Peugeot wins 2018 Dakar rally
Following Peugeot's 2017 1-2-3 finish at the Dakar Rally, the marque secured an overall win at the 2018 race, which concluded on January 20th. It also marked the brand's third straight win in the treacherous off-road competition. The victory allowed Peugeot to go out on a high note as the brand is walking away from Dakar after this year to focus on the World Rallycross Championship.
This year marked the 40th running of the Dakar Rally and Peugeot and its 3008DKR Maxi won seven out of the 13 stages. Peugeot said the race car showed remarkable reliability, with the only fault being a subtle gearing issue over 9,000 kilometers, or roughly 5,600 miles. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz piloted the 3008DKR Maxi this year.
Over eight attempts at Dakar, Peugeot has won all but one since its first victory in 1987. Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, who won the 2017 Dakar Rally, faced unfortunate setbacks this year. After swerving to avoid a quad bike and damaging the suspension, the reigning champions also collided with a tree later on in the race. The two mishaps landed them in fourth place overall after holding first.
Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena were forced to retire after their 3008DKR Maxi fell into a sandy hole. The wreck fractured Elena’s coccyx.
With Dakar in its past, Peugeot will take on the WRC this April when the season gets underway in Barcelona, Spain. Loeb will pilot one of the 208 WRX entries. In 2020, Peugeot plans to field an electric 208 as WRC moves to include an electric Rallycross championship. Said series will see a next-generation 208 WRX car.
One rival Peugeot won't see in World Rallycross? Ford. The Blue Oval announced it would pull out of the series last year.