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Dakar 2021


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#1 Rodaknee

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 15:34

Starts on Saturday.  Eurosport are running preview programmes over the next couple of days.

 

https://www.dakar.com/en/

 

 



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#2 Branislav

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 16:25

So Mini vs Toyota

 

Loeb is there too

 

I will watch :cool:



#3 HistoryFan

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Posted 30 December 2020 - 17:30

Al Attiyah should be favorite. The speed maximum of 180 km/h will boost the 4x4 and will hurt the Buggys.



#4 Branislav

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 10:48

Did you know that Kris Meeke is driving

 

https://www.dakar.co.../competitor/380



#5 Alex79

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Posted 31 December 2020 - 17:17

Yup, a light prototype, somewhere between an SSV and a normal buggy. What kinda makes me laugh is in our town there is an Aixam dealer, who sells Microcars designed to look like their fullgrown brothers from Citroen. The same is the case with Meekes buggy, which is a kei car version of that Peugeot buggy that is now outlawed. Lucky for him he has Wouter Rosegaar as navigator, although I am wondering how far they are gonna get.

 

Not so many Dutch competitors this year, too many concerns with COVID, only nine in the trucks. The Firemen Team is present, bought an Iveco from De Rooy, just like Dustwarriors (actually a crew sponsored by a Wrecking and Demolition crew). Renault is the chief supplier with four trucks. Two trucks with Vd Brink, two also at the Riwald Team. Daf has three and the last one is a special case. Maurik vd Heuvel built his own like the Praga and Tatra from our CZ-friends Macik and Loprais. Tatra chassis, Scania heart, International cabin

 

200922_Dakarspeed.jpg?itok=fYHmUpr3


Edited by Alex79, 31 December 2020 - 17:30.


#6 Alex79

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 14:07

A small appetizer today for the Dakar field. After the ceremony, they have a prologue of 11km to get their feet wet.

 

Nasser Al Attiyah looks like he is the fastest in the Toyota, but according to live timing he has to share that position with an old quad-favorite of mine: Brian Baragwanath from South Africa started almost a football match later then the Qatari, but he managed to score the same time at the finish in a V8 powered Century Buggy: 5 minutes and 48 seconds. In 2016 in the South American Dakar Baragwanath was an amateur quad rider entrusted with a Eurosport "My Dakar" cam, going up against the gaucho's who were mostly quicker, but also bad at navigating. So he could stay in their trail a long time in the rally , won a stage and even managed to get a podium. Alas he broke an elbow in a crash and started to work for Century as an engineer. Now he's back driving in the Arabian desert with Taye Perry as a codriver, who drove her first Dakar last year on a bike. Mattieu Serradori already managed a stagewin in the same car last year, only that one had a Dodge SRT engine, this one is a Chevrolet.

 

https://i.prcdn.co/i...9PPIczq/jEMLg==

 

Behind the two leaders Yazeed Al Rahji was third as the first of three Overdrive Toyota's, Kuba Przygonski and Bernard Ten Brinke were 4th and fifth.For Carlos Sainz Sr the race started badly, he opened the stage but a problem with his rear tire made him end up 28th at 36sec distance. Sebastien Loeb brought the Prodrive Buggy home in 10th In the LV-class Chris Meeke and Wouter Rosegaar managed 'the appetizer' 2 secs quicker than Seth Quintero. Other interesting names in the category are Matias Ekstrom of DTM and Rallycross fame, who came home 16th and former F3000 and GT racer Tomas Enge who ended up 12th

In the Bikes Ricky Brabec picked up again where he left off, winning the prologue 6secs quicker than Joan Barreda and rookie Daniel Sanders

The Trucks are starting later, around 17 o clock.


Edited by Alex79, 02 January 2021 - 17:15.


#7 OvDrone

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 16:53

Try as I might to not get sucked into it because of it not continuing in South America, I still find myself somewhat stocked for this. Giving all my energy to my main dude in bikes - Toby Price and my main dude in cars - Sebastien Loeb.

 

Let's dune this.



