PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY
The route for this year's 40th edition Dakar put these cars to their paces with over 9,000 kilometres of varying terrains. It proved to be highly demanding on the mechanical side and was a massive endurance test. Peugeot 3008DKR pushed through and succeeded to win 7 out of 13 stages, demonstrating remarkable reliability. The only minor issues encountered were small gear selection issues, while the reason for retirement of the n°306 PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi was not down to any technical faults or problems. The new BF Goodrich tyres proved to be considerably strong on demanding South American terrain, while TOTAL lubricants ensured optimal performance from the engines despite the altitude and extreme conditions.
THE REVENGE OF ‘EL MATADOR’
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz have not had the best of luck in the last three Dakars but they came back fighting this year. Having driven a masterful rally from the start, the two Spaniards demonstrated consistency and high performance at the wheel of the n°303 PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi. They won SS6 and SS7 (out of 14) to take a lead on the marathon stage that they were never to lose. The winners of the 2010 Dakar were on the top step of the podium again by reaching Cordoba with a 43min40s advantage over their rivals. This win highlights their unrelenting commitment to PEUGEOT’s rally raid project, having put all their expertise and talent into the set-up of the DKR cars.
THE TRIBULATIONS OF ‘MR DAKAR’
The winners of the 2016 and 2017 Dakars with PEUGEOT, Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, had an exciting yet testing rally with two unfortunate setbacks. On SS7 (of 14) the n°300 crew had to swerve to avoid a quad bike that was stationary in the middle of the road which ruined their car’s left-rear suspension against a hidden rock. Then at the start of SS13, the reigning Dakar champions crashed into a tree, which damaged their power steering. Both situations saw their team mates Cyril Despres/David Castera help fix the car meaning they could continue. These mishaps meant that they lost first and then second place in the overall classification. Nonetheless, they finished fourth after proving to be the fastest crew of the whole Team PEUGEOT Total squad, with three stage victories.
DESPRES/CASTERA, RAPID AND DEPENDABLE
The first Team PEUGEOT Total crew to win a stage on the 2018 Dakar was Cyril Despres and David Castera, who claimed the overall lead at the end of SS2, showing that they have taken another step forward in terms of performance. Unfortunately, the ambitions of the two former bike riders were undone by a rock coming out of the road at kilometre 180 of SS4. This destroyed the right-rear suspension of the car, which stopped the duo in their tracks. With the help of Team PEUGEOT Total’s service truck, also entered in the competition, the n°308 PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi crew was able to continue, but with a severe delay. From then on, demonstrating amazing team spirit, the duo dedicated themselves to helping their team mates, while setting some impressive stage times when the opportunity arose (such as on SS8 and SS11). As a result of their 29-hour penalty, Cyril Despres and David Castera were classified some way back, a position which doesn’t represent their true level of performance.
LOEB STOPPED IN HIS TRACKS
After finishing second on last year’s Dakar, just five minutes behind the winners, Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena started this year’s event with the clear goal of winning. They set off to a great start in the rally, despite an itinerary through Peru that mainly consisted of dunes and off-piste driving, which was not really put them through their paces. They then won SS4 in style which is considered one of the most difficult stages of the modern Dakar in South America. Unfortunately, while running second in the overall classification, they were forced to retire on SS5, between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa in Peru. Their PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi fell into a soft and sandy hole while they were avoiding another competitor who had got stuck. The impact fractured Daniel Elena’s coccyx, making it impossible for him to continue.
THE LATEST CHAPTER IN THE SUCCESS STORY
This year’s win from Team PEUGEOT Total completes PEUGEOT’s already immense track record of success on the Dakar, being the manufacturer’s seventh win from eight participations!
Take a look at everything PEUGEOT has achieved on the Dakar :
1987 : Victory for Vatanen/Giroux (205 T16 Grand Raid)
1988 : Victory for Kankkunen/Piironen (205 T16 Grand Raid)
1989 : One-two for Vatanen/Berglund and Ickx/Tarin (405 T16 Grand Raid)
1990 : One-two-three for Vatanen/Berglund (405 T16 Grand Raid), Waldegard/Fenouil (405 T16 Grand Raid), Ambrosino/Baumgartner (205 T16 Grand Raid)
2016 : Victory for Peterhansel/Cottret (2008DKR)
2017 : One-two-three for Peterhansel/Cottret, Loeb/Elena and Despres/Castera (3008DKR)
2018 : Victory for Sainz/Cruz (3008DKR Maxi).
KEY NUMBERS FROM THE 2018 DAKAR
Countries visited: Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Kilometres covered: 8793km, of which 4047km were competitive, over 14 legs and 13 stages.
Stage wins: 7 for the PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi out of 13 that were run.
3 for Peterhansel/Cottret (SS5, SS8 and SS10)
2 for Sainz/Cruz (SS6 and SS7)
1 for Despres/Castera (SS2)
1 for Loeb/Elena (SS4)
One-twos and one-two-threes : 4 one-twos (SS2, SS4, SS6 and SS8) including two one-two-threes (SS2 and SS4)
Rally leaders: Despres/Castera (SS2), Peterhansel/Cottret (SS3 to SS6) and Sainz/Cruz (SS7 to SS14).
Maximum speed: 195.9kph (Despres/Castera SS3)
Highest average speed: 108kph (Sainz/Cruz SS6)
Highest ambient temperature: 35° (SS13)
Lowest ambient temperature: 6° (SS6)
Maximum altitude: 4786m (SS8, Uyuni-Tupiza)
HEADING FOR AN ELECTRIFYING CHALLENGE
This win marks PEUGEOT’s final participation on the Dakar. PEUGEOT Sport will now focus on the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WorldRX). The season will get underway from April 14-15 in Barcelona, with Sébastien Loeb driving one of the PEUGEOT 208 WRX entries. At the same time, PEUGEOT Sport will also prepare for the forthcoming electric Rallycross championship in 2020. This will be tackled with the replacement for the current road going PEUGEOT 208, which will feature a fully electric version.
PROVISIONAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER SS14