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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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Made (it) in Germany: Volkswagen one-two-three at home WRC event.


Ogier, Latvala and Mikkelsen unbeatable in front of over 225,000 spectators in Germany
Successful all over the world: Polo R WRC victorious at least once at every WRC rally
A Volkswagen driver, but which one? Drivers‘ title destined for Wolfsburg
Three match points in Australia: Drivers’, Co-Drivers’ and Manufacturers championships

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC)
Rally Germany

23 August 2015

Wolfsburg (23 August 2015). A one-two-three on home soil – a one-two-three for the history books: Volkswagen dominated the Rally Germany from the word go, and went on to secure victory for the first time. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) are the first duo to win the rally in a German car in the WRC era. The Wolfsburg-based manufacturer also finished second and third with Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N). Following the best-possible result, and the sweetest success – until today, the home event had been the only rally that Volkswagen was yet to win – one thing is now certain: this year’s world rally champion will once again be at the wheel of a Polo R WRC. Rally fans may have to wait no longer than the next round of the world championship in Australia to discover which of the three works duos comes out on top. Having claimed victory number 30 of their career, Ogier/Ingrassia now have a realistic chance of wrapping up their third Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ championships in a row with rallies still to come – as do Volkswagen in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

“The one-two-three at the Rally Germany is a fantastic success for Volkswagen,” said Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development, who received the trophy on behalf of the victorious manufacturer at the Porta Nigra in Trier. “Ideal preparation, maximum concentration and a huge amount of team spirit are what made this triumph possible. The Polo R WRC proved once again that it is the fastest car on asphalt too, and mastered the demanding routes in Germany perfectly. I would like to thank wholeheartedly all those who were involved with this important victory. I would also like to compliment the organisers: the ADAC and its thousands of volunteers put on a top-class event, with the support of the Bundeswehr. This is also underlined by the huge crowds of over 225,000.”

Volkswagen’s most global car, and the most successful in the history of the World Rally Championship: the Polo R WRC

Sweden, Mexico, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Finland, Australia, France, Spain, Great Britain, Monte Carlo, Argentina, Poland … and now: Germany. The one-two-three on the roads around Trier saw Volkswagen fill a small but important gap in the CV of the Polo R WRC. At the start of the week, the Rally Germany was the only rally that the World Rally Car from Wolfsburg had not yet won. Lady Luck had previously deserted the Volkswagen drivers at their home race. The manufacturer has now made its peace with the event in Germany, with the most global car in its fleet. And in true Volkswagen style: whenever Motorsport Director Jost Capito’s team has been under any kind of pressure, it has responded with a one-two-three: after the defeat at the 2014 Rally Germany, it bounced back with the first one-two-three in the manufacturer’s history in the WRC. The disappointment of Argentina this season was followed by the most successful rally with the Polo R WRC in Portugal. Volkswagen has now upped the ante with its fourth one-two-three, and the third of the season. And it achieved this feat in front of over 225,000 thrilled spectators over the course of the weekend.

30 wins – Ogier pulls level with Grönholm in list of all-time winners

The number 30 played a key role for Volkswagen at its home race. Not only did the Polo R WRC claim its 30th victory in 35 rallies, but it was also the 30th win of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia’s careers. This win earned them a special place in the annals of the World Rally Championship. They have drawn level with Marcus Grönholm in the list of drivers with the most wins to their name, and are now tied with the Finn in second place. French drivers have now pulled ahead in their the ongoing battle with the Finns: France now has 175 wins to its name – one more than Finland with 174. Volkswagen drivers Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala are the only regular drivers from their countries in the World Rally Championship.

Nobody does it better: Latvala and Mikkelsen complete all-Volkswagen podium

For one it was a familiar feeling, for the other new territory: Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene produced outstanding performances to join the Volkswagen party on the podium. All three Volkswagen duos were in a league of their own at their home rally. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila pushed Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia extremely hard in Germany and were always in touch with their fellow Volkswagen duo until the iconic “Panzerplatte” on the Baumholder military training ground made all the difference. Here, Ogier/Ingrassia left everyone in their wake – even their team-mates. This was podium number 19 with Volkswagen for Latvala/Anttila and the eleventh time on the rostrum for Mikkelsen/Fløene. In total, Volkswagen has now achieved 59 top-three results in 35 rallies.

