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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015: VOLKSWAGEN RED BULL MOTORSPORT-DRAMATIC FINALE IN SWEDEN: VOLKSWAGEN DRIVER OGIER WINS, AHEAD OF NEUVILLE AND MIKKELSEN

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WRC A FULL 2015

Dramatic finale in Sweden: Volkswagen driver Ogier wins, ahead of Neuville and Mikkelsen.

Rallye Sweden, Rally, WRC, Shakedown, 12.02.2015

Double world champion beats young guns: Ogier pips Neuville and Mikkelsen to win
Closing Power Stage decides winners and losers
Third victory in Sweden for Volkswagen with the Polo R WRC

16 February 2015

Breath-taking action right down to the final few metres: Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia won the Rally Sweden. The French Volkswagen duo came through to defeat Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (F/F, Hyundai) and their Volkswagen team-mates Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) in the closest three-way battle in the history of the World Rally Championship. This three-car thriller had gathered momentum right through to just a few kilometres from the finish, with the lead changing hands regularly until the three protagonists went into the final showdown separated by just 4.6 seconds.

This was WRC victory number 26 for Sébastien Ogier, who drew level with the legendary Carlos Sainz. Ogier is now third in the list of all-time greats. Furthermore, Ogier/Ingrassia are the only central European duo to have won the Rally Sweden twice. For Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene, third place meant a second podium in a row at the Rally Sweden. They actually led the double world champions until a few hundred metres from the finish, producing a stunning performance that pushed their more illustrious team-mates all the way.

Thriller: Mikkelsen, Ogier and Neuville take it right down to the wire

4.6 seconds – that is the equivalent of just 162.84 metres – was all that separated the first three drivers going into the closing Power Stage. It doesn’t get any more exciting than this. Eventually, the final 15.84 of the total 308 kilometres against the clock ultimately decided who would stand on the top step of the podium, and who would have to settle for the bottom step. The three-way battle between Andreas Mikkelsen, Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville had picked up speed throughout the entire rally. Never in the history of rallying have three drivers been so closely bunched going into the final special stage of a rally.

The decisive scene came just a few hundred metres from the finish: Sébastien Ogier had secured the stage win on the final 16-kilometre special stage, and thus ensured that Volkswagen would emerge triumphant again. However, it was Andreas Mikkelsen who led the Rally Sweden at the final split – his slender lead stood at 2.7 seconds with just 5.37 kilometres remaining. However, a slight skid and the resulting spin dashed Andreas Mikkelsen’s hopes of a maiden WRC victory. Thankfully the Norwegian was still able to rescue a second successive podium. Roughly 40 seconds after their spin, Mikkelsen/Fløene were back on the road and hurtling towards third place at the Rally Sweden.

Three out of three: third Rally Sweden, third Volkswagen winner

Sébastien Ogier in 2013, Jari-Matti Latvala in 2014 and now Sébastien Ogier again – the Rally Sweden marks the very first rally on the WRC calendar that Volkswagen has won three times with the Polo R WRC. This was Volkswagen’s 24th victory in its 28th rally, and podiums 45 and 46 since the Polo R WRC made its debut in January 2013. Since then, the World Rally Car from Wolfsburg has claimed 361 of a possible 521 stage wins. Taking into account the victory in the Ivory Coast back in 1987, courtesy of Kenneth Eriksson/Peter Diekmann (S/D), Volkswagen has now passed Audi into eighth place in the all-time list with 25 victories.

#WinterThunderland – great conditions for rallying in Sweden

Plenty of ice and snow, a picturesque winter wonderland, and ideal conditions: the Rally Sweden was the perfect winter rally. Heavy snowfalls prior to the second round of the World Rally Championship had created very good conditions – including metre-high snow banks lining the roads, which the drivers ‘bounce’ their World Rally Cars off to save time. A strategy not without risks: anyone hitting the snowbanks too hard risks spinning – a typical mistake at the Rally Sweden, and one that virtually all of the top drivers fell foul of at least once over the course of the 308 kilometres of special stage.

