Dakar Rally 2008 - 2011

Steve Dii

JF-Expert Member
Jun 25, 2007
Sad news for the regions and participants...

Organizers cancel the Dakar Rally

Story Highlights
-The Dakar Rally, due to start on Saturday, is called off
-The French Government had warned of dangers in Mauritania
-French tourists had been assassinated amidst terrorist activity
-The rally was scheduled to pass through Mauritania for nine days

LISBON, Portugal -- The Dakar Rally has been called off a day before it was due to get under way, because of security fears.

The race was scheduled to start in Lisbon on Saturday but the murder of four French tourists in Mauritania on December 24 led to the French government advising against any travel to the country.

Nine of the rally's stages were due to pass through Mauritania from January 11-19 before the event finished in Dakar on January 20.

"Following several consultations with the French government - in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - and taking into account its firm recommendations, the organizers of the Dakar have taken the decision to cancel the 2008 edition of the rally scheduled for January 5-20 between Lisbon and the Senegalese capital," the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) said in a statement.

The ASO said there had been "direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups."

It is the first time in its 30-year history that the controversial race has failed to go ahead and it is likely to cast doubts over future editions.

After the killing of the tourists in Mauritania on December 24, the French government advised all its nationals, and the Dakar participants, that the country was unsafe for travel.

Many of the competitors had already arrived for technical checks after Rally organizers and participants had initially said that they were prepared to take the risk.

But the pressure increased early Friday with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner saying: "We are warning them - it is dangerous.

"I hope that they have understood, but it's their business, they are a private organization."

Apart from the deaths of the tourists there have been concerns that an Al-Qaeda group is active in northern Africa and could target the high-profile race.

The Mauritanian government said the shooting of the French tourists and a separate attack on a military base that left three soldiers dead were isolated incidents and that claims of an Al-Qaeda plot had yet to be substantiated.

Mali had already been excluded from the race for security reasons.

Daniel Bilalian of France-Televisions, a TV partner of the rally, told Europe-1 radio that "wisdom had prevailed".

He added: "There were risks, warnings had been given ... if the slightest thing, the slightest incident had happened in Mauritania, not to mention accidents or attacks, then the whole credibility of ASO would have been called into question and ASO could not allow that."

Source: CNN.com

Organisers of the 2009 Dakar Rally have confirmed plans for the new-look event, which will take place in South America for the first time next January.
The 9,000km loop course will start and finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Starting on 3 January, competitors will race south to Patagonia, into the Andes mountains and then Chile's Atacama desert, before the finale on the 18th.

This year's rally did not take place after four French tourists were murdered in Mauritania in December.

The exact route of the 2009 event has not been finalised.

Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne said: "The Atacama desert, Patagonia and the Andes will provide daunting obstacles.

"There will also be sand as that's something typical of the Dakar Rally. In Argentina and Chile we are certain to find all the ingredients that make up the Dakar."

Eight of the 15 stages of the rally are usually held in the north-west African country.

The event's organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation, said there had been "direct threats against the race issued by terrorist groups".

It was necessary to take a break in Africa... the fact the resumption is on a new continent is good news

Mitsubishi Motorsport chief Dominique Serieys

Competitors will be able to sign up for next year's edition from 15 May.

"Signing-up priority will be given to the Dakar 2008 competitors," said Etienne Lavigne, director of the Dakar Rally.

Dominique Serieys, head of Mitsubishi Motorsport, the sporting subsidiary of the Japanese manufacturer unbeaten on the Dakar since 2001, said the announcement that the 2009 edition would go ahead in South America was timely.

"It's good news, one month after the cancellation of the 2008 rally," said Serieys.

"Mitsuibishi will announce its decision at the end of February or beginning of March. In principle we're very interested.

"It was necessary to take a break in Africa given the geopolitical context there. The fact the resumption is on a new continent is good news.

"We've already taken part in the Atacama Rally and the Las Pampas Rally. Chile and Argentina are countries where there are great varieties of terrain."
Organisers of the Dakar Rally say they hope to bring the event back to Africa by 2012.
Amaury Sports Organization owner Patrice Clerc said that the race would return when security was not an issue.

"We're totally dependent on the geopolitical situation," he said. "I don't know if it will be permissible for us to return by 2011 or 2012."

The 2008 race was cancelled 24 hours before the start in February because of security concerns.

Al-Qaida-linked militants killed a family of French tourists in Mauritania on 24 December, where eight of the 15 stages were set to be staged.

