President's Report - February 2016
Welcome back. I hope that all members have had an enjoyable and automotively trouble-free summer break. With so many other people on holiday, Sue and I prefer not to travel during the summer school holidays and we spent a quiet Christmas in Canberra.
The first club meeting of the year will be held at 8pm on Tuesday 23rd February at the Raiders Weston Club, with dinner and drinks from 7 pm. Meteorologically speaking, the days and nights are very pleasant, as we move towards autumn, so I encourage members to take advantage of ‘Goldilocks’ driving conditions – not too hot and not to cold – and join us at the Weston Club. There will also be a club BBQ in March at a place and time to be advised and the club will provide food and beverages. An email notice will be sent to members immediately following the club meeting.
I enjoyed watching the Australian Open Tennis in January. Several Australian players enjoyed moderate success, but it has been many years since an Australian player won the men’s or women’s singles title. This year, the men’s title was won by the seemingly unstoppable Novak Djokovic, wearing a highly visible Peugeot logo on his shirt.
Peugeot also had another notable sporting achievement, in January, winning the 2016 Dakar Rally in South America. The famous Paris-Dakar Rally, first held in 1978, not surprisingly ran from Paris to Dakar, in Senegal. Peugeot enjoyed strong success, winning in four consecutive years (1987-1990) before the marque pulled out of rallying to focus on other motorsports. However, with increasing security threats in North Africa, in 2009 the event was moved to South America, although it was, and still is, called the Dakar Rally.
There are four classes of vehicles in the Dakar – bikes, quads, cars and trucks. In this years race the Peugeot 2008 DKR dominated the race in the cars category, winning 9 out of 12 stages. The winning driver for Team Peugeot Total was Stephane Peterhansel, who had previously won the event in 1991, 1992, 1993 1995, 1997 and 1998 (in the bike category) and again in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012 and 2013 (cars, but not Pugs), making him the most successful competitor in the history of the rally.
The Peugeot 2008 DKR looks like something out of a Mad Max film – a vehicle that can go anywhere anytime in the harshest terrain, at breakneck speed. It is therefore somewhat surprising to discover that the DKR is 2-wheel drive (rear wheel drive), competing in a class which has been generally dominated by 4WD vehicles.
However, competition rules allow 2WD vehicles to be lighter and have larger wheels, both of which provide advantages over 4WD in certain terrain types. In winning the 2016 Dakar Rally, the 2008 DKR became the first diesel-powered 2WD to win the event in its 27-year history.
Meanwhile back in Australia, the annual Peugeot Pageant is looming and will be hosted by the NSW club at Oberon, in the Blue Mountains. The pageant will be held over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of April, two weeks after Easter.
As in previous years, most participants will arrive on the Friday and depart on the Monday. Sue and I have paid our registration fee and booked a room at The Big Trout Motel, where the pageant will be based. All the usual pageant events will be held, including a concours, motorkhana and observation run, with points scored in each event being counted towards the club championship.
The ACT club are the current holders of the motorkhana trophy and I hope we can retain that again this year. Much depends on a good turnout of club members, so I encourage any of you to participate for the glory of the club. I have no doubt that this will be well organised and fun weekend.
Keep on Pugging,