Consolation: bonus points for Latvala/Anttila on the Power Stage

Never have bonus points for Volkswagen drivers been as overshadowed as at the 2015 Rally Germany. The goal of winning Volkswagen’s home event outweighed the efforts to score bonus points towards the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ championships on the final stage of the rally. Despite this, Jari-Matti Latvala won the Power Stage to claim three extra points.

Three match points Down Under – Volkswagen on the brink of securing the title in all three competitions

Volkswagen has set up three match points in the race for the WRC titles thanks to the dream result in Germany. With a maximum 112 points still up for grabs in the Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ championships, one thing is now certain: only a Volkswagen duo can be crowned world rally champion in 2015. Should Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia emerge from the Rally Australia with 84 of their current 93-point lead over their fellow Volkswagen crews of Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene intact, the defending champions will claim their third title in a row. Volkswagen can also wrap up the Manufacturers title Down Under, regardless of other manufacturers’ results. Ogier/Ingrassia and Latvala/Anttila must defend 129 of their current 139-point lead in order to win a third championship in a row.

Quotes after day three of the Rally Germany

Sébastien Ogier, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #1
“I am absolutely delighted with this win! The fact that Julien and I are finally able to present our fantastic team with the long-awaited home win makes both of us extremely proud. Everyone in the team does so much to ensure that we drivers and co-drivers can challenge for victories. This win at the Rally Germany is our way of saying thank you – and it goes without saying that this success would not have been possible without that Volkswagen team spirit. Before the start of the rally, our team principal Jost Capito reminded us again of the promise we made to Chairman of the Board of Directors, Professor Winterkorn, at the final ceremony last year. We did not need any more motivation than that. On the final day, it was just a matter of managing the lead and brining the Polo home in one piece. Now we have finally done it, with a one-two-three. An incredibly emotional moment!”

Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“It is a great day for Volkswagen and the entire team! A one-two-three is obviously the right way to bounce back from the results of the past two years. Everyone coped well with the pressure and worked hard to make this success possible. They all deserve a huge compliment from my side. Personally, I am very happy with my second place. After all, it is still an asphalt rally, which means it is not exactly a Finn’s favourite surface. I would obviously have liked to have repeated my success from Finland, but my team-mate Sébastien Ogier was simply too good this weekend. You just have to acknowledge that. I was able to extend my advantage over third place in the World Championship. That has to remain my goal. Whatever happens, I will push hard in the final third of the season.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #9
“What an absolutely fantastic result for Volkswagen, and how nice to see so many happy faces back at the service park. Nowhere was the desire to win shown by everyone in the team as great as here. It was important to us to make amends for recent years with such a phenomenal result. It feels fantastic to have been a part of it. After the good start we made on Friday, we were in a relatively safe third place – with big gaps both in front and behind us. The last two days were all about maintaining this position without taking any uncalculated risks. We managed that, but it was not particularly exciting. However, that is exactly what we wanted: an uneventful Rally Germany.”

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director
“A one-two-three at your home rally is certainly very special. However, given our history at this round of the World Championship, which was the only rally we had not won before today, it is more emotional than all the other victories we have celebrated. As always, every single person in the team was totally motivated and consciously did their bit to make this magnificent success possible. However, they actually managed to raise the bar even higher. The entire team – whether mechanic, engineer, logistician, chef, physio, doctor, management, or marketing and PR – has invested so much sweat and tears in this victory. That is what makes it so special. However, I would like to reserve my biggest compliment for our drivers and co-drivers: they withstood huge pressure, lived up to the enormous expectations and did an absolutely outstanding job. I think everyone at Volkswagen is incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I know I certainly am.”

