Stéphane Peterhansel: ‘Monsieur Dakar’

In 2018, the Dakar Rally is being organised for the 40th time. To celebrate the occasion, BFGoodrich® looks back at the first four decades of this unique competition in the form of a collection of anecdotes and souvenirs, plus a presentation of the characters who have marked the history of the world’s number one cross-country rally . We begin by reviewing the careers of four drivers who have left an indelible mark on the event over the years.

The Noughties…

Stéphane Peterhansel: ‘Monsieur Dakar’

After making a lasting mark on the Dakar in the 1990s with a score of six straight wins on two wheels from 1993 to 1998, Stéphane Peterhansel decided to switch to four wheels in 2000. He immediately created a surprise by coming second at first attempt driving a Méga prototype.

The following year, he took the challenge to fellow-Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser and ended up winning the Production class in a Team Dessoude-run, BFGoodrich®-equipped Nissan pick-up. That success earned him a berth with the factory Mitsubishi team with whom he went on to win the Dakar outright in 2004, 2005 and 2007. He also came close to victory in 2003 and 2006. In the middle of the Noughties, the combination of Stéphane Peterhansel, his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret, the Mitsubishi Pajero and BFGoodrich® Rock T/A tyres proved practically invincible on the Dakar, as well as in cross-country rallying in general.

Following Mitsubishi’s withdrawal from the sport at the end of 2009, he was recruited by X-Raid but had to wait until the withdrawal of Volkswagen to return to his winning ways in 2012 as part of the Mini ALL4 Racing/BFGoodrich® squad. Another victory in 2013 saw him become the most successful car driver ever on the Dakar, with a score of five victories.

In 2016 and 2017, the Frenchman added two more wins to his list driving a Peugeot 2008 DKR, then a 3008 DKR/BFGoodrich®, despite competition from his Peugeot Sport team-mate, nine-time world rally champion Sébastien Loeb.

With five Dakar wins on BFGoodrich® tyres to his name, Stéphane Peterhansel is the American tyre brand’s most successful representative off all time on cross-country rallying’s showpiece.

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