Carlos Sainz Sr. is hoping the final Dakar Rally he competes in with Peugeot Sport before they withdraw is a good one, as he bids to finally see the finishing line after retiring for the past three years with the French manufacturer.
The Spaniard, a former winner of the event back in 2010 whilst with Volkswagen, admits he is feeling good ahead of the 9000-kilometre rally, and he is happy with the progress Peugeot made with their 3008DKR Maxi since the 2017 event.
“I’m feeling good at the start of this Dakar,” said Sainz. “I prepared in the usual way by intensifying my physical training programme before the start.
“It’s our last Dakar with Peugeot and I’m aiming for it to be a successful one. The team has worked very hard to develop this new Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, which represents a step forward.”
Sainz says starting the Dakar with so many stages in the sand dunes will make the event an interesting proposition, but he believes the characteristics of the 3008DKR Maxi should enable them to be competitive, even if they will have a 70-kilogram ballast to contend with.
“Of all the Dakar rallies that have taken place in South America, I think this one has the most kilometres in the dunes,” said the Spaniard. “Navigation will be tricky, with lots of off-piste.
“And starting with so many desert stages straight away is also going to make it a very interesting Dakar. In these conditions, the characteristics of the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi should be able to help us.
“Having said all that, the latest regulations don’t work in our favour, and that is another factor to bear in mind.”