The 2009 event will be run from 3-18 January in Argentina and Chile, the first time in the race's 30-year history it will not run its traditional route.

Day 5

Motorcyclist dies at Dakar Rally

Terry went missing during the second stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday
French motorcyclist Pascal Terry has been found dead three days after going missing during the Dakar Rally.

The 49-year-old had not been seen since Sunday's stage between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn, with the race being held in South America for the first time.
However, he was found dead overnight after the fourth stage of the race.

"He was found in a very inaccessible area 15m from his bike," organisers said. "He had taken off his helmet and taken shelter with food and water."

Police were carrying out an investigation to determine the cause of death.
Terry is the first fatal casualty at this year's race which started in Buenos Aires on 3 January and finishes back in the Argentine capital on 17 January.

However, the race has already left British driver Paul Green and his navigator Matthew Harrison in a serious condition in hospital after their car overturned during Saturday's stage.

The 30th edition of the rally is being held in Argentina and Chile instead of Africa because of security concerns in Mauritania which forced the cancellation of last year's event.
Day 5:

Bike Standing

2 002 COMA (ESP) - KTM


4 020 LOPEZ (CHL) - KTM





3 301 SAINZ (ESP)

4 308 MILLER (USA)

5 304 ROMA (ESP)
Dakar over for Al Attiyah


Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah and his co-driver Tina Thörner leave the race at the end of the sixth stage leading to Mendoza. The Qatari driver won stage 6 but lost any possibility to go on in the race as he skipped the way points at the beginning of the special stage. "We had a problem with the radiator at the end of the stage in San Rafael. In spite of all the work done by our mechanics, our engine still overheated at the beginning of the sand dunes today.

Nasser could choose between crossing the sand dune and going around them. He chose the second solution, so he missed several way points and, according to the race regulations, this implies an automatic exclusion from the race" explained Sven Quandt, manager of the X-Raid Team in the end of the afternoon in Mendoza anticipating the decision of the race marshalls.

Nasser Al Attiyah won the 1st and 3rd stages of the 2009 Dakar and was leading the overall standing after stage 1 and stage 5
Spanish pilot Marc Coma is seen with his KTM 690 during the stage 'Puerto Madryn-Ingeniero Jacobacci' of the Rally Dakar Argentina-Chile 2009, in Rio Negro, Argentina, 05 January 2009.
The rally goes until next 18th January with 230 bikes, 30 quadriclycles, 188 cars and 82 trucks, that try to finish a track of 9,574 kilometers between Argentina and Chile. EPA/Luis Zabreg
Leo ni siku ya Mapumziko, kesho mashine zipo barabarani kama kawa kwa stage 8


For the first time, the 2009 Dakar takes place on the American continent. The race has reached Valparaiso where the contenders enjoy a days of rest. 139 bikes, 15 quads, 95 cars and 70 trucks (the race stewards are deliberating on the possibility of letting though some competitors) have arrived half-way. Marc Coma has taken an option on the victory in the bikes category whilst Carlos Sainz is leading the race with his Volkswagen.



Two major factors influenced the beginning of the race in the bike category: the domination of Marc Coma and the tire problems of some favorites as soon as the rally started. After 371 km of special, Coma already boasted a 41’ lead over Cyril Despres, 1:01 over David Casteu and 1:28 over Francisco López, his three declared rivals at the start of the 2009 Dakar in Buenos Aires. Their tires did not resist the hardness of the roads. The riders had a hard time finding the best option between foam bibs that heat up quickly and tubes that are prone to punctures.

Two days later, on his way to Jacobacci, the title holder Cyril Despres lost an additional hour, again due to a tire problem. Marc Coma, for his part, was spared, except for 15 minutes lost due to a puncture in stage 5, which had no impact on the Spanish rider’s results, since he has dominated all the way to Valparaiso. Coma won 3 specials and currently has a 51-minute lead in the overall standings over Jonah Street. Besides this excellent position in the overall standings, the American rider has also clinched a stage win, reached the top 10 six times and even the top 5 in four stages!

David Frétigné also showed great regularity during the first half of the rally arriving in the top 10 in all the stages. He is the other good surprise of this 2009 Dakar. Moreover, the French rider did not seem to expect such a good position in the overall standings with his “small” 450cc on the trails of Argentina. The Yamaha rider is 52’ behind Coma but leads his category and is more than one and a half hour ahead of the Brazilian rider José Helio Rodrigues Filho.

