Posted on November 27, 2017

The 2018 Dakar Rally roars into life in January and only the most intrepid offroad racers have signed up for the challenge. Among the fearless competitors taking on the world’s toughest rally are the Red Bull Desert Wings squad. Across all four categories we have a courageous mix of past champions and rally-raid rookies preparing to push themselves to the limit in South America.

Returning car race champions Team Peugeot Total will once again bring their D-ream Team of driving talent. Their fleet of four Peugeot 3008DKR Maxis will be in the hands of Stéphane Peterhansel (13-time Dakar winner), Carlos Sainz (one Dakar win), Cyril Despres (five Dakar bike titles) and Sébastien Loeb (nine-time WRC winner). Since returning to the Dakar in 2015, after an absence of 25 years, Peugeot have wasted no time in reestablishing themselves as the team to beat. Peterhansel has delivered back-to-back wins for Team Peugeot Total at the past two editions and was joined on the podium earlier this year by Loeb and Despres as the French outfit recorded a 1-2-3 result.

Among the drivers looking to breakup Peugeot’s dominance in the car category are two previous Dakar champions flying the flag for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team. Nasser Al-Attiyah (two-time Dakar winner) and Giniel De Villiers (one Dakar win) have been testing the Toyota Hilux in extreme conditions throughout the year in an effort to get ahead of their rivals. Further competition in the car race will come from a pair of MINI drivers who are out to make their mark in rally-raid. Kuba Przygoński has transferred to cars from bikes in recent years while rookie Bryce Menzies arrives from American Baja racing.