Racing fans may have been disappointed when Peugeot shut down its Le Mans racing program, but never believe that the Lion marque has hung up its driving gloves for excellent. It’;s just refocusing itself. Instead of committing itself and its assets to a major circuit-bound racing series, Peugeot has been tackling one-off, off-road events. It took the record at Pikes Peak with Sebastien Loeb and is focusing on the exact same at Goodwood. It just lately launched the new 208 T16 for privateer rally teams. And now it is heading back to Dakar.
We say “back” since this will not be Peugeot’;s very first rodeo, so to talk. It won the famously grueling rally 4 years in a row from 1987 via 1990, first with the 205 and then with the 405. For next year’;s rally, it appears to be getting ready a competition-version of its 2008 crossover, and has brought Complete and Red Bull on board as partners to regroup the very same parties that teamed up for Loeb’;s Pikes Peak campaign.
Lest you consider Loeb will be driving the Peugeot 2008 DKR, nonetheless, the French automaker has instead employed 2010 Dakar winner Carlos Sainz and 5-time Dakar motorbike winner Cyril Despres, who is creating the leap to 4 wheels, as its drivers for the commence of a multi-12 months campaign. Scope out the teaser video and the press release below for far more details.
After their extraordinary adventure in 2013, which saw them smash the record for the celebrated Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Peugeot Sport, Red Bull and Total have once again joined forces for one more exacting however equally fascinating challenge: the Dakar. To take on the 10,000km of the world’;s longest and toughest cross-country rally 25 years after the French auto producer final contested the event, the staff has recruited Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres.
Final June’;s memorable new record of 8m13.878s for the ascent of Pikes Peak confirmed that Peugeot Sport had misplaced none of its taste for motorsport. Soon after emphatically showcasing its skills on the celebrated climb’;s steep, demanding course, the crew could effortlessly have contented itself with final year’;s a single-off foray. However, its passion for competitors needed feeding with even more stimulating new issues and the following a single will be the infamous Dakar.
Following last year’;s extreme journey in the lofty mountains of Colorado, USA, Peugeot Sport, Red Bull and Complete have made a decision to set their sights on the wide open spaces of South America which supply the backdrop for the toughest cross-nation rally of them all. Inevitably, the determination recalls a particularly effective period in the history of the French staff which created an indelible mark on the Dakar by winning the legendary competitors 4 years working from 1987 until 1990, initial with the 205 T16 Grand Raid, then with the equally iconic 405 T16 Grand Raid.
In amongst times, the Dakar has traded the dunes of northwest Africa for the tracks and trails of Latin America which are each and every bit as punishing for rivals and their machines. It is right here, a quarter of a century soon after its last participation that Team Peugeot Total will take on its subsequent challenge with a new auto, the 2008 DKR. Soon after last June’;s 20-kilomètre asphalt sprint, it is a 2-week 10,000km marathon that will place Peugeot Sport’;s all-round expertise to the check in January 2015.
The Dakar will naturally be the chief concentrate of Peugeot’;s new, multi-year programme which will also contain a particular variety of other events in order to aid it to prepare for the yearly South American marathon. The team’;s driver line-up stars the 2010 Dakar victor Carlos Sainz, who brings his extensive experience and automobile-development skills to the table, as effectively as the event’;s 5-time winner on 2 wheels, Cyril Despres, who has chosen Peugeot to kick off a new occupation on 4 wheels.
Each drivers are eager to uncover their auto which was concocted by the same group that was behind the development of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak. A lot more details about the auto will be uncovered at the Beijing Motor Display on twenty April.
Peugeot and the Dakar: a taste for journey
Peugeot’;s partnership with the Dakar in the past extends well past the cold, if impressive statistic of its score of 4 victories from 4 commences. On the contrary, it is founded on the numerous, occasional improbable-sounding tales the French make has to tell following contesting some 48,125km of aggressive action in northwest Africa between 1987 and 1990…
On January 1, 1987, all the ingredients have been in spot to maximise Peugeot’;s chances of good results on the ‘Paris-Alger-Dakar’; at the first attempt. Its driver line-up incorporated a specified Ari Vatanen whose 205 Turbo sixteen was fittingly allotted amount ‘205’;, an perfect way of advertising the brand’;s emblematic model. Sadly, an accident on the event’;s quick Prologue near Paris noticed his automobile endure severe damage and the Peugeot star fell to a lowly 274th total! The rally had only just commenced, but the incident provided the staff with a timely reminder of the Dakar’;s uncompromising nature, nonetheless accustomed Peugeot Sport might have been to the ups and downs inherent in rallysport. Days later, group-mate Shekhar Mehta discovered the exact same lesson although foremost when the cautiously-prepared game strategy for his 205 T16 was spoilt by an inexplicable engine dilemma. Fortunately, Ari Vatanen’;s thrilling fight-back enabled him to recover prime spot and at some point gather Peugeot’;s very first Dakar triumph soon after some 13,000 kilometres of competition.