Points and Power Stage – three bonus points for Sébastien Ogier

Forget the bonus points up for grabs on the Power Stage, so as to safely secure the victory or podium finish? Not at the 2015 Rally Sweden. In the shadows of the most exciting WRC finale of all time, a thrilling battle for the bonus points awarded to the fastest three cars on the closing Power Stage was also developing. In the end it was the double world champion who came out on top in both categories and leaves Sweden with three extra points to his name. For Volkswagen, this was the 20th time in 27 Power Stages that one of the Wolfsburg works drivers picked up the maximum haul of points.

Voluntary retreat: Latvala/Anttila call time on their Rally Sweden

After their set-back on Thursday, last year’s winners Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila ended the Rally Sweden empty-handed, and so made a joint decision with the team to bring their rally to a premature end after the closing Power Stage. The background to this decision is a rule, which is intended to restrict the specification of certain car components. For Latvala/Anttila, the rallies in Sweden, Mexico and Argentina would have been linked together. Their withdrawal now gives them greater freedom when selecting components and the set-up of their Polo R WRC.

Quotes after day three of the Rally Sweden

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“An unbelievable finale. I am incredibly proud of this win. It is certainly one of my best. The first victory in Sweden two years ago, when I beat Sébastien Loeb, was fantastic, but this was even harder-fought. Julien and I gave everything here, from day one right through to the Power Stage. We drove as hard as possible, and it paid off in the end. It was certainly one of the most thrilling and exciting ends to a rally – not just for the fans, but also of my career. I obviously feel sorry for Andreas, who came so close to his first win and was involved in an extremely intense battle with us. However, I am sure that this is not the last time we will be duelling for victory. He and Thierry Neuville produced impressive performances.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“What a crazy week. It is a shame for my team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen that he was not quite able to get his first WRC victory under his belt. And congratulations to Sébastien Ogier. He really earned his 28 points. For me personally, I have to try to take positives out of the week. Once I made that mistake on Friday, I was obviously not going to have a say in the outcome of the rally. This gave me time to try out a few things with the set-up, and I learned some knew and important things as a result. I now understand the new Polo even better, and that was already noticeable today. The season is still young, and there is still everything to play for. My starting position will certainly be an advantage in Mexico, and I will attack again there.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“We did our utmost right up until the final metre – but unfortunately lost out in the end. I never dreamed that I might one day be disappointed with a podium finish. After all, I have not won all that much yet in my career. However, I had the chance to clinch my maiden WRC victory and came very close to doing so. But I made a slight mistake, spun, and missed out on this opportunity. That is very bitter and very disappointing at the moment, although we can be proud of what we have achieved over the course of the week. However, I am certain that it is only a matter of time until I get my first win. Having said that, I would have loved to have come out on top in this thrilling three-way battle. We will now do our very best to put ourselves back in contention again in Mexico.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“What an exciting rally. I am sure that the World Rally Championship has won a lot of fans around the world this week. Today, the podium positions were genuinely decided in the final metres. Andreas Mikkelsen led until the final split, and came within a whisker of his first victory in the World Championship. He really pushed our double world champion Sébastien Ogier and his friend Thierry Neuville to the limit and can be proud of his performance. His time will come sooner or later, there is no doubting that. Sébastien Ogier produced an incredibly impressive display, particularly from a mental point of view, and fully deserved to win in the end. I take my hat off to the drivers and co-drivers.”

And then there was …

… probably the only co-driver to drive a World Rally Car during a WRC rally: Ola Fløene. At the Rally Sweden, Andreas Mikkelsen’s co-driver drove about 220 kilometres of liaison stage. Mikkelsen and Fløene have a tradition of swapping seats: in 2012, having already been crowned champions in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in the Škoda Fabia S2000, Fløene actually drove the final “Stavros” special stage at the Rally Cyprus. And he didn’t do a bad job of it either he completed the 16-kilometre special stage just 45.7 seconds slower than the winner of both the stage and the rally, Nasser Al-Attiyah.

