After 8,793 km of dunes mountain routes, rocky slopes and perils through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina the crew formed by Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz allowed the PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi to score a magnificent victory in the 40th edition of the Dakar.
PERFORMANCES AND RELIABILITY
The path of this 40th edition of the Dakar proved to be particularly hard on mechanics. At the end of this ruthless test bench of about 9,000km, not only the PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi won 7 of the 13 special but also demonstrated extraordinary reliability. Only a few problems with the selection of the gears were found, because the reason for the withdrawal from the race of the PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi No. 306 of Loeb was not of a technical nature. The new BF Goodrich tires have demonstrated extraordinary strength on rough terrain in South America; TOTAL lubricants have allowed optimum engine performance despite the truly extreme altitude and conditions of use.
THE RETIREMENT OF THE 'MATADOR'
Unfortunate in the 3 previous editions of the Dakar, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz took a superb revenge on destiny. Authors of a run managed with an impressive mastery, the 2 Spaniards have associated speed and reliability at the wheel of their PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi No. 303. Winners of the stages 6 and 7 (out of 13), took the lead during the marathon stage. And they have not left it anymore. Already victorious in the Dakar 2010, the pair has repeated to reach Córdoba with 43min40s of advantage on the pursuers. This victory also underlines all their investment in the PEUGEOT project in the rally-raid. Because they have broadly put their expertise and their talent at the service of the development of the 3008DKR.
THE TRIBULATION OF 'MISTER DAKAR'
Winners of the Dakar 2016 and 2017 with PEUGEOT, Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean- Paul Cottret lived a busy race and unfortunately upset by 2 accidents. In stage 7 (out of 14), the crew No. 300 had to deviate to avoid a quad stopped in the middle of the track. And he destroyed the left rear suspension on a hidden stone. Then, at the beginning of stage 13, the holders of the title were caught in a tree that damaged the steering, ripping a rod. In both cases, their teammates Cyril Despres and David Castera helped them repair the car and continue the race. These misadventures have made them lose the 1st and then the 2nd place in the general classification. The winners of the 2 previous editions of the Dakar still finish in 4th place. After being the best performers of the Team PEUGEOT Total with 3 stage wins.
DESPRES / CASTERA, FAST AND SOLID
First crew of the Team PEUGEOT Total to have won a stage in this Dakar 2018, Cyril Despres and David Castera were in charge of the general classification at the end of stage 2, confirming that they have made a real step forward in terms of performance. Unfortunately, the ambitions of the 2 former motorcyclists broke down in front of a protruding stone, hit on the road at km180 of the special 4. The destroyed right rear suspension interrupted the crew race.
After the intervention of the truck of the assistance entered into the race by Team PEUGEOT Total, the PEUGEOT 3008DKR No. 308 was able to continue its race. But with a considerable delay. At this point, animated by an extraordinary team spirit, the couple of riders put themselves at the service of their teammates. Making good times when the opportunity presented itself, as in stages 8 and 11. Given their penalty of 29h, Cyril Despres and David Castera were classified in a backward position. Not representative of their level of performance
LOEB INTERRUPTED IN ITS SLIDE
Classified in 2nd place last year, 5min from the winners, Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena started this Dakar 2018 with the legitimate goal of winning. The 2 men disputed an excellent start of the rally. Despite a Peruvian route composed of dunes and off-piste, not really appropriate to them. They won brilliantly stage 4, one of the most difficult of modern Dakar in South America. Unfortunately, when they were in 2nd place overall, they were forced to retire during stage 5, between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa (Peru). Their PEUGEOT 3008DKR Maxi has fallen into a soft sand ditch, trying to avoid a competitor that has remained stationary. As a result of the impact, Daniel Elena was the victim of a coccyx crack. And it was impossible for him to continue the race.
This victory of the Team PEUGEOT Total completes the already impressive record of PEUGEOT at the Dakar. It is the 7th success of the Brand in this test in 8 participations
Here, in short, the palmarès of PEUGEOT in the Dakar.
1987: victory of Vatanen / Giroux (205 T 16 Grand Raid).
1988: victory of Kankkunen / Piironen (205 T 16 Grand Raid).
1989: double Vatanen / Berglund, Ickx / Tarin (all on 405 T 16 Grand Raid).
1990: triplet Vatanen / Berglund (405 T 16 Grand Raid), Waldegard / Fenouil (405 T 16 Grand Raid), Ambrosino / Baumgartner (205 T 16 Grand Raid).
2016: victory of Peterhansel / Cottret (2008DKR).
2017: hat trick by Peterhansel / Cottret, Loeb / Elena and Despres / Castera (all on 3008DKR).
2018: Sainz / Cruz victory (3008DKR Maxi).