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Peugeot brings Sébastien Loeb: Record rally world champion drives Dakar 2016

Peugeot brings Sébastien Loeb
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I n last year Peugeot celebrated its comeback at the Dakar Rally. With moderate success. Record winner Stéphane Peterhansel brought the best Peugeot home in eleventh place. Teammate Carlos Sainz retired prematurely after an accident on the fifth stage and Cyril Despres struggled with the switch from motorcycle to car.

Peugeot is preparing for the upcoming edition of the most famous long-distance rally. The engineers improved the 2008 DKR. The rear-wheel drive buggy became longer and wider from an aerodynamic point of view, got new wheel suspensions and a little more power (350 instead of 340 hp). In addition, Peugeot is increasing its driver line-up: with none other than Sébastien Loeb. Together with Peterhansel, eleven-time Dakar winner, Sainz and Despres, the record rally world champion forms a real dream team. At least as far as the names are concerned.

Loeb meets the Dakar Rally with respect

Loeb has great respect for the Dakar challenge, which in 2016 leads through the deserts of Argentina and Bolivia over 13 days. 'The Dakar is completely different from the World Touring Car Championship in which I am currently competing. At two weeks it is very long. In order for the driver and the car to make it to the finish, you have to take a completely different approach to the rally.'

Loeb has been driving for Citroën in the WTCC World Touring Car Championship since 2014. In the current season he is third overall. Behind his teammates Jose-Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller. In the Peugeot 2008 DKR, Loeb will have a co-driver next to him, just like in the World Rally Championship. And as with all of his 78 wins in the WRC, the Frenchman relies on Daniel Elena from Monegas.

First start at Rally Morocco

The nine-time rally world champion and runner-up of the Already close in on the 2006 24h Le Mans race in tests in Morocco. 'What surprised me the most: In the World Rally Championship you avoid obstacles, but you just drive over them with this car. It takes a while to build the trust you need,' compares Loeb.

At the beginning of October he has another chance to practice at the Rally Morocco (October 3rd to 9th). 'The rally in Morocco is a fantastic opportunity to get an impression of the marathon rally sport and to learn from such experienced teammates'

In addition to Loeb, there is also a race in AfricaCarlos Sainz. The Spaniard can compete in the new Peugeot 2008 DKR16. Newcomer Loeb, on the other hand, still has to make do with the 2015 version. Incidentally, he already knew Sainz as a team-mate during his rally days. In 2003 Loeb contested his first full season in the World Rally Championship for Citroën, leaving both the Spanish legend and Colin McRae behind.


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