#8 Alex79

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 17:22

Trucks also have their prologue done. The MAZ Torpedoes made it a 1-2: Sergei Viazovich 1st, Andrei Visnievski 2nd with 1 second difference. Martin Macik 3rd, Anton Shibalov fourth. Three Dutchies in de top10: Maurik vd Heuvel 5th in the International, the Renaults of Gert Huzink and Pascal de Baar 7th and 10th. Seems like the Vd Brink have done away with their Sherpa's. They switched back from Torpedoes to the front steering cab that Huzink's Hybrid Renault also uses. Martin vd Brink's son Mitchell breaks a record as youngest truck driver at 18yo. He drives a Volvo that's used as a rapid assistance truck

 

Edited, as I can take a hint :rotfl:

 

210102_dakarSpeed-1024x683.jpg


Edited by Alex79, 02 January 2021 - 18:36.


#9 Risil

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Posted 02 January 2021 - 17:25

Al Attiyah should be favorite. The speed maximum of 180 km/h will boost the 4x4 and will hurt the Buggys.

BOP has even reached the Dakar Rally! Is nothing sacred! Autosport says the X-Raid (Mini) boss says it was down to "intense lobbying" from Toyota, who have a four-wheel drive car. Although tbh rally raids shouldn't be decided by who can drive fast in a straight line. Oh well.

 

What I mostly like from this event is photos of big-ass trucks driving through the desert.



#10 Branislav

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 12:28

Mini 1-2 after Stage 1 :clap:

 

Looking upbeat



#11 Alex79

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 15:38

For some people stage 1 turned the situation a bit topsy-turvy 277km with lots of rocks and hard navigation.

 

At the bikes Ricky Brabec sinks like a stone. The American opened the stage, but searching for waypoints meant he lost 18 minutes already. All the KTM riders moved in from a later starter position, meaning they could read off the tracks and did not lose much time searching. Toby Price clocked the best time, his teammates Mattias Walkner and Sam Sunderland ended up 3rd on 30 secs and 4th on 2 minutes. Only Kevin Benavides squeezed in as 2nd, just ahead of Walkner. After half the stage it looked like Xavier de Soultrait was going to win. The Frenchman switched from a Yamaha factory bike, to the Dutch semi-pro Husqvarna team of Henk Hellegers, who also has enduro legend David Knight in his team. De Soultrait did lose a few minutes in the second part and clocked a sixth time at the finish.

 

For the cars it was a bit the same: the Mini's started later because of a slower prologue and the frontrunners lost time searching. Nasser Al Attiyah lost 12 minutes and comes in as 10th, Brian Baragwanath had an ever tougher time and lost 23 minutes, meaning he clocked a 21st time. Carlos Sainz and Stephane Peterhansel took up the hatchet again like last year. The Spaniard won the stage with 25 secs difference on Peterhansel. Behind the Mini's were Martin Prokop small but Mean Ford Raptor and the two Century Buggy's of Mattieu Serradori and Yasir Seidan. Adding the private Peugeot Buggy of Khalid al Quassimi (6th) Making it not only a 1-2 for Mini, but a 1-2-4-5-6 for the Buggy Navy. Prokop's Ford was the only 4WD in the top 5 and the first 4WD car home after him is 7th (Giniel de Villiers). Teammate Bernard ten Brinke explained the Toyota's were - again - having problems with their tires that are not holding up against the many rocks and stones in the route. Lowering buggy speeds through lobbying did not really help, should have lobbied for different tire compounds :p Two biggest losers until now seem to be Sebastien Loeb and Erik van Loon. The Prodrive buggies look stunning (they resemble a Jag with their bodyshell) but so far only Nani Roma is keeping up with the front (8th home) whereas Loeb came home a distant 22nd today. Van Loon is probably waiting for a towtruck. He was 10th after a few CP's but crashed and damaged the front of the car, badly

 

https://media.sport....90c20100-439135

 

Also waiting on a towtruck, Kris Meeke. It was going well until half of the stage, when something broke and a spare tyre caught fire. Good news, the crew is allright and the car is not destroyed completely. Damage is too severe to continue. Last news is they try to fix something in bivouac. Cristina Gutierrez Herrero won the stage, first female stagewin since Jutta Kleinschmidt in 2005

 

In the trucks there was heaven and hell for Kamaz. Last years winner Andre Karginov is out for the title after running into mechanical trouble which already cost him 90 minutes. Teammates Shibalov and Mardeev where at that points 1 and 2, until Mardeev lost 25 minutes. Dimitri Sotnikov stormed past and won the first real stage, 7m56s quicker than Ales Loprais in the Praga. Stage-opener Viazovich lost 10 minutes, but he clocked a 4th time. Former quad racer Ignacio Casale has switched to a Tatra truck this year and he did well: 6th today. Best Dutch trucker is Martin vd Brink in the new Renault truck. Mardeev limped home in 10th, 26 minutes behind. Maurik vd Heuvel got the International home 11th, after being in top5 for half the stage and then losing a lot of time in the last two CP's. Same story for the Hybrid Renault of Gert Huzink, running 3rd for much of the day, but finishing outside top10

 

edit: I thought Prokop's car was a buggy as well, but he kept the Raptor in 4x4 mode.