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Sweden – Final Results

1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 2h 55m 30.5s
2. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai + 6.4s
3. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), Volkswagen + 39.8s
4. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford + 2m 26.0s
5. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai + 3m 31.5s
6. Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (GB/GB), Ford + 3m 53.0s
7. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 4m 05.8s
8. Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek (CZ/CZ), Ford + 4m 26.0s
9. Yurii Protasov/Pavlo Cherepin (UA/UA), Citroën + 5m 32.2s
10. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Citroën + 6m 50.9s

12. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 9m 11.9s
FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Sweden – Power Stage Results

1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 8m 05.6s
2. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai + 4.8s
3. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Citroën + 9.9s
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings
Drivers’ Championship
points
1. Sébastien Ogier 53
2. Andreas Mikkelsen 30
3. Thierry Neuville 30
4. Jari-Matti Latvala 19
5. Mads Østberg 14
6. Elfyn Evans 14
7. Ott Tänak 12
8. Kris Meeke 10
9. Hayden Paddon 10
10. Dani Sordo
8
11. Sébastien Loeb 6
12. Martin Prokop 6
13. Yurii Protasov 2
Manufacturers’ Championship
points
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 71
2. Hyundai Motorsport 55
3. M-Sport 32
4. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 20
5. Volkswagen Motorsport II 15
6.
Jipocar Czech National Team 10
7. FWRT 1
8. Hyundai Motorsport N 1

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC),
Rally Sweden – TV broadcast

Western Europe
Andorra (Canal +); Austria (ORF, Servus TV, Sport1, N-TV, LAOLA1.tv); Belgium (Canal +, RTBF); Denmark (Viasat); Europe (MOTORS TV); Finland (YLE, Nelonen); France (Canal +, France TV, Léquipe 21); Germany (Sport1, N-TV, Servus TV, LAOLA1.tv, Sky); Greece (OTE); Italy (RAI, Fox Sports, Dinamica); Ireland (BT Sport); Lichtenstein (N-TV, Sport1, Servus TV); Luxembourg (Canal +, N-TV, Servus TV, Sport1); Israel (Charlton); Monaco (Canal +, France TV, Léquipe 21); Netherlands (RTL7); Norway (VIASAT); Portugal (Sport TV, RTP); Slovakia (Sport 5); Spain (Canal +, TVE, TV3); Sweden (SVT); Switzerland (Canal +, N-TV, Sport1, Servus TV); Turkey (NTV); UK (BT Sport, itv4); Wales (S4C)

Eastern Europe
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan (Auto Plus); Bosnia and Herzigovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia (Arena TV); Czech Republic (Czech TV, Sport 5); Hungary (Sport1); Lithuania (Auto Plus, BTV, LNK); Poland (TVP); Romania (Dolce Sport); Ukraine (First Automotive Channel, Auto Plus)
Middle East and Africa
Angola, Cap Verde, Mozambique (Canal +, Sport TV, SuperSport); Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe (Canal +, SuperSport); Ethopia, Mauritania, Seychelles (Canal +); Lesotho, Liberia, Mayotte, Reunion, Socotra, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, St Helena & Ascension, Sudan, Swaziland (SuperSport)

Asia Pacific
Australia (Fox Sports); American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland Islands, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Navassa Island, Norther Marianas, Palau, U.S. Virgin Islands, Wake Islands (MAV TV); China (PPTV); Indonesia (MNC); Japan (J Sports); Malaysia (Astro); New Zealand (Sky Sports, TV 3); Thailand (Truevision)
North and Latin America
Argentina, Uruguay (Channel 12, Fox Sports); Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago (MAV TV); Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela (Fox Sports); Mexico (Fox Sports, TV4); Paraguay (Fox Sports, Telefuturo), USA (MAV TV, Fox Sports)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andre Dietzel
Media Volkswagen Red Bull Motorsport

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Fotos: Michael Bermel / Alemania

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años

CHINESE RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP (CRC 2015): PRODRIVE MOTORSPORT – ATKINSON WINS AGAIN IN CHINA VW GOLF 7 SCRC

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ATKINSON WINS AGAIN IN CHINA WITH VW GOLF 7 SCRC.

vv2

30 September 2015

Chris Atkinson has won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship in the VW Golf SCRC. Atkinson won comfortably by a minute and 40 seconds from Mark Higgins in the Subaru and Manfred Stohl in a Citroen DS3.

Chen Dean in the second Golf was fifth with Li ninth in the third car.

