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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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La Bella Italia – Volkswagen heads to “Bella Italia” with the wind in its sails.

Sébastien Ogier (F), Julien Ingrassia (F) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015) WRC Rally Portugal 2015

Sébastien Ogier (F), Julien Ingrassia (F)
Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015)
WRC Rally Portugal 2015

Rally Italy concludes first half of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season
Hunted in pairs: Ogier in WRC duel with Mikkelsen, Latvala hoping to continue fightback
Born winners with lofty ambitions: Latvala and Ogier gunning for more success in Italy

5 June 2015

The Volkswagen duos have the most successful WRC event in the team’s history behind them. As such, World Championship leaders Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), their closest rivals in the overall standings, Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), fresh from their victory last time out, go into the Rally Italy with high hopes of adding another victory to Volkswagen’s impressive collection. The sixth round of the WRC season, which this year takes place from 11 to 14 June 2015 and marks the halfway point in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), has been held on Sardinia since 2004. It poses a major test for man and machine, with such classics as the “Monte Lerno” special stage and the notorious “Micky’s Jump”, which is so popular among fans and drivers alike. On Saturday, the elite of the international rally scene will also face the longest day of rallying of the season so far – featuring 212.83 of the rally’s 394.63 kilometres against the clock. The three Volkswagen duos of Ogier/Ingrassia, Mikkelsen/Fløene and Latvala/Anttila do battle for points and positions armed with three identical Polo R WRCs – as they did at the recent Rally Portugal, when Volkswagen celebrated its best result in WRC history with a one-two-three in both the overall standings and on the Power Stage.

“You cannot go into a rally with more confidence than we have at the moment,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “The maximum points haul in Portugal has given us a real boost and all three drivers – Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen – all have what it takes to win in Italy. However, it will certainly not be a stroll in the park. The route conditions on Sardinia are difficult and change from one car to the next. On top of that you have the opposition, who will be more determined than ever to make our life difficult after the one-two-three in Portugal.“

Moments of the year in 2013 and 2014 – Volkswagen with fond memories of Italy

Volkswagen has won the Rally Italy two years in a row – in 2013 and 2014. However, the sporting success is not the only thing to stir up positive memories. The world-famous “Micky’s Jump” is not only a crowd puller, a moment guaranteed to send shivers down even the hardiest of spines, and the picture-postcard image of the Rally Italy – Sébastien Ogier’s jump on this crest in 2013 was also officially crowned the “FIA Motorsport Moment of the Year”. Fast forward twelve months and another vivid memory springs to mind: in 2014, the drivers, co-drivers and team management followed the podium ceremony by leaping into the harbour at Alghero to celebrate Ogier’s second victory in Italy. Not everyone went in of their own accord but, even without an official title, this was the fun moment of 2014 for the Volkswagen team.

Flying on Monte Lerno – Micky’s Jump and the longest day of rallying of the season

One of the most spectacular jumps on the WRC calendar, plus Tifosi aplenty: Micky’s Jump is one of the highlights of the rally scene. The World Rally Cars approach this crest at about 100 kilometres per hour. The drivers brake briefly coming into a right-hander directly before Micky’s Jump – the rest is “hang time” and, thanks to the road falling away after the crest, a flight of up to 40 metres. By the time the rally drivers and co-drivers pass this notorious spot, their powers of concentration have already really been put to the test. The 42-kilometre “Monte Lerno” special stage – the longest of the 2015 Rally Italy – brings the curtain down on Saturday’s afternoon loop. The longest day of the season features 212.83 kilometres of special stage, which is more than half of the entire rally.

But Thursday, Friday and Sunday are not to be trifled with either. The 2.5-kilometre “Città Di Cagliari” spectator stage kicks off proceedings and follows the ceremonial start in Cagliari on Thursday evening. The going really gets tough on Friday morning, when “Grighine Sud” requires the competitors to change their rhythm continuously over 26.31 kilometres against the clock. However, the sporting highlight comes in the form of Sunday’s “Cala Flumini” special stage, whose 11.77 kilometres form the closing Power Stage when the participants tackle it for a second time. Here, bonus points towards the World Championship are up for grabs for the fastest three drivers and co-drivers.