 

501-kamaz-master-anton-shibalo-1.jpg


Edited by Alex79, 03 January 2021 - 21:05.


#12 Alex79

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Posted 03 January 2021 - 22:24

Interesting story on Brian Baragwanath. The South African got lost, but he also smashed through a swarm of grasshoppers that clogged up his cooling and windshield. Took some doing in removing the bugs, yuck


Edited by Alex79, 03 January 2021 - 22:25.


#13 Branislav

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 11:01

Toyota took lead :(



#14 OvDrone

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 11:41

Thank you Alex79 for the writeups here. Definitely the best coverage you can find online. My blessings.



#15 jonpollak

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 12:38

Yes, Thanks Alex79.

Your work makes up for that total waste of time commentator Carlton bloody Kirby.

I detest him.

 

Jp



#16 Alex79

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 13:12

Yes, Thanks Alex79.

Your work makes up for that total waste of time commentator Carlton bloody Kirby.

I detest him.

 

Jp

You're welcome. Though, I have to admit :blush:  I was a fan of Kirby until a few years back. But that was more the fault of the Dutch RTL7 commentator I was forced to watch when I wanted to follow the trucks. High, nasal voice, speaking too loud, and EVEN louder on CERTAIN words when he wanted to make things MORE exciting. Alsohehadtheobnoxioustendencytospeakincrediblyfastwhenadutchdriverwasdoingwellinastage. Sigh, compared to him, even Kirby was miles better. But I watch Eurosport Deutschland now, which has a WTCC commentator who is really well read in rally as well. That makes up for it



#17 Alex79

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 16:01

Now that most of the field has done the stage, it's time to look at stage 2. 457 km to Wadi ad-Dawasir with the first dunes of the rally

 

At the bike KTM already had trouble before the start as Mattias Walkner had a defective clutch. This cost him more than two hours before he started. He managed to get going in the end, but clocked only a 69th time, 2h25m back. So goodbye classement general. Also, Andrew Short has abandoned the rally after 273kms in the stage. His Yamaha bike was airlifted out of the special while Short waited for the broomcar

Honda had to hit back harder than they got yesterday, and they did. Joan Barreda got a lot of criticism (especially from Marc Coma) that he's only fast when he can follow others. Well, he followed the tracks today as the 20th starter and while Sunderland, Price and Sanders al had their mishaps, Barreda sailed through and got the quickest time. Brabec started two places behind him and was second at 3m55s. Pablo Quintanilla flew a bit under the radar and had to start 24th, but now he recouped time on the more speedier track and was third at 6m02s. Ross Branch, now riding a factory Yamaha, showed a flash of brilliance and got home 4th. The factory KTM's that went searching all had their troubles. Daniel Sanders got through with a 9th, Sunderland ended 16th and Price got a problem with the fuel tanks, so apart from searching WP's he also had to drive in save mode. That threw him back to 28th place. In the standings Barreda and Brabec make it a 1-2 for Honda, 6 minutes between them. Branch climbs to 3rd in front of Husky pilots Quintanilla and De Soultrait. Price and Sunderland drop out of the top10 and have their work cut out for them

 

In the cars today's terrain favoured 4WD more. Although their speeds are higher, the 4WD's have smaller wheels and are heavier, that meant a lot more problems with rocky stages like yesterday. I also made a little mistake, I though Roma and Loeb were driving a 2WD buggy, but the Prodrive built car is a 4WD. The past few days were not so good for Loeb, but he clawed his way up to 6th today from the 18th starting position. Which made him the meat in a Century sandwich. Brian Baragwanath finished 7th, Mattieu Serradori 5th. In the top4 it was Toyota versus Mini again and in the last part of the route Nasser Al Attiyah was quicker than Peterhansel  by 2 minutes, although the Frenchman was leading at firsts. Sainz clocked a third time and lost 9 minutes.  In standings Peterhansel is 6m37s ahead of Sainz, Al-Attiyah is 3rd at 9 minutes, Serradori 4th at nearly 15 minutes.

