RACING NEWS

Despres and Peterhansel Grab Dakar Championship

Despres and Peterhansel Grab Dakar Championship image

Text: / Photos: Dakar Press | posted January 16, 2012 14:34

Peterhansel captures 10th career Dakar victory on MINI All4

Frenchmen Cyril Despres and Stéphane Peterhansel took their fourth and tenth Dakars respectively. The champions were applauded on the podium on Lima's Plaza de Armas by a huge crowd which came to acclaim both the competitors and the arrival of the greatest rally raid in the world to Lima's capital. All in all, 97 motorcycles, 12 quads, 78 cars and 60 trucks made it to the finishing line of the 33rd Dakar.

In the car category, it was already evident at the start of the competition that Frankfurt-based Monster X-Raid would be the favored winner having the best hardware and drivers, and true enough, it did. In the end, the Frankfurt-based team won eight stages out of thirteen with four different pilots on their MINI All 4 Racing vehciles, with Stéphane Peterhansel dominating the competition with a 41'56” gap between him teammate Joan "Nani" Roma. South African driver Giniel De Villiers completed the top three aboard his Toyota Hilux with Imperial Toyota. A notable finisher would be the lone Chinese entry, a Great Wall Haval driven by Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa, which completed the event in 7th overall.

After covering 8,300 kilometers on roads, courses and dunes since the start in Mar del Plata, Cyril Despres made a 53'20" gap between him and Marc Coma securing his fourth title in Lima. One more than his great rival in the elite of this sport. Once again, the extremely close race between the two champions proved that one has to be an all-rounder in order to win a Dakar.

Alejandro Patronelli managed to get back-to-back wins on the quad category with a time of 05:01:51. Dutch driver Gerard de Rooy reclaimed himself after a painful exit in last year's Dakar Rally as he takes first place for the truck category with Iveco.

The Dakar Rally remains to be one of the most grueling races in the world from its first staging in 1978 by founder Thierry Sabine.