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Air race on four wheels – Volkswagen ahead of air show at the Rally Finland.

Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Miikka Anttila (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015) WRC Rally Portugal 2015

Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Miikka Anttila (FIN)
Volkswagen Polo R WRC (2015)
WRC Rally Portugal 2015

Legendary stage ‘Ouninpohja’ returns – with an average speed of over 130 km/h
World Rally Cars in the air up to 80 times and 30 seconds per stage
Home rally for last year’s winners Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
Rally Finland

25 July 2015

Wolfsburg (24 July 2015). All four wheels in the air 77 times, a pure flight time of more than half a minute – the legendary stage ‘Ouninpohja’ returns to the ‘Neste Oil Rally Finland’. What the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is to racing drivers, this full throttle special stage through the forests around Jyväskylä is to rally drivers; which is where the eighth event of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season will be held. The Volkswagen duo of Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), who, as championship leaders, want to bring the Polo R WRC with car number one to victory once again in 2015, have held the record for speed on ‘Ouninpohja’ since 2013.

However, two of their many main rivals are their Volkswagen team-mates: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) line up with home advantage and as last year’s winners; Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) feel particularly at home on pacy tracks and are the double world champions and current leaders of the standings from France’s closest rivals in the drivers’ and co-drivers’ standings. Volkswagen are also unbeaten in the WRC rallies with the highest average speeds – Finland and Poland – since 2013 and head to the “air race on four wheels” with a healthy dose of self-confidence.

“Many like to describe the Rally Finland as ‘Formula 1 in the forest’,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito. “At Volkswagen we believe that ‘air race on four wheels’ is also an accurate description of the special features of this iconic rally. There is nowhere else in the rally world that the drivers experience as many crests and thereby as many long jumps. And there is nowhere else with gravel tracks at such high speed in the forest that are as narrow as in Finland. It’s all about driving precision here, about the drivers trusting their World Rally Cars, and about a perfect set-up. With Sébastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen, we not only believe that we have the best drivers, but with the Polo R WRC, we also have the best technical package for the Rally Finland. And that’s exactly what we want to prove for the third time in a row.”

The most spectacular rally ever – Finland’s festival of flight

The Rally Finland forms the essence of what rallying is all about for real fans – formerly held as the ‘Rally of 1000 lakes’, the rally around the student city of Jyväskylä has been the Finnish event in the World Rally Championship for more than four decades without interruption. Alongside the Rally Monte Carlo, it is the most prestigious event on the calendar; only the Rally Great Britain has been held just as often – 41 times – as a WRC rally. It earned its reputation as the “Gravel Grand Prix” with its typical track layout of fast and flowing gravel tracks, which in the gravel events are the closes to those in the asphalt rallies. And of course through its incredible average speed: the Rally Finland appears eight times in the top ten fast-paced rallies of all times – and occupies the top four spots.

‘Ouninpohja’ and the classics – lots that is familiar, nothing that is ordinary

Drift, jump, full throttle – the WRC drivers experience the ultimate adrenalin rush at the Rally Finland in general, and on the special stage ‘Ouninpohja’ in particular. On the 33.01-kilometre layout of the 2013 version of the legendary special stage, the World Rally Cars took off exactly 77 times and were in the air for a total of 30.4 seconds – unrivalled by the other special stages in the rally world. Markko Märtin achieved the furthest jump in the history of the WRC back in 2003, when he travelled 57 metres at 171 kilometres per hour. However, another record on ‘Ouninpohja’ went to Sébastien Ogier in 2013, when he completed the stage in the Polo R WRC with an average speed of 130.75 km/h.

As well as the return of ‘Ouninpohja’ after a year off, the 2015 Rally Finland has many classics on offer – including ‘Himos’, ‘Jukojärvi’ and others. Not only music to the ears of the Finns: exactly 320 kilometres of special stages will be held over 20 special stages in 2015. The only entirely new parts of the rally are the Power Stage ‘Myhinpää’ and some short sections of other stages.