And then there was …

… the icing on the cake. And it was digital: At 3:03 a.m. on Sunday, the Volkswagen Motorsport Facebook page exceeded the 5 million user mark, just in time to celebrate the perfect rally day. Since 1 January 2013, when Volkswagen entered the WRC with the Polo R WRC, the brand has not only multiplied its fan community a hundredfold, but has also reached more than 300 million contacts since then. In two and a half WRC seasons, the Volkswagen brand’s most successful Facebook presence has also achieved more than 60 million direct interactions via this channel.

And then there was also …

… “novice driver” Andreas Mikkelsen. Last year’s third-placed driver in the WRC faced an unusually difficult obstacle when trying to register a car in his chosen home of Monaco. Since it was the first time that Mikkelsen had attempted to register a car, his insurance company asked for a letter of recommendation – Mikkelsen is regarded as a novice driver in Monaco. So the Norwegian asked his employer, Jost Capito, whether he would attest to his “driving ability”. And what was the Motorsport Director’s humorous response? It was already settled, he had even enclosed a photo of Mikkelsen’s accident in Finland…

And, last but not least, there was …

… a thank you to the Volkswagen lucky charms. The footballers from VfL Wolfsburg – Klaus Allofs, Dieter Hecking, Maximilian Arnold and Christian Träsch – and the rockers from “Revolverheld” were on site to keep their fingers crossed for the Volkswagen team. See you soon!

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

1. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen 3h 35m 49.5s
2. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen + 23.0s
3. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N), Volkswagen + 1m 56.6s
4. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai + 2m 09.3s
5. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B), Hyundai + 2m 33.8s
6. Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (GB/GB), Ford + 2m 52.1s
7. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (N/S), Citroën + 3m 12.5s
8. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford + 4m 26.6s
9. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai + 4m 46.8s
10. Stéphane Lefebvre/Stéphane Prévot (F/B), Citroën + 4m 54.5s

FIA Rally World Championship (WRC),
Rally Germany – Power Stage Results

1. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen 9m 07.4s
2. Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (GB/IRL), Citroën + 1.2s
3. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai + 1.7s
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Overall Standings
Drivers’ Championship
1. Sébastien Ogier 207
2. Jari-Matti Latvala 114
3. Andreas Mikkelsen 98
4. Mads Østberg 90
5. Thierry Neuville 80
6. Elfyn Evans 61
7. Kris Meeke 56
8. Ott Tänak 54
9. Dani Sordo 52
10. Hayden Paddon 46
Manufacturers’ Championship
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 300
2. Hyundai Motorsport 161
3. Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 148
4. M-Sport 138
5. Volkswagen Motorsport II 64
6. Hyundai Motorsport N 45
Jipocar Czech National Team 43
8. FWRT 9

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

Western Europe
Andorra (Canal +), Austria (ORF, Servus TV, Sport1,, RTL), Belgium (Canal +, RTBF), Cyprus (Cyta Vision), Europe (MOTORS TV), Finland (YLE, Nelonen), France (Canal +, France TV, Léquipe 21), Germany (Sport1, Servus TV,, Sky, RTL), Greece (OTE), Italy (RAI, Fox Sports), Ireland (BT Sport, itv4), Liechtenstein (Sport1, Servus TV, RTL), Luxembourg (Canal +, Servus TV, Sport1, RTL), Monaco (Canal +, France TV, Léquipe 21), Norway (TV2), Portugal (Sport TV, RTP), Spain (Canal +, TV3), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (Canal +, Sport1, Servus TV, RTL), UK (BT Sport, itv4), Wales (S4C)

Eastern Europe
Belarus (Auto Plus), Bosnia and Herzigovina (Arena TV), Bulgaria (BNT), Croatia (Arena TV), Czech Republic (Czech TV, O2, Sport 5), Estonia (Estonia TV, Auto Plus), Kososvo (Arena TV), Latvia (Auto Plus), Lithuania (Auto Plus), Macedonia (Arena TV), Moldova (Auto Plus), Montenegro (Arena TV), Poland (Polsat, TVP, tvn), Romania (Dolce Sport), Russia (Auto Plus), Serbia (Arena TV), Slovakia (Sport5), Slovenia (Arena TV), Turkey (NTV), Ukraine (First Automotive Channel, Auto Plus)

