Peugeot is dreaming high for 2016 Paris-Dakar Rally. The French manufacturer recently unveiled its car, bigger and more powerful, and now is ready to offer its fans also a dream team.
Sebastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January.
The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008 DKR line-up, alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9), before facing the sport’s toughest challenge – the Dakar – with over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot dream team driver line-up.
Loeb said in a statement: ”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.”
Before then, Loeb will line up with Sainz in Morocco next week for his competitive Cross Country debut – although he has already tested Peugeot’s Dakar challenger in the country earlier this year. For Loeb, this will be a very special reunion: he was previously team mates with Sainz for his very first full season in the World Rally Championship in 2003, until the Spaniard decided to end his WRC career at the end of 2004. In Morocco, Sainz will drive the latest Peugeot 2008DKR16 whereas Loeb will drive a 2015 specification car.
As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motor sport. There’s very little that I, or anybody else, can teach him.”
Five-time bike winner Cyril Despres added: “Since I made the switch from two wheels to four, the experience has got better and better. And to see Sébastien arrive in the team now, everything is complete.”
Two-time WRC champion and Dakar 2010 winner Carlos Sainz, who will be Loeb’s team mate once more in Morocco, concluded: “There is nothing more I can say about Sébastien that his career hasn’t said already. Of course the rally raid will be a new adventure for him, but he has every capacity to adapt to it with no problem. As I have seen for myself in the past, he is a quick learner in everything he does.”