Dakar Rally-winners Team Peugeot-Total are raring to start the Silk Way Rally today (8 July) from Moscow, Russia at Saint Basil’s Cathedral after passing the pre-race scrutineering checks.
Team Peugeot-Total boast three star-studded crews in the form of former Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret, Cyril Despres/David Castera and nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb/Daniel Elena as they race over fifteen stages from Moscow, Russia to Beijing, China.
Peterhansel claimed his twelfth win in the Dakar in January, while Despres claimed a top ten finish. Loeb won four stages in his Dakar debut this year, the most of any driver in the race. The three French crews have a good shot of making the podium since they’re up against some FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup regulars.
The 2016 Dakar Rally winner said “The atmosphere in Moscow has been really special since we arrived and I’m sure we’ll all be putting on a great show for the fans before we start the race. I enjoy racing in different places around the world because it allows you to connect with many different cultures. This is one of the best things about international cross-country events.”
Former motorcyclist Despres was looking forward to the Silk Way Rally, saying “There’s a long road ahead of us from Moscow to Beijing and I’m totally focused on giving my best during the race. I know that I’m in a good position with a fantastic team around me and a competitive car to drive.”
Loeb added “It’s true that I’m a beginner in cross-country, but the last Dakar showed that I can perform and be fast. Of course I hope to be able to fight at the front of the race again at the next Dakar and competing here at the Silk Way is all part of building towards that goal. We know our good points and our bad points, so we know what we have to work on and what we have to improve.”