Peugeot has won the last two Dakar Rallies and is intending to take a third successive victory in 2018, before hanging up the towel.
“As this will be the last Dakar for Peugeot, we would like to finish our amazing campaign on a high note,” said Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin, buried deep in a statement on its test program. “But as I always say, you can’t count on anything in advance. The most difficult thing, after winning, is to do it again.”
The last two Peugeot victories are not its only ones, the French manufacturer won four consecutive times between 1987 and 1990 – first with the 205 T16 and then with the 405 T16. That was in the days that thee rally actually ran from Paris to Dakar, long before the move to its current route in South America.
Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret piloted the 2008 DKR and then in the 3008 DKR to victory in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Next year the pair will be driving the revised 3008 DKR Maxi, as will three more teams consisting of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, and Cyril Despres and David Castera.
The FIA has adjusted the rules have to to try and level the playing field, but Peugeot still stands a very good chance of taking home gold once again.