Peugeot’s Going For One More Dakar Win Before It Quits
Peugeot’s on a bit of a winning streak at the Dakar Rally. It won in 2016, again in 2017, and is going for a third next year. But that’ll be the last one.
“As this will be the last Dakar for Peugeot, we would like to finish our amazing campaign on a high note,” said Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin, buried deep in a statement on its test program. “But as I always say, you can’t count on anything in advance. The most difficult thing, after winning, is to do it again.”
2016 wasn’t the first overall win for Peugeot in the Dakar, having won four times in a row between 1987 and 1990 – first with the 205 T16 and then with the 405 T16. That, of course, was when the rally actually ran from Paris to Dakar, long before the move to its current route in South America.
Sister company Citroën also won four times with the ZX in the 1990s. The same lineup of Ari Vatanen and Bruno Berglund switched from the Peugeot 405 to the Citroën in 1991 and won, followed by three wins in a row for Pierre Lartigue and Michel Périn from 1994-96.
Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the past two years for Peugeot, first in the 2008 DKR and then in the 3008 DKR. This year they’ll be at it again in the revised 3008 DKR Maxi, as will three more teams consisting of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, and Cyril Despres and David Castera.
Though the rules have been rewritten to help the competition catch up with the lead Peugeot has amassed, the smart money would still be on one of those four crews taking the glory home to France again before the French automaker quits while it’s ahead.
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