Three ladies started the race in Buenos Aires, and two are still going. However, Christina Meier had to withdraw when she broke her engine in stage 2. The category is lead by Myriam Pol from the Netherlands who is 47th in the overall standings, with a 4-hour lead over Annie Seel. The small but tough Swedish rider remains strong in spite of all her difficulties in the last three stages.

The Chilean rider Juan Pablo Zegers Correa is leading the bike trunk category with his Honda and is 54th in the overall standings. But his lead is a very short as he is only 1’23 ahead of Italian rider Miotto and 3’20 over Frenchman Carillon. Jakob Przygonski is the first rookie of the 2009 Dakar with his 14th position.

Out of the 25 quads leaving Buenos Aires, 15 have reached Valparaiso. Between the two cities, the race in new category created this year has been breathtaking with the rookie Christophe Declerck, who led the race during the first four days with two stage victories. Then Machacek and Gonzalez, who are both former winners, took the lead again from the 5th stage on. The Spanish quad rider took the lead of the general standings for two days before withdrawing with the Frenchman during stage 7 leaving Machacek in a favourable position. Marcos Patronelli, for his part, won the first quad victory for Argentina.


The scenario after seven days of the race leaves no room for doubt: Volkswagen has never been closer to putting one of its Race Touaregs on the top of the final Dakar podium. With three cars in the first three places of the general standings, 29 minutes between them and their nearest rival for the title, five special stages won on the way to Valparaiso, their adversaries decimated and mechanical proficiency that seems to have gained in maturity, it is difficult to see just how the first place might be torn from the grasp of Carlos Sainz, Giniel De Villiers or why not Mark Miller.

The ‘knock-out’ stages began with the first special, in which Hiroshi Masuoka was soon eliminated from the battle, forced to crawl into Santa Rosa at the end of a tow-rope before abandoning the race. After that, it was with the Andes Mountains on the horizon that the Mitsubishi clan, already suffering in the general standings, received two consecutive sledgehammer blows. On the Mendoza stage, Luc Alphand, stuck in the swamps with his Lancer, was forced to drop out following the health problems of his co-pilot Gilles Picard. The following day, it was the turn of Stéphane Peterhansel to withdraw. The title holder, who had already rolled the car tip over tail, a new experience he will not be wanting to repeat, had his race cut short due to an overheating engine. Lone ranger Roma, 4th in the general standings, is now the only hope in the rally for the diamond-brand constructor, and is looking to take advantage of any mishaps that may occur during the decisive first two steps after the rest day.

The X-Raid BMW Team is not in position to steal the show from the Race Touaregs. Guerlain Chicherit, the unofficial and ephemeral leader with the two best intermediate times in the first stage, came unstuck on the very same day. What’s more Nasser Al Attiyah, with two special stages, disqualified himself by avoiding the dunes at the end of the Mendoza stage. Also suffering from an overheating engine, the Qatari arrived at the bivouac with a rather incomplete road-sheet, leading to a compulsory disqualification at a time when he was dominating the general standings. In these conditions, Robby Gordon, who nobody took seriously when he proclaimed his ambitions of victory in Buenos Aires, is starting to look like a credible pretender for a place on the podium: he is currently in fifth position.

The main threat hanging over the German constructor could come from an internal battle that their drivers may embark upon on the return journey. Carlos Sainz is currently only nine seconds ahead of his team-mate Giniel De Villiers, whereas the 13 minute gap between “El Matador” Sainz and Mark Miller does not count the American out in light of the difficulties still lying in wait for the competitors. The high stakes in play could lead team director Kris Nissen to impose strict instructions to his drivers to avoid them getting involved in too dangerous a game.

The mid-way state of play in the Production category shows just as stark domination, this time from the Toyota drivers, who occupy the first four places. In particular, the competitiveness of the T2s is especially elevated and intense, because Nicolas Gibon, the category leader, is in 20th place in the general standings. Furthermore, his two pursuers in the T2 category, Xavier Foj and Ronan Chabot, are more than an hour behind him. In total, the leading five T2 cars are all in the Top 30 of the race.

In the truck race, the Russians dominated the first part of this rally. Always at the forefront, they soon only had Gerard de Rooy as a rival, because, whilst the victory of Marcel Van Vliet pointed to a more open race, the competition soon turned into a stand-off between Kabirov and Chagin on the one hand and Gerard De Rooy on the other. Title holder Hans Stacey has gone from mishap to mishap, with three flat tires in three days and now finds himself in 20th place more than 16 hours off the leader. In spite of two stage wins, De Rooy only boasted a 13 second lead over Firdaus Kabirov in the general standings after stage 5. However, the very next day Chagin won the special stage and Kabirov took over the lead in the general standings. The three drivers are separated by 25 minutes at the start of the second week.

