After smashing the record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013, Peugeot Sport, Red Bull and Total have joined forces to take on the 2015 Dakar Rally. Leading the assault on the world’s longest and toughest cross-country rally will be 2010 winner and two-time Rally World Champion Carlos Sainz and five-time winner Cyril Despres, who tackles the Dakar on four wheels for the first time.
More than two decades ago, Peugeot first made their mark on the Dakar by winning the legendary competition four years running from 1987 until 1990, first with the 205 T16 Grand Raid, then with the equally iconic 405 T16 Grand Raid.
Since then, the Dakar has traded the dunes of northwest Africa for the tracks and trails of Latin America, which are every bit as punishing for competitors and their machines.
It is here, a quarter of a century after their last Dakar, that Team Peugeot Total will take on their next challenge with a new car, the 2008 DKR. But this is a very different proposition to last June’s 20km sprint over asphalt in the Race to the Clouds, it’s a two-week 10,000km marathon that will put Peugeot Sport’s all-round skills to the test in January 2015.
Peugeot will take on a number of other events in order to help them to prepare for the annual South American marathon.
The team’s driver line-up stars the 2010 Dakar victor Carlos Sainz, who brings his extensive experience and car-development skills to the table, as well as the event’s five-time winner on two wheels, Cyril Despres, who has chosen Peugeot to kick off a new career on four wheels.
Both drivers are eager to discover their car, which has been devised by the same team behind the development of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak.
The covers will come off the car next month at the Beijing Motor Show on April 20.