The 1988 event served to verify the popular rally-raid’;s unpredictability when an unbelievable misadventure troubled the ideas of then Staff Principal Jean Todt and the greatest-positioned of the 2 405 T16s which were entrusted with defending’;s Peugeot’;s colors. Following 13 stages, Ari Vatanen arrived in Mali’;s capital Bamako in front, but his 405 T16 was stolen in the course of the evening! It was eventually recovered but as well late & the Finn was disqualified. The win eventually went to the 205 T16 of teammate Juha Kankkunen who had been recruited to serve as Vatanen’;s rapid assistance driver!
The 405 T16 Grand Raid ultimately got its likelihood in 1989 after an enthralling battle among staff-mates Ari Vatanen and Jacky Ickx. To make sure their duel didn’;t end in tears and scupper Peugeot’;s odds, the group made a decision to settle the concern by tossing a coin at the overnight halt in Gao, Mali. The outcome favoured Ari Vatanen who went on to claim victory, in spite of rolling twice.
The following yr, the Finn managed to construct up a security margin of 2 hours at the best of the order, which was just as effectively because he had a troubled day on the leg from Niamey and Gao, once again in Mali. The stage placed the emphasis on navigational skills, but Vatanen’;s codriver was poorly and his compass was faulty. To crown it all, the Peugeot driver punched a massive hole in the bodywork of his 405 when he hit a tree! That failed to faze the Finn, however, and he survived to gather Peugeot’;s 4th straight Dakar win.
4 queries to Maxime Picat, Peugeot CEO
“Our aim is to win the Dakar in 2015”
What is the explanation for Peugeot’;s Dakar comeback?
Maxime Picat: “It clearly follows in the wake of our Pikes Peak victory in 2013. That was a very special second which showcased what Peugeot Sport is capable of obtaining in association with Total and Red Bull. It was a win that gave us wings and led us to get a shut look at what other motorsport programmes we could do together. The outcome of that approach was the choice to return to the Dakar.”
Is Peugeot’;s Dakar programme as ambitious as final year’;s Pikes Peak operation?
Maxime Picat: “Our Pikes Peak programme was a accomplishment because we succeeded in bringing together an excellent driver, a exceptional crew and a vehicle of the really highest good quality. We have set our sights large for the Dakar, also, and the staff will as soon as once more be in a position to count on all the necessary talent and skills. Our intention is to have almost everything in place for subsequent year’;s Dakar, even though our strategy is based mostly on a longer phrase than was the situation for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, since we will be involved for numerous many years. We are flawlessly aware that the Dakar is a quite tough occasion but our aim is nonetheless to win at first attempt in 2015.”
How important an occasion is the Dakar for Automobiles Peugeot?
Maxime Picat: “We are delighted to be returning to the Dakar due to the fact it truly is an event which enjoys extensive coverage globally. It is nicely recognized in Europe, as effectively as in such crucial markets as South America and China. It requires location in South America, with a lot of the action in Argentina in which Peugeot has traditionally appreciated a sturdy foothold.”
Why did you make a decision to compete with the 2008?
Maxime Picat: “The 2008 conveys a sturdy picture on each and every continent. It is our newest crossover and is proving a massive hit in Europe, ahead of its launches in China and Latin America in 2015. The 2008 DKR stood out as the obvious decision.”
3 questions to Bruno Famin, Director of Peugeot Sport
“We are very proud to have Carlos and Cyril in the group”
Peugeot Sport can seem back at an superb record on the Dakar. Will your past results be of assist for your new challenge?
Bruno Famin: “The Dakar has changed a fantastic deal in the past 25 many years but you even now design and style automobiles in the same way. We even now have a certain sum of information from the late 1980s which we will be ready to use. Above all, even though, we have created up considerable expertise of creating rally cars. Cross-country rallies and typical rallies are efficiently somewhat various, but the technique and know-how are exactly the identical. And that know-how is some thing we have.”
What guided your option of drivers?
Bruno Famin: “1st allow me say how proud the crew is to be capable to count on the services of 2 this kind of hugely talented drivers as Carlos and Cyril. Their respective profiles are flawlessly complementary. Carlos has an outstanding record in motorsport and his vehicle advancement capabilities are well documented. In all the teams he has worked with, he has contributed to producing winning autos. His encounter will be an critical asset for the group, whilst his enthusiasm and will to win are just as outstanding. Cyril has an remarkable record, also, though on bikes, of course, and he is seeking forward to discovering the world of motorsport on 4 wheels. Judging by the way the 2 are getting along together, I am positive it won’;t be extended ahead of Cyril is aggressive.”