That makes it three wins from four events for Atkinson as the Championship heads to the next round Longyou at the end of October. Longyou was the debut event for the VW Golf SCRC last year when Atkinson to its maiden win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cedric Journel / Dongwei Zhang
Media & Comunication
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años

DAKAR RALLY ARGENTINA – BOLIVIA – ARGENTINA 2016: PEUGEOT TOTAL TEAM – LA LEYENDA DEL RALLY SÉBASTIEN LOEB SE UNE AL ” DREAM TEAM” DE PEUGEOT TOTAL

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La leyenda del rally Sébastien Loeb se une al “Dream Team” de Peugeot-Total.

Sebastien Loeb poses for a portrait in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015
Sébastien Loeb, el mejor piloto de rally de todos los tiempos, se enfrentará al mayor reto de su carrera al unirse por primera vez al equipo de Peugeot en el legendario Dakar del próximo mes de enero.

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29 Septiembre 2015

El nueve veces campeón del WRC y plusmarquista del Pikes Peak se ha unido al equipo de Peugeot 2008DKR junto a Carlos Sainz para el Rally du Maroc del próximo mes (del 3 al 9 de octubre) antes de hacer frente al mayor reto de este deporte, el Dakar, durante 13 días en Argentina y Bolivia en 2016. Junto a él en Sudamérica también estarán Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres completando así el “dream team” de pilotos de Peugeot-Total.

El francés de 41 años, Sébastien Loeb, uno de los pilotos con más éxito de la historia de los deportes de motor con un porcentaje de victorias sin precedentes del 46,2% en el WRC dijo: “Descubrí los deportes de motor cuando tenía 18 años y empecé a competir en mis primeros rallys. Desde entonces me han interesado todo tipo de deportes de motor y el Dakar es uno de ellos. Creo que es un gran reto competir y conducir en el desierto”.

“El Dakar es completamente diferente a las carreras que hago en este momento. va a ser muy larga, más de dos semanas, y necesitas tener aguante para cuidar del conductor y del coche. Es una carrera con un enfoque distinto pero lo descubriré en enero”.

Hasta entonces, Loeb se unirá a Sainz en Marruecos para su debut en el competitivo Cross Country, aunque ya pilotó el rival de Peugeot a principios de año. Para Loeb ésta será una reunión muy especial pues ya fue compañero de equipo de Sainz durante su primera temporada completa en el Mundial de Rallys del 2003, hasta que el español se tuvo que retirar del WRC de 2004. En Marruecos Sainz pilotará el último Peugeot 2008DKR16 mientras que Loeb pilotará un coche con especificaciones de 2015.

“Cuando probé el PEUGEOT 2008DKR en junio me sorprendió muchísimo y por supuesto ha cambiado mucho desde entonces”, dijo Loeb -que en la actualidad está compitiendo en el Campeonato Mundial de Turismos de la FIA con Citroen.

“Lo que más me impactó fue lo diferente que es conducir el coche del Dakar, era una experiencia completamente nueva para mí. En el WRC acostumbro a rodear obstáculos pero con este coche puedes simplemente pasar por encima, ¡y cuesta tener la suficiente confianza en uno mismo para creer que puedes hacerlo!”

“ También estoy acostumbrado a tener notas de copiloto muy detalladas pero en el Cross Country tienes que abrirte paso e improvisar tu ruta. Esta, además, es la primera vez que he pilotado diferentes tipos de coche diesel en una competición por lo que tengo que aprender mucho pero tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo”.

Además de haber ganado más rallys, etapas especiales y campeonatos que cualquier otro piloto, Sébastien Loeb también se ha convertido en el “Rey del Peak” al batir el record del Pikes Peak Hillclimb con Peugeot y Red Bull hace dos años en América. Un triunfo épico que ya forma parte de la historia legendaria de los deportes de motor.

Ahora forma parte del mejor equipo que se haya enfrentado jamás al Dakar. Tal y como dijo el 11 veces campeón del Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel: “Sébastien Loeb es un referente del motor. Hay muy poco que yo o cualquier otro le pueda enseñar”.

El cinco veces campeón de motos Cyril Despres añadió: “Desde que cambié las dos ruedas por cuatro, la experiencia no ha hecho más que mejorar. Y saber que ahora Sébastien se une al equipo la remata aún más”.

