Can the team make it three in a row before throwing in the towel?
For now at least, 2018 will be the final year Peugeot competes in the Dakar rally, having announced the retirement of its off-road motorsport programme earlier this week. It's not the first time it's taken its ball and gone home of course, having previously left after taking four wins in a row between 1987 and 1990 in the 205 T16 and the 405 T16.
The marque returned in 2015, and it didn't take long for the team to get back to its winning ways, taking the win twice in 2016 and 2017. Now, in a bid to quit as three-time champions, the 3008 DKR Maxi has been put through its paces under race conditions in the harsh Moroccan desert where Sebastien Loeb took second place.
Ahead of the rally in South America in early January next year, the team has driven over 18,000km, and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel said, "To win the Dakar again last year was a fantastic feeling, I felt so liberated. The problem is that the more you win, the more you want to keep on doing it!"
We'll have to wait and see whether that desire will be enough to claim a third win, and retire as reigning champions, but until then enjoy this image of car powering through the Moroccan desert dunes.
Its such a shame that both the WRC and the Dakar have lost a significant portion of their fan base over the last 30+ years.
There are of course a number of reasons for this, and one significant one I can think of is the fact that none of the vehicles represent any of the cars the public can buy. There is no relationship between these cars.
Homologination (for want of better word) brought the fan base closer rallying and the Paris Dakar . Since these might as well be 'concept' cars, what relevance do they have to people who own road cars?