us made visibility quite difficult. That said, we reached a top speed of around 185kph at one point despite the conditions being far from ideal. Our car is going well.”

Sébastien LOEB (Leg: 3rd / Overall: 3rd)
“You could hardly see the track through the tall grass, so the navigation was quite hard. We got away to a good start and soon caught Cyril and Al-Rahji. The three of us then got lost together several times. After that, we drove in a convoy at the same pace as the car at the front of the field. We ended up with the third-best time without any major drama.”

Peugeot Silk16dCyril DESPRES (Leg: 10th / Overall: 4th)
“It was raining when we started the stage and the first 50 kilometres were over untouched fields with nothing to indicate the correct route. The going was also very muddy. Our pace wasn’t very fast and first Al-Rahji, then Sébastien caught us. We ran together after that. We were playing at cat and mouse games when we hit a lump of concrete hidden in the long grass. We punctured but we decided to continue until the end of the stage without changing the wheel. It could have been worse…”

Provisional classification – Leg 4 (Kostanay-Astana)
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 1h57m58s
2. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +6min22s
3. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +7min33s
4. Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS), Mini, +8min07s
5. Damen Scott Jefferies (USA) / Max Brien Eddy Jr (USA), Jefferies buggy, +9min20s
10. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, + 12min51s

Provisional leaderboard after Leg 4
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, 4h05’14”
2. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS), Mini, +2min41s
3. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) / Daniel Elena (MC), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, +2min51s
4. Cyril Despres (FRA) / David Castera (FRA), PEUGEOT 2008 DKR, + 3min59s
5. Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ) / Anton Nikolaev (RUS), Mini, +6min52s

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