Peugeot out of Dakar after 2018 victory bid
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.”