In the third stage, taking the field to San Salvador de Jujuy, Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen and his French navigator Michel Périn secured the fine fourth place, with their MINI John Cooper Works Rally !

Throughout the special stage, Hirvonen was giving the Peugeot pairings an extremely hard time but was defeated in the closing stages. “Things went well for us, today, Michael did a great job,” said the Fin who also worked his way up to fourth in the overall standings. “The track was more winding than in the previous special stages and I know that we are able to gain time in these sections. Therefore, I pushed as hard as I could. There was a thunderstorm at 5000 metres above sea level, accompanied by some snow, resulting in an incredible view as you even could see the sun on the right.”

“With three days contested, things are looking not too bad for us,” said X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. “We hadn’t expected that our competitors would get into problems so soon. I hope that our cars will remain as reliable as they have been so far. We are in a good initial position.”
Tomorrow, in stage four to Tupiza, the Dakar train will cross the border to Bolivia. The competitors will have to contest a long 416-kilometre special stage, with the liaison-section distance amounting to just 105 kilometres. After having entered Bolivia the field will have to cope with the first dunes, located about 3500 metres above sea level.

Dakar 2017 Result SS3:
1. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) – Peugeot – 4h 18m 17s
2. C. Sainz (FRA) / L. Cruz (ESP) – Peugeot – 4h 20m 11s
3. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) – Peugeot – 4h 21m 25s
4. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) – MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 22m 14s
5. C. Depres (FRA) / D. Castera (FRA) – Peugeot – 4h 26m 05s
6. O. Terranova (ARG) / A. Schulz (GER) – MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 29m 43s
7. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / T. Gottschalk (GER) – MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 4h 31m 30s

Dakar 2017 Overall standing after SS3:
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) – Peugeot – 6h 54m 56s
2. C. Sainz (FRA) / L. Cruz (ESP) – Peugeot – 6h 55m 38s
3. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) – Peugeot – 6h 59m 14s
4. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) – MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 7h 04m 34s
5. N. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) – Toyota – 7h 08m 00s
6. Y. Al-Rajhi (KZA) / T. Gottschalk (GER) – MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 7h 10m 13s