For manufacturers, motorsport is like a testing ground –

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Peugeot Sport Engineered. Photo by the authors of the report

Peugeot has been best known for its team’s achievements in the Dakar Rally Marathon in recent years. Motorsport enthusiasts watch the car’s racers perform at the World RX Championship (World RX), with sentiments remembering the spectacular starts at the World Rally Championship (WRC).

The classic rally has always been close to a French company. This is also evidenced by the fact that the car of the Orlen Lietuva rally, which has become a part of the Lithuanian championship calendar this year, will be the Peugeot. Most fans of the brand probably still remember the silver 206 WRC with which Marcus Grönholm in 2002. won his second WRC champion title. At the event, which will take place on July 9-10, Peugeot cars will have a slightly different task – they will be driven by judges who take care of the safety of the track.

Experience is transferred to series production

Vitalijus Plastininas, the organizer of Orlen Lietuva Rally 2021, the head of Mažeikiai ASK, said that the club maintains contacts with the Peugeot Sport unit, therefore there was no hesitation in choosing the rally car. The club participates not only in classic rally competitions, but also in ring races. At both events, the club’s racers drive Peugeot cars: on the day of the rally they will sit in a 208 RC prepared according to the requirements of the N5 class, and in the ring – 308 RC.

“In the competition, cars are needed for judges and employees who ensure the safety of the tracks. As we are the rally organizers ourselves, we have not even considered any options other than Peugeot. Viewers will see cars of this brand quite often on the track, “said the interlocutor.

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Mr Plastinin pointed out that Peugeot’s engine performance was increased and displaced not only in series-produced cars but also in rally cars. While some competitors in individual classes remained loyal to atmospheric 2-liter engines, the French company switched to turbine engines. smaller volume units.

The latest Peugeot 208 Rally 4 model for rally tracks features a 1.2-liter PureTech turbine engine with 205 hp and 290 Nm of torque. The specific power ratio of 171 hp per liter of displacement looks impressive. The engines tested on the tracks under extreme conditions are subsequently dismantled, and the results of the research allow to increase the reliability of the engines installed in the series models.

Peugeot’s experience in motorsport has also led to advanced solutions to increase body stiffness. The stronger body not only makes the new products safer, but also stands out with enviable handling characteristics.

The cleverness of exploiting what has the best

Looking at Plastinin’s results in recent years, Peugeot Sport’s achievements in Dakar look particularly impressive. Peugeot DKR 2008 and later DKK 3008 crews drove off the wins in the most challenging rally marathon for three years in a row – from 2016 to 2018 . The program was later discontinued, but private teams that have purchased buggies are still showing good results, even without the support of producers.

“These cars are still competitive, even though they were built five years ago. The memories of the victories of the rally raids are still quite vivid. This achievement was especially memorable for Lithuanians, because the interest in the Dakar Rally Marathon in our country is huge, “the rally organizer noted.

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In the 3008 DKR victory rally marathon, for fans of motorsport who remember the old days, it was like a return to the past. Considered one of the most successful rally cars of all time, the Peugeot 205 T16 was not placed in a museum after the WRC championship and racing championships won in 1985 and 1986. Group B rally monsters were banned, but Peugeot engineers converted the 205 T16 into an ultra-fast rally. raids SUV.

The debut of the legendary Finnish racer Ari Vatanen in the 1987 Dakar Rally Marathon was not easy – technical problems had to be solved, but in the end it was won. The next year in Dakar, the fastest was again the Peugeot 205 T16 Dakar, driven by another Finn Juha Kankkunen.

Courage to take risks and try again

Returning to the rally marathon after a 25-year hiatus was by no means easy for Peugeot. In 2015, the team surprised everyone with an unconventional solution – in 2008 the DKR SUV chose one rear-wheel drive instead of a four-wheel drive system and fitted a diesel engine. The debut was not successful, but improved a year later. the car became lower, wider and developed more power at low revs. In 2016, Stephane Peterhansel, who drove a Peugeot 2008 DKR, won the rally marathon by as much as 34 minutes.

Peugeot’s philosophy that a four-wheel drive system is not required in all situations has also been applied in the production of mass-produced models. This solution has simplified the car’s design and reduced fuel consumption.

The French manufacturer is not afraid to test its strength in new motor sports as well. 2013 A stunning-looking Peugeot 208 T16 car was prepared for the legendary Pikes Peak climbing race. The installed 3.2-liter V6 engine had a capacity of 875 hp and weighed just 875 kg. 2013 Sebastien Loeb, who drove this car on June 30, improved the previous record by more than a minute.

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Peugeot plans to return to long-distance Le Mans series racing in 2022. Peugeot Sport engineers are already preparing a four-wheel-drive sports car with a hybrid power output of 500 kW, which will make its debut in the new LHM class. Their experience will be used to develop a similarly designed 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered street sports sedan.