The 39th outing gets underway on January 2 in Asunción, Paraguay. Here’s what you need to know in advanced:
- How do I drive at speed and drink?
- How do you go to the loo when you’re racing?
- Where do I sleep?
- How am I going to sleep?
- Why do I have to get up at 4am?
- What’s the food like?
- What do I wear?
- Who’s going to do my laundry?
- Where do I wash?
- What do the doctors treat?
Bivouac Rule 1: Rocky ground for your pop-up tent is better than a bed an hour’s drive away.
Rule 2: Avoid hotspots like toilets, showers and food distribution centres.
Rule 3: Avoid big teams as they attract a lot of attention.
Rule 4: Avoid gentlemen drivers/riders as they often spend the night fettling their hard-pressed charges.
Rule 5: Avoid generators.
Rule 6: Avoid jolly people.
Rule 7: Basically, avoid everyone.
Because you won’t cover nigh-on 8,500km in just two weeks otherwise.
Good question. You’ll have to cope with temperatures from freezing to +40˚C. Jackets with a good inner lining and body-warmers provide excellent protection against cold. You’re going to sweat whatever.
Like the Peugeot 3008 DKR, a marked improvement on the winning 2008 DKR from last year. The regulations favour rear-wheel drive, so Peugeot have dispensed with all-wheel drive. Air to the twin-turbo diesel engine is restricted, but it still generates 340hp and can reach speeds of 200kph. At 46cm, the 3008 DKR’s springs are so big that in theory it could drive over an armchair and the drivers wouldn’t feel it. It takes seconds to get the spare wheels out in case of a breakdown, and the car is lighter and better-balanced than in 2016. It all looks good for a successful title defence.