Peugeot-Total’s Dakar swansong

For its final Dakar appearance, Peugeot-Total has entered four new Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxis equipped with the new BFGoodrich® All Terrain KDR2+. The French squad is eyeing a third straight victory with its ‘dream team’ line-up. We take a look at its preparations for the South American marathon.

For the 2018 Dakar, Peugeot Sport has remained loyal to its ‘dream team’ of Stéphane Peterhansel, Sébastien Loeb, Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres who, between them, boast 19 victories and 148 stage wins on the world-famous event!

This time round, they will be driving the latest-evolution Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi which is even more competitive than the previous version which monopolised the Dakar podium in 2017. Not only is the new car wider, and therefore more stable, but it is also easier to drive thanks to a new suspension arrangement that was fine-tuned in a test programme that covered 18,000 kilometres in seven separate sessions.

“The Maxi is quite simply the best car I have ever driven,” observes 13-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel. “Its reliability and performance are incomparable. It’s a delight to drive.”

“Peugeot Sport’s engineers have pushed out the boundaries with the 3008 DKR Maxi,” says Sébastien Loeb who would love to add a Dakar victory to his outstanding record. “It’s tremendous fun to drive and I feel really confident at the wheel.”

At the same time, BFGoodrich® has played a part in taking the package forward, since the American brand’s engineers have developed a new tyre for the latest-generation two- and four-wheel drive vehicles of its partners. The BFGoodrich® All-Terrain KDR2+ is even more versatile than its predecessor to tackle the changeable and often extreme conditions crews face in South America.

“Since this will be our last participation, we want to end our programme on a high note,” adds Peugeot Sport Technical Director Bruno Famin. “As I always say, though, you can’t take anything for granted on the Dakar. If you win it once, the hardest thing is to win a second time!”

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