Carlos Sainz of Spain drives his Volkswagen during the 8th stage of the Dakar 2009, between Valparaiso and La Serena, Chile. Carlos Sainz won the stage and kept the lead in the race. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

The interior of Spain's Nani Roma's Mitsubishi is seen as a mechanic works on it
Stage 10:


The longest special stage of the Dakar ended up shorter due to the low lift level of the sand. But on the remaining 476km of the stage, the contenders did still have to face the huge sand dunes of the Atacama desert plus some navigation tests as well. In the bike category, Jordi Viladoms benefited from the dubious navigation of the first starters and enjoyed his first stage victory in this edition of the Dakar. Marc Coma glued to the wheel of Despres remains leader in the general standings. In the car category, Carlos Sainz - who gets here his sixth stage victory of the year - has reaffirmed his superiority on sand included. In the truck category, Vladimir Chagin confirms his domination by winning a 4th special stage.

It’s under slightly clouded skies that the bikers started stage 10 this morning, a large loop starting and finishing at the splendid Copiapo bivouac. Starting 5th today, it took about 100km to Cyril Despres to catch up on the four riders driving in front of him, i.e. Verhoeven, Frétigné, Coma and Lopez. The title holder recorded the best clocks at each of the four first CP.

But after km 300, the situation changed radically. In the lead of the stage, Cyril Despres had his main contenders e.g. Coma and Lopez in his wheel and drove them - and himself - astray. By a way of consequence, Viladoms and Duclos who had started the stage later benefited from the error and achieved best clocks at km 423 with some significant lead over the top riders in the general standings.

All that remains was the trickiest line of sand dunes but the two bikers in the lead passed it without trouble. Having won a stage in Zouerat two years ago, Jordi Viladoms now gets his second stage success in a Dakar raid. He arrived in front of Franco-Malian biker Alain Duclos who is 1’06" behind the winner and Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues at 8’29".

In the general standings, Coma’s strategy of tailing Despres paid off again despite the navigation error of the Frenchman. The Catalan looses 3’37" on two-time Dakar winner but wins some ground over David Frétigné, now at 1h24’. The Yamaha rider also had the opportunity of enjoying a long time of going astray and as to the Despres, he is now 1h31’ behind the Catalan leader.

More here


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De Villiers claims Dakar victory



Giniel de Villiers has become the first South African to win the Dakar Rally after winning the 15th and final stage.

De Villiers held a narrow two-minute lead but ended just under nine minutes ahead of team-mate Mark Miller as the race finished in Buenos Aires.
Nascar star Robby Gordon was third while De Villiers's victory in the Volkswagen ended Mitsubishi's rule in the Dakar Rally since 2001.
In the motorbike section Marc Coma beat champion Cyril Despres by over an hour.

The 31st Dakar Rally was held in South America after the 2008 race was cancelled because of fears of terrorist attacks in Mauritania.
"This is an incredible feeling," De Villiers said after 48 hours of racing.
"Even though I've ended up winning the Dakar that was not staged in Africa, which is home to me, it was definitely a genuine Dakar Rally, and the toughest edition I've ever contested."

Mitsubishi, meanwhile, have vowed to bounce back after surrendering their seven-year winning record in the event.
Of a possible 13 stage wins, Volkswagen won 10.
"We will work as hard as possible and invest everything to be ready for 2010 and make sure that we can win back the title," said Mitsubishi team director Dominique Serieys.

...wanani bore sana kusema Dakar wakati hayakupita Senegal!
Dakar... sasa ni trade mark ya mashindano dizai hii, Sio ajabu miaka mingine ikafanyika huko Asia kwa jina hili hili la Dakar. Taratibu wanaanza kulitohoa kama neno safari
Dakar Rally 2010 (Argentina Chile)

South America is the location once again as drivers travel a total distance of 9000 kilometres over the roads, tracks, mountains and the deserts of Argentina and Chile. Competitors will battle it out over 14 stages: the loop to cover, anti-clockwise, will include a thorough visit of the Atacama Desert and its gigantic dunes.

With 184 bikes and quads, 138 cars and 50 trucks, the race remains the most attractive in the world.

