Cyril Despres hoping for 2015 success after car switch


As the start of the 2015 Dakar Rally draws closer, Frenchman Cyril Despres has set his sights on glory as he prepares to tackle the two-week challenge in a car for the first time.

The 2015 edition of the Dakar Rally begins in Buenos Aires on January 3rd and marks the seventh time the event has been hosted in South America

Cyril Despres
Cyril Despres

The rally will also pass through Chile and Bolivia before finishing in Argentina on January 17th after 13 stages of competition.

The four major groups that compete in Dakar are motorcycles, quads, cars and trucks, and the race is open to both professional and amateur competitors.

Cyril Despres, a five-time champion on bikes, has made the switch to cars for the 2015 edition and is hoping to emulate past greats who have won the event in two separate vehicles.

“It’s a good change of course. I’ve seen some pictures of me competing in the Dakar last year with the number one bib on my bike and a few months later I’m at the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 DKR,” said Despres.

“I look forward to starting this new adventure. I’m enjoying myself a lot. Honestly, I didn’t expect to be so enthusiastic, but you get the same feelings as on a bike; you slide, you swerve, you absorb all of the shocks.

“I think it’s a great edition of the race and I’ll try to give it a good.”

The switch was made easier by the presence of two other of Peugeot’s big names, Carlos Sainz and Stephane Peterhansel, who won six times on the bike and five times in the car.

“It’s a real luxury having such teachers. And, amongst other things, that’s why I made the leap and signed for team Peugeot,” added Despres.

Peugeot 208 DKR 2015
Peugeot 208 DKR 2015

“There was the comeback of Peugeot, of course, but also the presence of Heinz and Perahanzel’s experience. For me it is something invaluable.

“For every training session, everyone gives their own comments. I’m here to learn. I’m eager to learn.

“I want to discover new things, and with Peugeot – with all the drivers and mechanics, I’m surrounded by true professionals and I hope it will help me improve.”