Middle East and Africa
Algeria (Dubai Sports Channel), Angola (Canal +, Sport TV), Bahrain (Dubai Sports Channel), Benin (Canal +), Botswana (Canal +), Burkina Faso (Canal +), Burundi (Canal +), Cameroon (Canal +), Cape Verde (Canal +, Sport TV), Djibouti (Dubai Sports Channel), Egypt (Dubai Sports Channel), Equatorial Guinea (Canal +), Eritrea (Dubai Sports Channel), Ethopia (Canal +), Gabon (Canal +), Gambia (Canal +), Guinea (Canal +), Guinea-Bissau (Canal +), Iran (Dubai Sports Channel), Iraq (Dubai Sports Channel), Israel (Charlton), Ivory Coast (Canal +), Jordan (Dubai Sports Channel), Kenya (Canal +), Kuwait (Dubai Sports Channel), Lebanon (Dubai Sports Channel), Libya (Dubai Sports Channel), Madagascar (Canal +), Malawi (Canal +), Mali (Canal +), Mauritania (Canal +, Dubai Sports Channel), Mauritius (Canal +), Morocco (Dubai Sports Channel), Mozambique (Canal +, Sport TV), Namibia (Canal +), Nigeria (Canal +), Niger (Canal +), Oman (Dubai Sports Channel), Pakistan (Neo Sports), Palestine (Dubai Sports Channel), Qatar (Dubai Sports Channel), Sao Tome (Canal +), Saudi Arabia (Dubai Sports Channel), Senegal (Canal +), Seychelles (Canal +), Sierra Leone (Canal +), Somalia (Dubai Sports Channel), Sudan (Dubai Sports Channel), Syria (Dubai Sports Channel), Tanzania (Canal +), Togo (Canal +), Tunisia (Dubai Sports Channel), Uganda (Canal +), United Arab Emirates (Dubai Sports Channel), Yemen (Dubai Sports Channel), Zambia (Canal +), Zimbabwe (Canal +)

Asia Pacific
Armenia (Auto Plus), Australia (Fox Sports), American Samoa (MAV TV), Azerbeijan (Auto Plus), Baker Island (MAV TV), Bangladesh (NEO Sports), Bhutan (NEO Sports), China (CCTV 5, PPTV), Guam (MAV TV), Georgia (Auto Plus), Howland Islands (MAV TV), India (NEO Sports), Kazakhstan (Auto Plus), Kyrgyzstan (Auto Plus), Japan (J-Sport), Jarvis Island (MAV TV), Kingman Reef (MAV TV), Malaysia (Astro), Micronesia (MAV TV), Midway Islands (MAV TV), Navassa Island (MAV TV), Nepal (NEO Sports), New Zealand (Sky Sports), Norther Marianas (MAV TV), Palau (MAV TV), South Korea (SBS Sport), Sri Lanka (NEO Sports), Tajikistan (Auto Plus), Thailand (Truevision), Turkmenistan (Auto Plus), U.S. Virgin Islands (MAV TV), Uzbekistan (Auto Plus), Wake Islands (MAV TV)

North and Latin America
Argentina (Channel 12, Fox Sports), Bahamas (MAV TV), Barbados (MAV TV), Belize (MAV TV), Bolivia (Fox Sports), Brazil (Fox Sports), Chile (Fox Sports), Colombia (Fox Sports), Costa Rica (Fox Sports), Cuba (Fox Sports), Dominican Republic (Fox Sports), Ecuador (Fox Sports), El Salvador (Fox Sports), Guatemala (Fox Sports), Haiti (MAV TV), Honduras (Fox Sports), Jamaica (MAV TV), Mexico (Fox Sports, TV4), Nicaragua (Fox Sports), Panama (Fox Sports), Paraguay (Fox Sports, Telefuturo), Peru (Fox Sports), Puerto Rico (MAV TV), Trinidad & Tobago (MAV TV, Channel 12), Uruguay (Channel 12), USA (MAV TV, Fox Sports), Venezuela (Fox Sports)













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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








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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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