La dolce vita – Ogier/Ingrassia and their love of Italy

The success curve consistently points upwards: double world champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia share an inner affection for the Rally Italy. The champs triumphed on Sardinia in 2013 and 2014 and are undefeated here with the Polo R WRC. And they arrive with high hopes again in 2015 – after three wins and a second place in the first five rallies of the season, Ogier/Ingrassia top the overall standings with a 42-point lead over their team-mates Mikkelsen/Fløene. As such, the world champions from 2013 and 2014 have a greater lead than the opposition could possibly make up within one single rally. The maximum points haul in the World Rally Championship is 28 points, which is only possible with both victory and the fastest time on the Power Stage.

What was, and what could be: Mikkelsen and Fløene one year after the “reunion”

13 rallies back at each other’s side, with number 14 to follow: it is precisely one rally season since Andreas Mikkelsen and his co-driver Ola Fløene were reunited. Mikkelsen had previously lined up alongside Mikko Markkula for Volkswagen in the World Rally Championship. The Norwegian followed up his first podium with Markkula at the 2014 Rally Sweden with a further eight top-three finishes with Fløene since the Rally Italy in 2014. The all-Norwegian pairing also has a further three points finishes to its name, meaning Mikkelsen and Fløene have only left two of the 13 rallies they have started together in the Polo R WRC empty-handed. Mikkelsen/Fløene were “upgraded” to the second generation of the Polo R WRC for the recent Rally Portugal, and immediately felt right at home in the new car. Third place, their fourth of the season, was the successful result of the “maiden voyage”. Their remarkable consistency has seen Mikkelsen/Fløene promoted to the role of number one rivals to Ogier/Ingrassia and the Norwegians are currently second in the overall standings. However, the big coup still eludes them: a maiden race win.

Riding the wave of success – Latvala/Anttila super motivated for WRC fightback

Have Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila finally cracked it? After three scoreless rallies in a row Latvala/Anttila returned to winning ways in the World Rally Championship with victory at the most recent rally in Portugal. In doing so, the 2014 runners-up in the WRC climbed four positions into fifth in the overall standings. They may already trail World Championship leaders Ogier/Ingrassia by 59 points, but their great dream of winning the World Championship title is still in their own hands. In Portugal, Latvala/Anttila made clever use of their advantageous starting position before calling on all their experience to manage the lead they had established through to the finish and claim their first win of the season, the 13th of their career, and their sixth with Volkswagen.

Round figures – milestones coming up for Volkswagen

Volkswagen is set to pass several milestones at the Rally Italy. One such figure is the 30,000 kilometres of special stage since joining the series with the Polo R WRC. The joint milometer for the cars from Wolfsburg currently stands at 29,188.44 kilometres. If everything goes to plan, Sébastien Ogier is on the brink of claiming his 40th podium. Andreas Mikkelsen, meanwhile, is gunning for his tenth top-three finish in the World Rally Championship in Italy. The Rally Italy also marks the first time that the three Volkswagen duos will have the 400th stage win for the Polo R WRC (currently: 392) in their sights. Jari-Matti Latvala is also not far from the big 400. He needs another twelve stage wins to pass this next milestone. Another ten for Sébastien Ogier will take the champion’s tally to 350 stage wins.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Italy

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“As far as I am concerned, the Rally Italy is one of the best rallies on the WRC calendar. I have always improved with every outing there in the past, and have won for the last two years. The special stages are enjoyable, the countryside is beautiful, the atmosphere is superb – it is an all-round great rally. This year there will be a number of new special stages and we are faced with a total distance of over 1,500 kilometres – the longest rally of the season so far. As such, the demands placed on your physical fitness and stamina are greater than usual – particularly given the high temperatures in the car. My goal is obviously to win again this year, but the opposition will not make it easy. The tension is no less than usual – but neither is my fighting spirit. I will fight right to the end and am already looking forward to a dip in the harbour with my colleagues after the rally, should we win. After such a hot weekend, that is definitely the best way to cool down. However, you have to earn it first.“

