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Dakar: Peugeot 2008 gets 'combat livery'

2014-11-18 12:42

READY TO RACE: Stephane Peterhansel, Cyril Despres and Carlos Sainz are set to tackle the 2015 Dakar in the Peugeot 2008 DKR in January. Image: Red Bull

PARIS, France- The 2015 Dakar is just a few more weeks away and the Peugeot 2008 DKR is getting into the swing and has traded its initial all-carbon finish for its official colour scheme ahead of the gruelling challenge.

Peugeot says this spectacular metamorphosis is an eloquent sign that the bestial machine is now fully prepared to take on its 4x4 rivals on the most punishing cross-country rally of them all.

DEFINITIVE LIVERY

The commando teams at Peugeot, Red Bull and Total have ticked all the boxes of their respective checklists, and the revelation of the Peugeot 2008 DKR’s definitive livery was one of them as the January 4 start Dakar start date approaches. The French engineers have swopped the black robes of carbon finish for a far racier look based on a combination of blue, white and red.

IMAGE GALLERY: Peugeot's 2008 DKR

Peugeot rally driver Cyril Despres, who is unaccustomed to such stylish colour schemes on such a big surface area of bodywork, said: “It looks far more aggressive like this.”

Meanwhile, Stephane Peterhansel was swift to note the practical side of the design for him and his co-driver. Peterhansel said: “The fact that the part around the cockpit has been finished in white is an excellent way to protect us from the heat. I’ve competed in a car with a black roof and I can tell you that it makes a big difference.”

The team says that the thousands of kilometres the Peugeot 2008 DKR has covered in Morocco in recent months have boosted the morale of all those involved in the bold project.

READY FOR ANYTHING

Peugeot sport director Bruno Famin said: “The results of our test programme show that our technical concept is well founded. That said, this car is at a very early stage of its development, so it is important to remain cautious.

“Although we have big ambitions for this adventure, we are still tackling it with a great deal of humility. By deciding to kick off our cross-country rally programme with the toughest event imaginable, we will no doubt come across unforeseen obstacles and problems.

“It is consequently important to take things one step at a time. For our first attempt, our main objective is to get as many cars as possible as far as we possibly can.”

Carlos Sainz, whose development skills are widely acclaimed, and who has driven every type of car, is fully behind the Peugeot 2008 DKR’s technical concept: “The team has come up with a unique and innovative car which promises to be extremely versatile for the different types of terrain we are likely to come across.

"The concept works well. The test programme has shown that it is a very fast machine, although it is obviously difficult to be 100% sure of its reliability at this early stage.”

AUTO MEDICS IN TRAINING

With less than 50 days to go before the 2015 Dakar, the team faces a busy final countdown. On November 20 the service trucks carrying all the necessary equipment and spares will be loaded on the ship that will take them to Argentina.

After that the three rally cars will be built ready for airfreighting to South America after one final test in Morocco, at the beginning of December. And, says Peugeot, the crews are due to undergo an intensive mechanical training course to prepare them for any emergency work they may need to carry out during the rally’s marathon leg when third-party servicing is prohibited.

Stay with Wheels24.co.za for full coverage on the January 2015 Dakar Rally.
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