Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin says winning the 2018 Dakar Rally is far from a formality for his team, particularly with the difficult-looking 9000-kilometre route, but he is determined to end the French manufacturer’s run in the event with a third consecutive victory.
Stephane Peterhansel was taken the win in the past two years, and Carlos Sainz Sr., Cyril Despres and Sebastien Loeb will again join him in a four-car squad all aiming to take victory in the final Dakar Rally for Peugeot before they withdraw from the sport.
“Considering our victories over the past two years, including a one-two-three in 2017, our only objective can be to win this year’s Dakar as well!” said Famin. “But we cannot take anything for granted.
“The 2018 event looks set to be a thrilling but very long competition, which will be full of challenges. The route is longer than last year and much more difficult, with some long days in the desert from the very start – at the end of which there could already be some big gaps opening up.
“The 1000-kilometre marathon stage will also form a significant chunk of the action, and Argentina will be no easier too.”
Famin believes any one of his four crews can be in with a chance of victory this year, which he feels is a major strength compared to their rivals, with the regulation changes ahead of the 2018 event making it even more complicated that normal.
“Bearing in mind our rivals, who have also been working hard, and a major adjustment to the regulations, there’s no doubt that it’s going to be an extremely complicated event,” said Famin.
“Aiming for victory in this context is already a big objective. But as well as the capabilities of the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, our strength compared to our rivals is having four crews all capable of winning.”