Thursday, 20 September 2018

Peugeot’s rally up for the challenge

THERE is nothing more exciting in motorsport than the sight of rally cars in full flight.

THERE is nothing more exciting in motorsport than the sight of rally cars in full flight.

Formula One today seems too smooth and sophisticated — the only other motorsport that to my mind captures a combination of excitement and old-fashioned daredevilry is MotoGP, world championship motorcycle racing.

But then there is rally driving, which stands in a class of its own. I have been fascinated by rallying since boyhood, when I used regularly to watch the enthralling Monte Carlo Rally and famous Mille Miglia. So it can only be good news that off the back of its Dakar Rally victory in January, Peugeot is preparing to take on another huge challenge this year in the form of the legendary Moscow to Beijing Silk Way Rally (which runs from July 8 to 24).

And these spectacular pictures show off the Peugeot 2008 DKR in action.

For its Silk Way Rally debut, Peugeot will run three of its four crews behind the wheel of the 2008 DKR. Team Peugeot Total is preparing to embark on this new challenge.



Just under a year on from the China Silk Road Rally, which saw Peugeot claim a one-two finish, and following the 2016 Dakar Rally that was won by Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, Team Peugeot Total is preparing for more cross-country rally action in China.

The Silk Way Rally is a bold new adventure. In its early years, this cross-country fixture did not venture beyond Russia’s borders, with the exception of its first edition (2009), which briefly visited Turkmenistan. Current Team Peugeot Total driver Carlos Sainz won the event in its first two years. In 2011, Stéphane Peterhansel finished second.

Following a two-year hiatus in 2014 and 2015, this year’s Silk Way Rally will visit three different countries — Russia, Kazakhstan and China — via a 10,000km route featuring 4,500 competitive kilometres divided into 15 stages. Further details of the route will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Bruno Famin, director of Peugeot Sport, said: “This is another extremely exciting event for us. It looks like we will have some breathtaking scenery and a challenging, varied route. We have no prior competitive experience in either Russia or Kazakhstan but we expect to find portions in China that are similar to those we visited last year.

“It promises to be an event that tests both our human and sporting strengths to the absolute limit, and we are delighted to be tackling the Silk Way Rally for the first time.”

The three Peugeot 2008 DKRs entered for the Silk Way Rally all contested the 2016 Dakar and will incorporate one major change — the integration of air conditioning into the cars.

FACTFILE

PEUGEOT 2008 DKR RALLY CAR

Rear-wheel drive

3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine

Power: 350hp

Six-speed sequential non-synchromesh gearbox

37-inch (94cm) wheels

Tyres: Michelin

Oil: Total Quartz



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