Biggest losers today: Giniel de Villiers who got lost and can forget the classement (losing an Hour) and Erik van Loon who crashed yesterday, got towed out of stage 1, and crashed again today, rolling the car. He was helped by Pascal de Baar to upright the car, but he lost two hours again. Romain Dumas is even worse off, the WEC driver is competing in a Rebellion sponsored buggy, but the car has had mechanical issues in all stages we now had.

 

A-lot-of-damage-for-Van-Loon-after-the-c

 

In case anyone is wondering, Kris Meeke is still in the rally. 61st was his starting position in the LV class, and they were in top10 range for most of the day... until the last WP where he fell back to 20th time, losing 25 minutes.

The stage was dominated by three ex -bikers. Franciso Lopez (bike rider in the SA Dakars) won, Aron Domzala (quad rider in the SA dakars) 2nd and Gerard Farres-Guell (biker in the SA dakars) third.

 

In the trucks it is game over for the Renault Hybrid of Gert Huzink. Their engine is broken and irreparable. A bit strange is the situation with Alexei Visnievski. The Belarussian ran into a lot of problems yesterday, was late in the paddock and after a few km's in this stage, he was reported to have left the route. Still he got clocked with a fourth time and missed every WP, so it's not clear if they are still in the rally. Dimitri Sotnikov was again the quickest today, four minutes ahead of Airat Mardeev and 6m30s ahead of the other MAZ of Sergei Viazovich. Martin Macik was best Iveco in 5th, Martin vd Brink was the fastest Renault in 8th place. Andre Karginov ran into trouble again as he was 3rd at earlier CP's, but he fell down the order to a 10th time at the finish. Sotnikov has a lead of 17m14s on Viazovich, Shibalov is fighting for third with Macik right behind him

 

Ebene-Magazine-MAZ-took-fourth-place-at-


Edited by Alex79, 04 January 2021 - 16:03.


#18 Myrvold

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 18:15

Summary

 

Can I just say that I don't care sh*t about this event now that it is in a glorified, sandbox-on-steroids... I struggled enough when it was "Dakar" in South America. Even though I personally know one of the competitors this year...

 

However, I jump in to this thread every day to see what you write :) Thanks for bothering :)



#19 Alex79

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 18:57

Can I just say that I don't care sh*t about this event now that it is in a glorified, sandbox-on-steroids... I struggled enough when it was "Dakar" in South America. Even though I personally know one of the competitors this year...

 

However, I jump in to this thread every day to see what you write :) Thanks for bothering :)

 

You can  ;) Anyone has right of free speech and his/her own opinion. Tbh, my interest was really waning in the Argentinian stages (always cancelling or shortening because of bad weather). Chili was a bit better and Peru was actually quite good. Bolivia was a glorified publicity stunt for El Presidente Morales with an ill advised crossing of the Salar di Uyuni (a large salt lake) as the height of stupidity. Half the bikes and quads had fried electronics which caused a lot of amateur and some pro's to abandon the race. As quad racer Rafal Sonik said: "Which brainless idiot designed this route?" I'm not a fan of SA per sé or their attempt to use sports publicity to better their image. But at least Dakar looks somewhat like Dakar again.
 


Edited by Alex79, 04 January 2021 - 18:57.


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#20 OvDrone

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 19:43

Am I the only one who enjoyed the Dakar best in South America ?



#21 Alex79

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Posted 04 January 2021 - 20:40

Am I the only one who enjoyed the Dakar best in South America ?

Could be :p Like I said, Peru was quite good, Chili had good days. Biggest problem was because the damn Darts games always had priority broadcasts always were around 2AM. Also the time difference made it harder to follow



#22 Alex79

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Posted 05 January 2021 - 15:24

Before we take a look at an eventful stage 3, a view to the secret stars this rally, the Dakar Classics

 

Buggy-Sunhill-Dakar-2021-1024x768.jpg

 

These two cars are Sunhill buggies, made in France in 1979 (the left) and 1982 (the right one) and both have VW beetle technique: simple and easy to maintain. Both were driving in the original Paris Dakar rally and are in the Dakar Classics category, which is based on the old rally-system. Not the fastest, but the most consistent driver matters. Apart from them, there is also a VW BAHA beetle, VW Iltis Jeep, two G-klasse Mercs, an old Porsche 911 which used to be driven by Rene Metge and a Peugeot pickup. Also a few more modern cars from the nineties built by Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi are present. The Sunhills are 1 and 3 in this class, with two Mitsubishi's 2 and 4