Finns versus Frenchmen – who is the favourite around the 1000 lakes

France took the lead in the eternal duel between the great rally nations for the first time in the recent history of the World Rally Championship. With his win at the Rally Poland, Sébastien Ogier increased France’s tally to 174 victories, Finland is close behind with 173 successes. Naturally it is a question of honour: Jari-Matti Latvala wants to even the score for his home country of Finland at his home rally. “JML” is in with extraordinarily good chances from a statistical perspective – he is the only one of the current WRC drivers to have won the rally twice. On top of this, Latvala narrowly got the win last year. The advantage of just 3.6 seconds saw this victory – incidentally in the ever-gripping duel with Sébastien Ogier – go down as one of the ten closest results in the history of the WRC.

Statisticians take note: round figures ahead at the Rally Finland

The Volkswagen drivers have a few statistical milestones in sight at the Rally Finland. For example, Jari-Matti Latvala is not only aiming for the 400th stage best time of his career – “JML” only needs to get another three to reach this round number –, he is also hoping for the 50th podium spot of his career. If Sébastien Ogier were to win, he would draw level with Marcus Grönholm in the all-time winners list, celebrate the 30th win of his career and thereby move into second place behind his fellow countryman and record world champion Sébastien Loeb. In pursuit of this goal, three more stage best times would be enough to win the 250th special stage in the Polo R WRC. The Volkswagen drivers are also aiming for the next milestone in the Volkswagen domain of the Power Stage: the 125th bonus point in the 33rd Power Stage since January 2013 is there for the taking in Finland – they currently have 122. On the Power Stage, bonus points for the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championship are awarded to the top three duos on a 3-2-1 basis. Volkswagen drivers have won a Power Stage a total of 25 times to date.

Quotes ahead of the Rally Finland

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“I took a few days’ holiday before the rally, which is always really good for clearing your head. It allows you to recharge your batteries midway through the season. As far as the Rally Finland is concerned, it is definitely one of my favourites on the calendar. You get a real feel for the speed in the car. We like to compare it to a roller coaster ride. It goes up and down the whole time, the track is virtually never level. There are many long jumps over blind crests. Often you can’t see where the track leads, which is why correct pace notes are extremely important. You also need to know how the car reacts when jumping over the crests so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises. There is a real highlight at the Rally Finland: the ‘Ouninpohja’ stage. If I were asked to compile a list of the best stages in the entire championship, ‘Ouninpohja’ would definitely be on it. Two years ago we drove the full length of it and I set a record time. I want to be right at the front again this year. However, that won’t be easy since the Finns are usually very strong at their home event. I’m expecting my team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala in particular to prove a challenge again this year. He is the man to beat.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“Finland is one of the most demanding and fastest rallies on the WRC calendar. Every jump is to be treated with caution. My team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen are currently in great form and will no doubt give it their all to get the win. But I want to do the same. That makes it even more important for me to drive with full concentration right from the first second and to fight for every metre. My goal: to experience this emotional moment on the winners’ podium from last year again. The Rally Finland was incredible for me back then. I will never forget the moment that I stood on the podium, held the winner’s trophy in my hand and all my fans were cheering me. The Rally Finland is my home event, which naturally gives that extra bit of motivation, but also puts you under pressure. In these moments my mental coach Christoph Treier is particularly important to me. He helps me to line up calmly and with a level head.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“The last rally in Poland went very well for us. We maintained constant pressure on Ogier. Let’s see what we can achieve in Finland. I’m expecting the rally to be much more difficult for me. Poland was more or less new territory for all of the drivers. There were many new special stages. The Rally Finland, however, includes many traditional stages that many of the drivers are very familiar with. I have learned a lot in Finland over the years and believe that I can keep up with the front-runners. However, I would be more than satisfied with a podium spot. The many jumps over crests that are sometimes blind and that you take at incredible speed are what makes the Rally Finland demanding. I like it a lot. You need to align the car perfectly before the jumps so that you don’t land the wrong way and possibly come off the track. The pace notes have to be right, which is why the advance ‘recce’ is also extremely important. The highlight of the Rally Finland is the ‘Ouninpohja’ special stage. It is incredibly fast and demanding. The first 20 kilometres are particularly challenging. You travel at high speed over wide streets, it’s one jump after the next. During the ‘recce’ ahead of the rally it is difficult to estimate how fast you can actually drive over the crests since you aren’t allowed to exceed 70 km/h during the inspection. While during the rally you are driving at almost 200 km/h. The pace notes are the be-all and end-all here too. There is incredible respect for this special stage.”

