Nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb is set to make his Dakar rally debut next January with Peugeot.

Loeb has finally arranged an agreement to race at the legendary cross-country rally and will join Peugeot 2008DKR's impressive driver line-up.

The Frenchman will make his return to rallying next month (October 3-9) at Rallye du Maroc in Morocco alongside ex-team-mate Carlos Sainz before taking on the Dakar rally in January, where he will also partner Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres.

The 41-year-old, who currently competes in the World Touring Car Championship with Citroen, says he is relishing the endurance challenge Dakar poses and is delighted to finally take on the event.

"The Dakar is completely different from the racing I'm doing at the moment," Loeb said. "It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It's another approach to racing but I'll discover that in January.

"I only discovered motor sport when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motor sports and Dakar is one of them. I think it's a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert."

In preparation for Dakar Loeb will contest Rallye du Maroc in the 2015-specification Peugeot machine while Sainz will drive the latest Peugeot 2008DKR16 edition. Loeb will also be reunited with his former WRC co-driver Daniel Elena for Morocco and Dakar.

"When I tried the Peugeot 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me - and of course it has changed a lot since then," Loeb added. "What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience.

"In the WRC I have been used to going around obstacles, but with this car you can just drive straight over them and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it.

"Dakar is something that appeals to me, it is a huge adventure. The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn."


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