After 14 days, 13 stages and 9112 kilometres of which 4601km were run competitively - Team Peugeot Total reached the finish of its first Dakar with two of its three Peugeot 2008 DKR entries.
Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret finished 11th while Cyril Despres and Gilles Picard were 34th. Both crews faced up to all the challenges that Dakar could offer, providing the entire team with valuable experience that will enable it to come back stronger in 2016.
Twenty-five years have passed since Peugeot's last participation on the Dakar. While the continent and the team may have changed, the race remains an extraordinary adventure and a massive challenge for man and machine. The 2015 Dakar was characterised by all the different types of weather and terrain possible, including a stage that started on the spectacular Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia for the first time.
Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret, Cyril Despres and Gilles Picard, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, as well as their experienced and reliable crews, fronted up to the challenge with determination. Now thoughts already turn towards 2016, with a final look back at 2015 to congratulate Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Beaumel from the Qatar Rally Team on their victory.
Bruno Famin, Peugeot Sport Director, said: "The conclusions we draw from our first Dakar are, of course, mixed ones. Speaking as pure competitors, and bearing in mind the ultimate objective we have set ourselves, we cannot be satisfied with the raw final result. But we are also very aware of the scale of the task ahead, so the principal objective of our first participation was just to gain experience.
"With two of our three Peugeot 2008 DKR entries on the finish ramp at Buenos Aires and no major technical problems, we can say that this goal has been reached. We've learnt a huge amount in every area: technical, sporting and logistical. That's fundamental for the next steps in the project. In order to get there, our drivers and co-drivers, as well as the whole technical team, did an exceptional job."
He added: "When it came to our preparation for this event, we focused exclusively on reliability. All the hard work has paid off. In terms of performance, while the Peugeot 2008 DKR has shown a certain potential by fighting for stage wins on two or three occasions, it's not yet at the level required to be a contender for overall victory. There is no lack of ideas when it comes to future development and a lot of work is already underway. We're now going to define our road map for the future by incorporating everything we learned from our experience in 2015. The 2016 Dakar has already begun for us with the first debrief on Sunday!"
by: Becca Chaplin