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“I have a score to settle with the Rally Italy. In both of the past two years, a puncture has prevented me from possibly going on to win – I finished third on both occasions. I would obviously like to win this time. My starting position should work in our favour: I start what is probably the longest rally of the year from fifth. The days are incredibly long and the 400 kilometres of special stage take us along narrow roads right next to picturesque cliffs. However, I love to drive in Sardinia. What many people don’t realise is that this rally is actually easier to drive than it looks, as far as the layout is concerned. This means we are really able to put our foot down. Victory at the Rally Portugal was unimaginably important for me. It took an awful lot of pressure off my shoulders. After three rallies without scoring any points, you start to doubt yourself a bit. I would like to say a big thank you to my mental coach, Christoph Treier. He told me: ‘Trust yourself. Trust your speed’. I did that – and will do it again at the Rally Italy.“

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“I have finished third four times so far this season. I would like to follow on from these performances at the Rally Italy and definitely want to finish in the top five – preferably even higher. The Rally Portugal went superbly for me and I immediately fell in love with my new Polo R WRC. The new transmission means the car virtually drives itself – this car is made for me. I am in good form and the team is doing a first-class job. For this reason, I am optimistic of getting a good result. Ola and I have been back together in the car for exactly a year. We have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, which I find it hard to describe. We have blind faith in each other – plus, Ola has really helped me to develop.”

Three questions for … Crew Chief Ralf Arneke

You have just celebrated your 25th anniversary with the company. How did you actually get started at Volkswagen Motorsport and what part of your job has changed most during that time?
Ralf Arneke: “I started out as a mechanic and did that job for several years. In 1998 I was then made Chief Mechanic. In 1999 and 2000 we ran two Golf IV kit cars in the British Rally Championship – so I was involved at that time. Back then we had far fewer opportunities (budget) for testing than was necessary later, for example, for the Rally Dakar or for the World Rally Championship nowadays. We also contested far fewer than 13 rallies per year, which is common practice today. From 2004 I was Chief Mechanic again for Jutta Kleinschmidt’s Race Touareg at the Rally Dakar. Jutta finished third with the Race Touareg 1, making it the first diesel-powered vehicle to make it onto the podium at the Rally Dakar. The thing that has changed most over all those years is that I do a lot more of my job from my desk. Since the days of the Rally Dakar, Volkswagen Motorsport has become increasingly professional in the way it has dealt with quality assurance. Since these scrupulous checks have been introduced, there have hardly been any technical faults.“

How did you celebrate your anniversary at the company?
Ralf Arneke: “We had a small get-together with our management, during which I was given a nice present. A book about South Africa. I went there last winter for a well-deserved holiday and this book allows me to recall some of the many beautiful moments, which is obviously great. It is a fascinating country.“

The Rally Argentina was far from ideal from a Volkswagen point of view. However, this must only have made the one-two-three and top three positions on the Power Stage at the Rally Portugal taste all the sweeter. Do you believe Volkswagen will continue the success story of the past two and a half years?

Ralf Arneke: “The opposition is very strong this year, and has closed the gap to us with various modifications to their cars. However, I think our big plus point is the drivers, as we have the best rally drivers out there at the moment. However, the work our entire team here in Hannover puts into preparing for every single rally is also a very important factor in the success. Our drivers can depend one hundred per cent on every single member of the team doing their job to the very best of their ability. That is an outstanding basis, of which we can be hugely proud as a team. Without this, such victories and podiums would not be possible. We obviously hope things will continue this way.“

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

Western Europe
Andorra (Canal +); Austria (ORF, Servus TV, Sport1, N-TV,; Belgium (Canal +, RTBF); Denmark (Viasat); Europe (MOTORS TV); Finland (YLE, Nelonen); France (Canal +, France TV, Léquipe 21); Germany (Sport1, N-TV, Servus 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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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español




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
Faw-Volkswagen Rally Team

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


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.


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”.


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








Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

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Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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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

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager

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