How did the staff at Peugeot Sport respond to the news of this comeback?
Bruno Famin: “The response of every person at Peugeot Sport has been quite excellent. The announcement of a programme for the medium term is obviously superb news right after the hard years we have knowledgeable just lately. At the same time, the Dakar is an integral component of Peugeot’;s history and absolutely everyone is quite proud to be concerned in this occasion once again. We truly nevertheless have some men and women who have been component of the original adventure, and 1 of them has previously began doing work on the new undertaking.”
3 concerns to Carlos Sainz
“A proposal that was also excellent to resist”
What created you make a decision to join Peugeot?
Carlos Sainz: “I have often competed towards Peugeot Sport in the previous and I have identified for many years just how passionate it is about motorsport. I also know that when they make a decision on a programme, they place every thing into it. I’;m the very same. Provided how significantly I love the Dakar, it was too good a proposal to resist when Peugeot asked me to be portion of its line-up for its comeback to this special journey.”
Peugeot has not done the Dakar for 25 years. Do you see that as a handicap?
Carlos Sainz: “I do not consider so, simply because Peugeot has by no means stopped making autos of a extremely high common for disciplines like rallying and endurance racing. The new 208 T16 R5 is a fine example. At the exact same time, I have already won the Dakar and I will be able to deliver my very own experience of the occasion in 4-wheel and 2-wheel drive cars to the table. We are prepared for the challenge.”
Do you feel the group can be aggressive rapidly?
Carlos Sainz: “In motorsport, you can by no means take anything at all for granted. The degree of competition on the Dakar today is quite high and it’;s an occasion that truly is not straightforward to win. We won’;t have significantly time ahead of our initial try, both, but I come to feel confident because the team is plainly very motivated and we will function hard to attempt to win.”
Carlos Sainz in brief
– Born April twelve, 1962, in Madrid, Spain. Lives in Madrid, Spain.
– Winner of the Dakar in 2010
– 6 earlier Dakar participations: a single victory (2010), one particular 3rd location (2011), a single 9th location (2007), one particular 11th location (2006) and 3 retirements (2009, 2013 and 2014)
– Winner of the Cross-Nation Rally World Cup in 2007
– 2-time World Rally Champion (1990 and 1992) and 4-time runner-up
– 26 Globe Rally Championship victories
3 questions to Cyril Despres
“The beginning of a new life for me”
You loved a very effective occupation as a biker, with 5 Dakar wins to your title. Why have you decided to switch to 4 wheels?
Cyril Despres: “It was a natural process. When you do the Dakar on a motorbike, you can devote up to 10 hrs on your personal every day, so you have a lot of time to reflect on various issues. In fact, the idea dawned on me throughout final January’;s Dakar, then Peugeot and Red Bull came up with this incredible possibility. I am really proud. I didn’;t get me prolonged to weigh up the pros and the cons! For me, it is a dream come accurate and the beginning of a new daily life.”
How are you approaching this new challenge?
Cyril Despres: “I am conscious that this is a great chance to join the vehicle guys at the sharp end, and with a aggressive and specialist crew like Peugeot. I am not confident I would have created the same jump for one more staff. I have robust recollections of Peugeot winning the Dakar when I was a kid and I cannot wait to get a possibility to drive the new car…”
Certain profitable bikers have gone on to win the Dakar on 4 wheels. What is your objective?
Cyril Despres: “To get started with, my aim will be to find out and aid as a lot as I can. I need to be in a position to make very good progress in a staff like Peugeot and with a teammate like Carlos Sainz. That’;s so stimulating. I truly want to familiarise myself with the way these vehicles function and how to drive them, as properly as with how to work with a co-driver. Sharing so significantly time with a person sitting next to you will be difficult since I have been accustomed to getting on my own for the previous 15 years!”
Cyril Despres in quick
– Born January 24, 1974, in Fontainebleau, France. Lives in Andorra.
– 5-time Dakar bike winner (2005, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013)
– 14 earlier Dakar participations on 2-wheels: 5 victories, 3 2nd places (2006, 2009 and 2011), one 3rd spot (2004), 2 4th areas (2003 and 2014), one particular 13th area (2001), a single 16th spot (2000) and 1 retirement (2002)
– Cross-Country Rally Globe Champion (2003)
– Globe Crew Enduro Champion (2001)