Peu­geot out of Dakar af­ter 2018 vic­tory bid

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Peu­geot has con­firmed the 2018 Dakar Rally will con­clude its off-road pro­gramme.

The French firm’s de­ci­sion is un­der­stood to be mainly bud­getary, but it is also aware of the po­ten­tial for a rule change which could mit­i­gate the ad­van­tage its 3008 DKR en­joys run­ning a rear-wheel-drive buggy-style car.

Peu­geot Sport di­rec­tor Bruno Famin said: “As this will be the last Dakar for Peu­geot, we would like to fin­ish our amaz­ing cam­paign on a high note. But as I al­ways say, you can’t count on any­thing in ad­vance. The most dif­fi­cult thing, af­ter win­ning, is to do it again.”

Thir­teen-time Dakar win­ner Stephane Peter­hansel says his fu­ture re­mains un­clear af­ter Jan­uary.

“Who knows if it’s go­ing to be my last one or not, that is still to be seen,” he said. “This year it will be even more spe­cial, with the 40th edi­tion and my 29th par­tic­i­pa­tion. The prob­lem is that the more you win, the more you want to keep on do­ing it.”

Nine-time World Rally cham­pion Se­bastien Loeb, also driv­ing a 3008 DKR, is aware Jan­uary could be his fi­nal op­por­tu­nity to win Dakar, but he’s in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent hav­ing led the two he’s started so far.

Loeb said: “The car has evolved and my­self and Daniel [Elena, co-driver] have made progress as well. We’re bet­ter in ev­ery way. But, we’ve only got a to­tal of six rally raids be­hind us, which means we’re al­ways go­ing to be lack­ing in ex­pe­ri­ence com­pared to the oth­ers.”

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