Stephane Peterhansel: no pressure to claim 12th Dakar Rally win
|By David Evans||Friday, January 3rd 2014, 16:02 GMT|
Eleven-time Dakar Rally winner Stephane Peterhansel is not putting any pressure on himself to score a 12th win in the 2014 event.
Peterhansel says his preparation in and out of the car has been as good as ever as he chases a third successive victory for his X-raid Mini team.
"If you take the pressure then you feel it in the whole body," Peterhansel told AUTOSPORT.
"And if I do that then it makes the race hard.
"I am relaxed. Winning one more or not winning one more is not going to make a big difference to me."
Peterhansel admitted he had no intention of stopping racing any time soon.
"I have a passion for these events and I have a passion for the speed," he said, "so why would I want to stop?"
The Frenchman added that he expected the 2014 event to be the toughest Dakar ever in South America.
"For this year the organisers have given us more kilometres and made the [checkpoint] places harder to find," he explained.
"They made it a bit more complicated again this year. It's not the same rally it was in Africa, it's more of a long sprint now, but this year it will be more intense."
The Frenchman doubts the Dakar will ever return to Africa.
"I don't think it is possible now," he added.
"We had the problem with the terrorist four or five years ago and while this might be better, I don't think so - I think it's got worse now."
The 2014 Dakar Rally starts from Rosario, central Argentina on Saturday January 5 and ends a fortnight later in Chile.