Peugeot Dream Team for 2016 Dakar Rally: Sainz, Peterhansel, Loeb & Despres
Sebastien Loeb, the most successful driver in the history of the World Rally Championship and current driver of Citroen’s WTCC team, announced his next challenge: 2016 Dakar Rally. Loeb will join Team Peugeot Total which will attack the toughest race on the planet, taking place January 2018 in Argentina and Bolivia, with four cars.
Besides Loeb, other drivers of all-new Peugeot 2008 DKR16, an improved evolution of the car used at 2015 Dakar Rally, will be Carlos Sainz, Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres. Peugeot already had a strong line-up of drivers and now they create a Dream Team, which will try to conquer the most famous cross-country event and one of the most popular motorsports events in the world.
“The Dakar is completely different from the racing I’m doing at the moment. It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It’s another approach to racing, but I’ll discover that in January,” said Loeb.
The nine-time WRC champion will have a chance to try the old 2008 DKR in competitive mode very soon, at next month’s Rallye du Maroc (3-9 October), together with co-driver Daniel Elena, with whom he shared all his world titles. 2016 Dakar Rally will start on January 3 at Buenos Aires. The route is completely different from the previous event’s and goes through Argentina and Bolivia.
“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure. The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross-Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates. What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it! I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more,” added Loeb.