Team Peugeot Total will be débuting its Peugeot 3008DKR at the 2016 Rallye du Maroc.
The French manufacturer will be defending their Dakar Rally title they won last year. Already, they have racked up approximately 5,000 kilometres in testing, prior to the penultimate rally of the 2016 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup.
Peugeot’s main aim at the Rallye du Maroc is to ensure that their Dakar and Silk Way Rally-winning cars benefit from the improvements made to the 3008DKR.
Making up Peugeot’s ‘dream team’ are Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, 2016 Silk Way Rally-winners Cyril Despres/David Castera, 2016 Dakar-winners Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena.
Sainz explained about the improvements made to the 3008DKR “It’s not as big a change as we had last year, with a totally new car.
“We’ve had a couple of tests in Spain and Morocco and now we have the rally, so we’ve got a very good plan to arrive in the best possible way.
“It’s going to be really busy from now until the end of the year. Morocco is a very important event, as it’s where we can check that the car is in the best possible condition to start the Dakar.”
Despres mentioned about the suspension improvements with the 3008DKR “I don’t want to give away all the secrets of the new car, but there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes, starting from when we finished the Dakar back in January.
“I can feel a lot of improvement in the stability and suspension, and we’ve also worked a lot on reliability.
“The Dakar is one of the toughest races in the world, so you need a car that just keeps going. And the same is true for the drivers, so I’m going to be concentrating a lot on my physical preparation. For now, I’m really looking forward to Morocco: it’s a great rally and I can’t wait to get going.”
Peterhansel formed an essential part of the 3008DKR development programme, saying “I was delighted to claim my 12th Dakar victory with Peugeot this year, and clearly the objective is to try and do this again: although maybe the strongest competition will again come from within!
“I’m very happy with the way that the test programme has gone so far, and of course we will all be following Carlos and Cyril’s progress with huge interest.”
Loeb added “I obviously still have a lot to learn about Cross Country and the Dakar, as this year was only my first attempt at it.
“I already completed a lot of testing in Morocco last year, as well as competing on the rally, so I am beginning to get a feel for this sort of terrain. It’s on the sand dune stages that I feel I can improve most, so I have been concentrating a lot on this area.”
The 2016 Rallye du Maroc covers approximately 1885 kilometres for the teams and crews, with the start of the rally on Sunday 2 October 2016 in Agadir, before the Rallye du Maroc reaches its conclusion on Friday 7 October 2016.