Watch Team Peugeot Total put their foot down for 2018 Dakar Rally

Extensive testing throughout the year in locations as varied as France, Portugal and Morocco has been utilised to bring the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi up to speed

The fearsome Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi is tuned up and ready to roar at the 2018 Dakar Rally. As winners of the past two editions of the Dakar the pressure is on Team Peugeot Total to nail the three-peat. That’s why no corners have been cut in the preparation of their latest beast designed to conquer the deserts of South America.

Hit play on the image above to watch the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi being tested in the dunes of Morocco.

Extensive testing throughout the year in locations as varied as France, Portugal and Morocco has been utilised to bring the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi up to speed. With over 18,000 kilometres on the clock it’s safe to say that nothing has been left to chance ahead of this latest Dakar title defence.

“The problem is that the more you win, the more you want to keep on doing it!” – Stéphane Peterhansel, Team Peugeot Total driver.

At the controls of the fleet of four Peugeot cars contesting the upcoming Dakar (January 6–20, 2018) is the most decorated driver line-up ever assembled for the event. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean Paul Cottret, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz and Cyril Despres/David Castera have a staggering 19 Dakar wins and 148 stage wins between them.

“The expectations and our preparations for the Dakar are the same as always.” – Carlos Sainz, Team Peugeot Total driver.

Earlier this year Team Peugeot Total locked out the final podium at the Dakar with Peterhansel, Loeb and Despres finishing first, second and third respectively. That success has been built on with a win for Despres at the 2017 Silk Way Rally and two high profile podium finishes for Loeb this year.

“The Dakar is by nature unpredictable, so we’re giving ourselves every advantage we possibly can to try and win it.” – Sébastien Loeb, Team Peugeot Total driver.

With further race wins since the last trip to South America and countless hours of testing put into developing their new car it’s back to the unique challenges of the Dakar. The route through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina promises to present gruelling challenges for both man and machine during the event’s 40th anniversary.

“It looks like this Dakar will be particularly tough because of the complexity of the route.” – Cyril Despres, Team Peugeot Total driver.

We’ll be with Team Peugeot Total every step of the way at the 2018 Dakar Rally so join us for the ride at RedBull.com/Dakar.

Quotes

Stéphane Peterhansel: “To win the Dakar again last year was a fantastic feeling: I felt so liberated! It’s one of the best memories of my career, after such an intense but respectful fight with Sébastien. The problem is that the more you win, the more you want to keep on doing it! This year it will be even more special, with the 40th edition and my 29th participation. Who knows if it’s going to be my last one or not, that is still to be seen. For me, the Dakar is really a question of balance, like a ritual that goes on all year. You recharge your batteries, you prepare yourself physically and mentally, the tension builds in September, that gives way to pure excitement in December when you just want to get out there and do some kilometres, then, when you finally arrive, you’re flat-out from the off.”

Sébastien Loeb: “I’ve been happy with my speed when it comes to adapting to this discipline, but I just need to show a bit more consistency and convert it into overall winning results. We know that we’re right up there, and we’ve proved it over the course of the year at the Dakar, the Silk Way Rally, and also the Rallye du Maroc. Nonetheless, we've only got a total of six rally raids behind us, which means that we are always going to be lacking in experience compared to the others. The 3008DKR was already a very good car but we’re always looking for more performance, and Peugeot Sport’s engineers have pushed the limits in developing the new Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi. It’s a reliable car that can go anywhere and absorb anything: it feels great to drive and gives me a lot of confidence.”

Carlos Sainz: “In recent years, we’ve always shown the speed to be able to win the Dakar; this time we need just a little more luck. I am certainly convinced by the potential, speed and reliability of the new Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi. The evolution of the car has been really going well, since we discussed it right the day after the Dakar in January. The Team Peugeot Total’s engineers have done an amazing job and I think the team and the drivers are even happier than last year. Everything is ready and prepared, so we’re just looking forward to the start in Peru now. The rules have changed, giving four-wheel drive some advantages this year, which obviously doesn’t make our lives any easier. But I’m confident that our team is very strong.”

Cyril Despres: “I think I’m preparing for the Dakar in pretty much the same way I have for this event over the last 17 years, with plenty of training: up to now I’m happy, and the testing we’ve just completed in Morocco confirms my good feeling in the car. When you spend between six to eight hours in the car, whether you're in shape or not makes a big difference. We finished third on the Dakar this year, so it’s clear that there are only two ways to get better now, and we want to improve on our performance. I’ve got to say that I’m really in love with the new 3008DKR Maxi. Although our Silk Way Rally car was good, this car is one step more: the work from the engineers has been non-stop. I can’t wait to be back on the track.”

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Sébastien Loeb , Stéphane Peterhansel , Cyril Despres
Article type Testing report