El dos veces campeón del WRC y campeón del Dakar en 2010 Carlos Sainz, que será una vez más el compañero de Loeb en Marruecos dijo: “No tengo nada más que decir sobre Sébastien que no haya dicho ya. Por supuesto que el rally raid va a ser una nueva aventura para él, pero va a ser capaz de adaptarse sin problemas. Como yo mismo he podido comprobar aprende muy rápido”.

“El Dakar es algo que me llama, es una gran aventura”, añadió Loeb, quien ya dominó el Pikes Peak y el WTCC. “El rally en Marruecos me mostrará lo que es realmente el Cross Country, así que para mí esta es una oportunidad fantástica para aprender, en especial al lado de unos compañeros tan buenos”.

Tal y como pasó con sus nueve títulos mundiales y sus 78 victorias en el WRC hasta la fecha, Loeb tendrá como copiloto al campeón mundial de deportes de motor monegasco Daniel Elena. Marruecos marcará la vuelta de la pareja con más éxito jamás vista en la historia del motor que emprende una nueva aventura juntos tras 17 gloriosos años en los rallys.

Al igual que Loeb, el copiloto de 42 años Elena nunca ha competido antes en Cross Country, pero se ha preparado a fondo para las exigencias de la navegación más dura del mundo, en la que los equipos tienen que reaccionar rápidamente para conquistar el terreno offroad más sobrecogedor. Cuentan además con la ayuda de un sofisticado sistema de GPS que les guiará de punto a punto.

El director deportivo de Peugeot Bruno Famin comentó: “ Sébastien fue impresionante desde que se sentó en el coche, como ya sabíamos tras haber trabajado con él anteriormente. Adoptó ese enfoque calculado que tanto le caracteriza para entender el coche paso a paso, pero después su habilidad natural se encargó del resto. Tras mejorar diferentes aspectos del coche desde la última vez que estuvimos en el Dakar, el fichaje de Sébastien Loeb es la pieza que le faltaba al puzzle”.

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The 2008 DKR 16 in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años

DAKAR RALLY ARGENTINA – BOLIVIA – ARGENTINA 2016: PEUGEOT TOTAL TEAM – RALLY LEGEND SÉBASTIEN LOEB JOINS ” D-REAM TEAM PEUGEOT – TOTAL

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Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total”.

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

29 September 2015

Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total” © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sébastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his illustrious career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January for the first time.

The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008DKR line-up alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9) before facing the sport’s toughest challenge, the Dakar, over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot Total’s dream team driver line-up.

The 41-year old Loeb, one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, with an unprecedented 46.2% wins-to-starts ratio in WRC, said: “I only discovered motorsports when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motorsports and Dakar is one of them. I think it’s a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert.

“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 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.

“When I tried the PEUGEOT 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me – and of course it has changed a lot since then,” said Loeb, who is currently competing in the FIA WTCC with Citroen.

“What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it!

“I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more.”

As well as winning more rallies, special stages and championships than any other driver, Sébastien Loeb also became ‘King of the Peak’ when he pulverised the Pikes Peak hill climb record with Peugeot and Red Bull two years ago in America: an epic feat that is already remembered as a legendary part of motorsport history.

Now he forms part of the greatest team ever to tackle the Dakar. As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motorsport. 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 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.

“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure,” added Loeb, who has already mastered rallying, Pikes Peak and the World Touring Car Championship. “The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates.”

Just as has been the case throughout his nine world titles and 78 WRC victories to date, Loeb will be co-driven by Monaco’s motorsport world champion: Daniel Elena. Morocco will mark the comeback of the most successful pairing ever seen in the history of motorsport, as they start a new adventure together following 17 magnificent years in rallying.

Like Loeb, the 42-year-old Elena has never competed in Cross Country before, but he has undergone intensive training to prepare him for the demands of some of the most challenging navigation in the world, where crews have to think instantly on their feet to conquer the daunting off-road landscape. They are aided by sophisticated GPS equipment, guiding their route from waypoint to waypoint.

Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “Sébastien was impressive from the moment he first sat in the car, as we knew would be the case after having had the privilege of working with him before. He took his usual measured approached to understand the car step by step: from there his natural ability took over. Having improved the car in several different areas since we were last at the Dakar, the signing of Sébastien Loeb is the final piece in the puzzle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France
https://www.Peugeot-sport.com

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