Peugeot has walked away victorious at the 2016 Dakar rally, though not with Sebastien Loeb or Carlos Sainz.
It was Dakar old hand Stephane Peterhansel, and co-driver and Jean-Paul Cottret, who came out on top. This was Peterhansel's 12th victory, coming exactly 25 years after his very first on a bike. Now, he has six wins on bikes and six on cars, and he is rightfully considered as the most successful Dakar racer of all times.
This year, Peugeot entered four 2008 DKRs into the famed rally event and three of those reached the finish line. The second best performing Renault duo were Cyril Despres and David Castera, while Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena managed a ninth place following a severe crash on stage 10. The 2008 DKR of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz failed to finish.
Of the 12 stages held, Peugeot managed to claim nine stage wins, including an amazing seven one-two finishes.
“This is a huge satisfaction for us. Before the start, a result like this was far from guaranteed", said Peterhansel. "My feeling was that the team was still a bit young, but in fact everything came together extremely well. We had the nice surprise of seeing that our car was extremely competitive throughout the WRC-style stages.”
Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “The results have surpassed our expectations because we came here just to show the performance of the car. And we’ve achieved that objective well throughout all different types of conditions. That goes to show that we have accomplished the technical mission that we set ourselves.”