Three questions for … engine engineer Phil Barrett

We are in the middle of the ‘speed weeks’ of the WRC, Poland is now behind us and we are looking ahead to Finland – what makes the Rally Finland magical for an engine engineer?
Phil Barrett: “Quite simply: it is all about speed. Finland is one of several rallies in which the engine performance is more crucial to the performance of the overall package of the World Rally Car than in other places. In addition to Finland, other rallies where this is the case include Mexico and Sweden. On top of this, Finland has the longest history and greatest tradition as a full throttle rally. Finland is the greatest challenge for the engine department, so to speak.”

What are the exact demands that the Rally Finland places on engines?
Phil Barrett: “You need as much horsepower as possible, that much is clear. But there is another, lesser known effect. According to the regulations, the speed of an engine must not exceed 8,500 rpm. Getting as close as possible to this value without exceeding it on the long, full throttle sections and on the many jumps sounds easier than it is. If the rpm is exceeded, an FIA system intervenes – extremely sharply and abruptly. So you need to make sure that you keep the maximum speed as high as possible without this system intervening. However, you can also lose five kilometres per hour at top speed if the engine control is too conservative.”

The Polo R WRC holds the record for speed on ‘Ouninpohja’. Do you think it will be broken this year?
Phil Barrett (laughs): “I would love to answer with a definite ’yes’. But I think that it depends on the circumstances of the rally. If it is as close again as it was in Poland, all the drivers will go at full throttle without compromise. And as far as the Polo R WRC is concerned, it has improved in all areas since 2013, which is when ’Ouninpohja’ was last held. The engine has developed further, but so have the aerodynamics and the chassis. The chassis in particular is what has improved the overall package – so in theory it is possible.”

The number of the Rally Finland: 313.64 metres

The 1.6-litre turbo engine in the Polo R WRC has to work extremely hard at the Rally Finland. At the maximum speed stipulated by the regulations of 8,500 rpm, each of the four pistons changes its direction of movement 17.7 times per second. At the maximum rotational speed, the pistons cover a total distance of 313.64 metres per minute.

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings
Drivers’ Championship
01. Sébastien Ogier 161
02. Andreas Mikkelsen 83
03. Mads Østberg 69
04. Jari-Matti Latvala 66
05. Thierry Neuville 58
06. Kris Meeke 53
07. Elfyn Evans 53
08. Hayden Paddon 44
09. Ott Tänak 40
10. Dani Sordo 39
11. Martin Prokop 27
12. Khalid Al Qassimi 9
13. Yuriy Protasov 8
14. Adbulaziz Al-Kuwari 6
15. Nasser Al-Attiyah 6
16. Robert Kubica 6
17. Sébastien Loeb 6
18. Diego Dominguez 4
19. Paolo Andreucci 4
20. Nicolas Fuchs 2
21. Gustavo Saba 2
22. Jan Kopecký 2
23. Jari Ketomaa 1
Co-Drivers’ Championship
01. Julien Ingrassia
02. Ola Fløene 83
03. Jonas Andersson 69
04. Miikka Anttila 66
05. Nicolas Gilsoul 58
06. Paul Nagle 53
07. Daniel Barritt 53
08. John Kennard 44
09. Raigo Mõlder 40
10. Marc Martí 39
11. Jan Tománek 27
12. Chris Patterson 9
13. Pavlo Cherepin 8
14. Marshall Clarke 6
15. Matthieu Baumel 6
16. Maciek Szczepaniak 6
17. Daniel Elena 6
18. Edgardo Galindo 4
19. Anna Andreussi 4
20. Fernando Musano 2
21. Diego Cagnotti 2
22. Pavel Dresler 2
23. Kaj Lindström 1
Manufacturers’ Championship
01. Volkswagen Motorsport 214
02. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 125
03. Hyundai Motorsport 123
04. M-Sport 114
05. Volkswagen Motorsport II 49
06. Hyundai Motorsport N 43
07. Jipocar Czech National Team 35
08. FWRT 3
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC),
Rally Finland – Itinerary

