Linked in categories: 2018 | Dakar 2018 | Rallyraid

Dakar Rally 2018: Last Dakar triumph for Peugeot - now Citroen? Or Opel?

lang Editor: Hansy Schekahn lang Photos: See credits under article   lang In database since January 24, 2018

After 8793 kilometers of dunes, mountain passes, rocky tracks and assorted hazards through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, the crew of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz have given the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi a magnificent victory on the 40th Dakar Rally. For the Peugeot Factory Team officially this was the last Dakar race, but there are rumours of a private comeback maybe in the hands of Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi from Abu Dhabi - or maybe we will see a comeback of Citroen like we saw it between 1987-1990 (Peugeot 205 and 405) and 1991-1996 (Citroen ZX)?

We remember, after the success of the Peugeot 205 and 405 prototypes from 1987 until 1990, the French brand Citroen started in the Dakar-adventure in 1990 with same-similar technology, drivers, team. No wonder, both companies are sisters, integrated in the PSA group, which also integrated the German brand Opel last year.

Hmmm, Opel. Let´s think and gamble a minute... Opel also just forced their engagement in the SUV market with cars based on the Peugeot SUVs, Opel is in the middle of a crisis, Opel needs a new image. Opel was famous in the Rallysport in the 80´s, for example with Walther Roehrl or Erwin Weber. They also competed in the Dakar with a Manta- and Opel Kadett GSi prototype, 1984 Guy Colsoul won the 2-wheels category. In Hungary (Szalay Dakar Team) and Portugal (Nuno Matos) two privateers are showing how an Opel could look like...

In the Citroen Sport Team we just saw a change, Pierre Budar will be the new Sport Director because former Sport Director Yves Matton will switch to the FIA as Rally Director. Budar joined the PSA group as engineer directly after his education at the École Centrale de Nantes in 1989 (the time when Peugeot Dakar switched to Citroen Dakar), he was official driver for the Peugeot-Talbot Sport Team in the Group N with a Peugeot 309. New bosses usually are coming with new ideas...

Btw, did somebody asked about the new jobs for Stéphane Peterhansel, Cyril Despres or Carlos Sainz? For Despres it will be not a big thing to find a new job, even behind the wheels. Peterhansel? Toyota has it´s own, good team - they don´t need "Mr. Dakar" and are even more interested to push their crowd. X-raid? We had this story before and Peterhansel switched from the Germans to Peugeot not nicely. Maybe as Team Manager for...? For Sainz the Dakar is "fun in the good days", he don´t need a job anymore. And Loeb is still busy with the PSA group.

In fact, Peugeot Sport will now concentrate on the FIA World Rallycross Championship (WorldRX). The season will get underway from April 14-15 in Barcelona, with Sébastien Loeb driving one of the Peugeot 208 WRX entries. At the same time, Peugeot Sport will also prepare for the forthcoming electric Rallycross championship in 2020. This will be tackled with the replacement for the current road going Peugeot 208, which will feature a fully electric version.

"Peugeot ends its Dakar campaign in the best possible way thanks to a fantastic victory from Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz and the Peugeot 3008DKR Maxi, on a Dakar Rally that will go down in history," said Peugeot Sport Director Bruno Famin as a good-bye. "To take three consecutive victories on such a complicated event is an exceptional achievement that is as much down to our very high technical level as it is to our unfailing team spirit." We say "Good Bye" Peugeot... and maybe "Hello Again"...

Photos: Red Bull, Szalay Team, Opel, Peugeot, Citroen


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