In the cars, French Stéphane Peterhansel will be aiming for a fourth win while in the bike class, the winners of the last four editions, Spain's Marc Coma and France's Cyril Despres (both KTM) will be challenged by Chilean Francisco Chaleco Lopez (Aprilia), French David Frétigné, 3rd last year (Yamaha) and David Casteu (Sherco).

Stage one of the 2010 Dakar Rally involves a 700km route from Buenos Aires to Cordoba.

Stage two sees drivers embark upon blind jumps and a series of fast bends over the 700km route from Cordoba to La Rioja.

Stage three involves a switch from earth to sand as they race over 400km from La Rioja to Fiambala. Crews will also face a change in climate and likely sand storms.

At stage four drivers will cross the border from Argentina to Chile as they race from Fiambalato to Copiapo, involving an altitude over 4000m and a big drop in temperatures.

For stage five drivers travel from Copiapo to Antofagasta. This 670km route will test crews mentally and physically as they tackle the rocky tracks and off-road sections.

Stage six is a 600km race from Antofagasta to Iquique, where dust will require crews to be cautious. After climbing the final dune, competitors will face a downhill sand slide.

Stage seven will be the longest and most varied special of the course sees drivers leave Iquique and return to Antofagasta. Crews will face sand dunes and huge blocks of dry salt.

Stage eight will see competitors cover 568km as they travel from Antofagasta to Copiapo. Along the way they will endure rocky terrain, and demanding sand dunes.

Stage nine sees drivers journey 547km from Copiapo to La Serena. The last day in the Atacama with the first 180km likely to prove most testing, this will however identify the race front runners.

Stage 10 is a 586km race from La Serena to Santiago. On the many hills competitors will have to get used to more sinuous tracks where mistakes are likely to cost valuable time.

Stage 11 involves taking a 434km trip from Santiago to San Juan. Drivers pass through the Paso Libertadores at an altitude of 3,500m, before passing over the hill tops of the Andes.

Stage 12 is the longest of the rally as participants travel 796km from San Juan to San Rafael. The second part sees drivers endure sandy terrain and jumps, sure to test the 2-wheel riders.

Drivers travel 725km from San Rafael to Santa Rosa in the penultimate stage. Overall standings can still change, and no-one will want to get stuck in the grey sands of the Nihuil dunes.

The final stage of the rally sees competitors cover 707km from Santa Rosa to Buenos Aires. The 206km of special, covered on very fast tracks therefore have to be negotiated extremely carefully.

Dakar 2010 - Dakar Rally director predicts classic edition


Dakar Rally director Etienne Lavigne expects this years' event to be a classic as the racers prepare to set out from Buenos Aires for 16 days of desert duelling.

"As with wines there are different vintages but this one should be a 'grand cru' for the cars and bikes. I've got a good feeling about it," said Lavigne.

He added that in his pre-race visit to the start he "came across many drivers who seemed very happy about the course".

With Argentina hosting the race for the second straight year after political instability in Africa forced the cancellation of the 2008 edition, Lavigne said security was paramount.

"My priority is that things go ahead in good secure conditions, but it must also be interesting and competitive in the sporting sense.
"There will be a big crowd on Friday - we've done all we can to ensure that it's a success."

Lavigne said that new technical modifications would likely mean a heightened battle for Marc Coma's motorcycling crown, but added that "where the cars are concerned the competitors' primary adversary will be the terrain" with 5000km of special stages in the 900km race.

"Last year (Spaniard Carlos) Sainz lost the Dakar after an accident three days from the end," he said. "This year we'll be into the dunes from day three and so there could be some large (time) gaps opening up quite quickly. And also some surprises. It promises to be very open."

Regarding the choice of venue for 2011, Lavigne said he would wait and see how this edition worked out, in terms of racer satisfaction, financially and also the level of media interest.

He noted: "The Dakar gets more exposure in South America than Africa. Last year we had 1,130 hours of TV coverage TV as against 930 two years earlier in Africa. We have to keep all these elements in perspective."

Asked about the possibility of a renewed venue switch, Lavigne said: "It's 50-50. If we left here it would be more for eastern Africa - Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Further down, in Niger and Chad, it's more complicated."
...wanani bore sana kusema Dakar wakati hayakupita Senegal!
...tumeibiwa jina hapo. I don't think Dakar are getting any monetary gains
for "letting" their name be used in this instance.

Mfano mwengine ni hapa marekani kuna bar kadhaa nishaziona zina jina eti
'Zanzi-bar'...kisha wanasema eti ni trademark name?...Jina letu jamani la
uswahilini pia wanalipigia kelele. Western capitalism sometimes sucks.
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