Thursday, 30 July 2015
Liaison SS Liaison time
Shakedown (Ruuhimäki) 210 min. 08:00
Start (Jyväskylä, Paviljonki) 18:42
SS 01 Harju 1 01.82 02.27 04.38 km 19:00
Service A (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 45 min. 19:30
Parc fermé (Jyväskylä Paviljonki) 00:00
Opening day 06.20 02.27 (∑ 08.47)

Friday, 31 July 2015
Liaison SS Liaison time
Service B (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 15 min. 07:30
SS 02 Pihlajakoski 1 83.15 14.51 09:28
SS 03 Päijälä 1 38.24 23.56 10:36
SS 04 Ouninpohja 1 07.65 34.39 11:29
SS 05 Himos 1 19.07 05.62 00.68 12:42
Regrouping 12:52
SS 06 Pihlajakoski 2 34.14 14.51 14:28
SS 07 Päijälä 2 38.24 23.56 15:36
SS 08 Ouninpohja 2 07.65 34.39 16:29
SS 09 Himos 2 19.07 05.62 17:42
SS 10 Harju 2 51.55 02.27 04.38 19:00
Service C (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 45 min. 19:30
Parc fermé (Jyväskylä Paviljonki) 00:00
Day 01 303.82 158.43 ( 462.25)

Saturday, 01 August 2015
Liaison SS Liaison time
Service D (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 15 min. 07:00
SS 11 Mökkiperä 1 35.56 13.84 08:08
SS 12 Jukojärvi 1 49.86 21.14 09:26
SS 13 Surkee 1 58.31 14.95 11:03
SS 14 Horkka 1 26.19 15.59 36.77 11:56
Regrouping 13:01
Service E (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 30 min. 13:14
SS 15 Mökkiperä 2 35.56 13.84 14:37
SS 16 Jukojärvi 2 49.86 21.14 15:55
SS 17 Surkee 2 58.31 14.95 17:32
SS 18 Horkka 2 26.19 15.59 36.77 18:25
Service F (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 45 min. 19:40
Parc fermé (Jyväskylä Paviljonki) 00:00
Day 02 413.38 131.04 (∑ 544.42)

Sunday, 02 August 2015
Liaison SS Liaison time
Service G (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 15 min. 08:45
SS 19 Myhinpää 1 84.13 14.13 24.27 10:43
Regrouping 11:38
SS 20 Myhinpää 2 33.18 14.13 75.62 13:08
Service H (Jyväskylä Paviljonki), 10 min. 15:11
Podium ceremony (Jyväskylä Paviljonki)) 16:00
Day 03 217.20 28.26 ( 245,46)
Total 940.60 320.00 ( 1,260.60)

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC),

Rally Finland – Media appointments
Wednesday, 29 July 2015
«Meet the team“ (Volkswagen Hospitality) 18:00
Thursday, 30 July 2015
Opportunity for interviews (Ogier, Latvala, Mikkelsen, Capito) after shakedown/debrief
FIA press conference with Jari-Matti Latvala (Media Centre) 13:00
Sunday, 02 August 2015
FIA press conference top three drivers, team principals (Media Centre) 16:45

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC),
Rally Finland – 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)









André 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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Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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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.


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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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

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