Loeb wants more
October 31 st 2018 - 14:39
Following three consecutive Dakar participations, ten stage victories and a runner-up finish in 2017, Sébastien Loeb will continue his rally-raid career and take part in the 41st edition that will start in Lima. While Peugeot has brought its factory involvement to an end, the rally superstar will drive a Peugeot 3008 prepared by PH Sport in his continuing quest for Dakar glory.
Clearly, he still has the desire to win! Just days after winning the Rally RACC Catalunya, his 79th WRC career victory after leaving the championship in 2012, Sébastien Loeb has made a somewhat surprise announcing that he will take part in the 2019 Dakar. Last January, he dropped out of the rally after co-driver Daniel Elena suffered injuries in a hard landing of an acrobatic jump during a stage in the heart of the Tanaka desert dunes in Peru. And it will be on this same type of terrain that he will have to battle if he wants to win his first Dakar, after finishing second in 2017 and where he has won ten stages in three participations. “I like the dunes. The key to success on this type of terrain is not getting stuck in the sand”, says the nine-time WRC champion. “That's what I'm going to focus on during the training. I decided to return to the Dakar at the last minute, but I still have hunger for victory. We will most likely lack some preparation, but I haven’t forgotten everything I have learned over the past three years.”
Beyond the lack of preparation compared to his adversaries, Sébastien Loeb is taking on the challenge of competing with a privateer team, namely the PH Sport team that will provide him a 2017 version of the Peugeot 3008, as well as two other cars for Harry Hunt and Pierre Lachaume. “I am ready to take on the challenge, just like I did in my three appearances in the World Rally Championship this year where success was anything but a forgone conclusion”, explains the driver who will take on his former team mates Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres, who have all moved to the Mini squad after the withdrawal of the factory Peugeot team, as well as Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers. “They will be tough competitors. We have no idea how competitive we will be, but several crews will have a chance to win and I hope we will be one of them.”