Riding high on its success at Pikes Peak hill climb last year, French automaker Peugeot is prepping to make a comeback in the famed Dakar Rally in 2015 - exactly, 25 years after its last appearance in 1990.
The partnership that was seen at Pikes Peak between Peugeot Sport, Red Bull and Total will once again join forces for the 2015 Dakar Rally, hoping to replicate the winning streak from Peugeot’s late 1980s run of four consecutive victories from 1987 to 1990 - at the hands of world class drivers such as Ari Vatanen, Juha Kankkunen and Jacky Ickx.
The big news however, is the fact that Peugeot has signed the 11-time Dakar winner, Stephane Peterhansel to head its Dakar Rally team in 2015. The Frenchmen until recently, had a contract with Mini X-raid team, which he terminated following a fall-out with the management and has now landed a contract to head the French automaker’s rally team. Peterhansel will continue with his previous co-driver, Jean Paul Cottret.
Also joining the Peugeot team next year, is the 2010 Dakar winner, Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres. The automaker has already made clear that they will not impose any team restrictions in the Dakar Rally, allowing drivers to compete against each other. Furthermore, it is also speculated that Rally legend Sebastian Loeb could also joint the dream team. But there is not official word from Peugeot yet on the matter.
For its 2015 attempt, Peugeot has chosen the 208-based 2008 DKR crossover, which has been one of the highest-selling models for the automaker in Europe and is soon scheduled to go on sale in China and Latin America. With its pseudo off-roader image, the 2008 DKR seems to be a natural fit for the gruelling Dakar Rally.