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Loeb's Silk Way Rally hopes dashed by four-hour penalty

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Loeb's Silk Way Rally hopes dashed by four-hour penalty
By:
Jul 21, 2016, 4:58 PM

Sebastien Loeb's victory bid in the 2016 Silk Way Rally took a massive hit after the Frenchman incurred a four-hour penalty in Thursday's stage.

#102 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#102 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#102 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena
#102 Peugeot: Sébastien Loeb, Daniel Elena

Loeb and navigator Daniel Elena had initially arrived at the end of Stage 12 seven minutes faster than the fellow Peugeot crew of Cyril Despres and David Castera, cutting Despres' rally lead down to less than three minutes.

However, Loeb and Elena would then incur a four-hour penalty for having missed two waypoints during the 425km stage, relegating the duo to 10th in the general classification and effectively ending their hopes for victory.

"It is frustrating, it’s a heavy price to pay," Loeb commented after the stage. "It is an error we will never make again."

Elena, subsequently, took responsibility for the mistake in a Facebook post, writing: "I did see in the stage that I had made a mistake, we turned around and I got confused with the GPS...

"I apologise to the whole Peugeot Sport team for costing them a superb double i nthis race - and especially to Sebastien Loeb, who always amazes me. He truly drove very well today."

Loeb's penalty gave Despres the stage win, and the Frenchman now enjoys a half-hour lead over his nearest rival - Mini's Yazeed Al-Rajhi.

Additional reporting by Benjamin Vinel

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Silk Way Rally Stage 12: Loeb looses his way ! - video

Silk Way Rally Stage 12: Loeb looses his way ! - video
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