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The ultimate test of man and machine returns to South America in January with the best #offroad racers in the world packing their bags to be part of the action. The 2017 #dakar Rally will break new ground as Paraguay becomes the 29th country to play host to the iconic #event. As well as fresh challenges to be faced, there's plenty of the potential pitfalls found in Bolivia and Argentina that have now become a legendary part of the #dakar experience.
The 10,000 kilometre route from Asunción to Buenos Aires, via La Paz, covers some of the most inhospitable terrain on the planet. Making life even more uncomfortable for competitors and their vehicles will be the scorching South American summer temperatures, the threat of torrential rainstorms and nosebleed inducing altitudes. Only the best in the business need apply for this one and that's exactly who you'll find within the Red Bull Desert Wings squad.
Reigning car category champions Team #peugeot Total return with the same D-ream Team that brought them glory last time out: Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Jean-Paul Cottret (FRA), Cyril Despres (FRA)/David Castera (FRA), Sébastien Loeb (FRA)/Daniel Elena (MON) and Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Lucas Cruz (ESP). The major change to report for the French manufacturer ahead of the 2017 #dakar is that they come to South America with a brand-new car, the fearsome #peugeot #3008dkr.
A year ago it was Stéphane, Monsieur #dakar himself, who secured the trophy for #peugeot with his 12th win at the prestigious #rally. While Stéphane drives for win 13, his countrymen Cyril and Sébastien have accelerated their own rally-raid educations this year with impressive displays at the Silk Way #rally. Then there's former #dakar winner Carlos who has collected an amazing 29 stage wins at the world's toughest #rally and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon
Last time out Stéphane's #peugeot was joined on the final podium by a MINI and a Toyota and these two brands are back on the attack with strong driver line-ups of their own. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA) and Giniel De Villiers (RSA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER)will be #racing with Toyota Gazoo #racing as they get behind the controls of the Hilux in South America. These formable pairings already have a total of three #dakar wins between them as well as the unquenchable desire to grab victory once more.
The threat coming from MINI's operation within the bivouac includes Kuba Przygoński (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) and Bryce Menzies (USA)/Peter Mortensen (USA). Kuba will be out to maintain Team ORLEN's proud tradition of bringing home Polish pilots in the Top 10 on two and four wheels. Meanwhile, Bryce is set for his #dakar debut and will be the first American in six years to undertake the legendary race with the backing of a factory team. A 29 year-old native of Las Vegas, Menzies has been a dominant force in #offroad since breaking into the sport in 2007, racking up numerous wins and championships in various classes. Bryce made history in August of this year when he set the World Record for farthest distance jumped in a #truck when he launched his Pro 2 #offroad #truck 379.4 feet (115.6 metres) over a New Mexico ghost town. [Watch Bryce in #offroad documentary Driving Dirty: The Road to the Baja 1000 on Red Bull TV.]
We'll also be looking out for the challenge undertaken by Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT)/Xavier Panseri (FRA). The Qatari has impressed with recent quad bike performances but now he makes the switch to compete in the #dakar car class for the first time.
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