 

Normally, we Dutch viewers like the trucks the best and next the cars, because those are the categories where we actually have a chance to win something :cat: This year surprisingly the Dutch Biketeams are holding themselves up well. Just like the Dakar classics, not so fast, but consistent. Both Honda and KTM are alternating between starting late and driving fast and starting first but getting nowhere fast. Although yesterday the problems of Toby Price and Andrew Short were caused by a bad tankstop, where water seems to have contaminated the fuel. Don't they check tanker trucks anymore for water contamination?

 

Price bounced back today exactly like Barreda did yesterday. Starting late and rolling everyone up. Barreda was caught up by Quintanilla while searching and then both got lost. Same seemed to happen to Brabec, who paired up with Branch and Jose Cornejo Florimo. Only the Argentinian managed a 10th time, the rest fell out of the top15: Branch 17th, Brabec 25th and Barreda 30th. Ouch, Coma seems to have a point with his criticism. Price hit back and won the stage just before Kevin Benavides (1m16s difference) and Mattias Walkner was third. Xavier de Soultrait put his HT Husqvarna on 6th place, but the big surprise today was Skyler Howes. The American is riding for the Dutch BAS Dakar team, which supported Branch last year, and although an 8th, 11th and 4th stage time in three is not really outstanding, it is consistent enough to take the lead in the rally :lol:  With 30 seconds Howes has a very small margin on Benavides in 2nd and De Soultrait is 3rd with 1m16s difference. Price and Sunderland climb into 4th and 5th, Barreda sinks into 8th position.

 

In the cars after two crashes Erik van Loon finally followed the advice he gave himself when he was a Mini driver: be smooth not fast. They stopped three times, once for a flat tire, second time to help Yazeed Al Rahji who ran out of spares and the last one at the stricken car of Bernard Ten Brinke, who also crashed in the closing stages after running in top5 for the whole day. In the end Van Loon was 14th and must have wondered that while losing 25 minutes he still was in front of faster drivers like Roma and Sainz who both lost time searching the route. Sainz found out after 150km and also got a flat. He lost more than 30 minutes and drops to 4th in the standing. Stephane Peterhansel also ran in trouble after losing time searching for the first waypoint. Nasser Al-Attiyah profited and was quickest in the stage, although he had a fight on his hands with rallydriver Henk Lategan, who also drives a Gazoo Toyota this year. Lategan switched from rallydriving in South Africa when his team VW folded to cross country and is a Hallspeed driver since 2018 (Hallspeed is the South African that manages Gazoo Toyota). The Qatari beat the South Afrikan by only 2 minutes.

 

The Mini troubles were good news for the SRT Century buggies. Yasir Seidan clocked a 4th time, Serradori was a bit further back in 8th place, but he jumped into 3rd because of all the mistakes everybody else made. Sebastien Loeb also emerges from the pack, 6th time and 6th overall in the Prodive. And kudos to Romain Dumas, who is still soldiering on with his 'rebellious' buggy sponsored by Rebellion (there must be some karma in that). He got in the paddock yesterday around 23PM, but as it is 2 hours later in Arabia that means it was 1AM. Had to fix his ailing car and start again 9 hours later. Which he did and he clocked a 52nd time, 3h40m behind the Toyota's

 

In the LV class a small positive point as Kees Koolen managed a 7th place in the stage. The fight for the win was between "Chaleco" Lopez Contardo (1st), Austin Jones (2nd) and Michal Goczal (3rd), who were only half a minute apart. Lopez remains first in the general standings, Aron Domzala is still second and Jones climbs to third.

 

The trucks are dropping like flies today. First came the report that Maurik vd Heuvel crashed and rolled his International. Then the message that veteran Japanese truck racer Teruhito Sugawara rolled his Hino in the last 10kms and as a final nail in the coffin Richard de Groot crashed the Firemen Iveco while in 11th position. As one of De Groot's crewmembers broke a few ribs, they had to be airlifted and the truck abandoned. Edit: Sugawara seems to have gotten help and is driving again: lost 4 hours but they made it into paddock. Vd Heuvel seems to have taken a dune wrong so the truck rolled of it. Worse, the wreck was then hit by the Toyota from the Yacopini brothers following in their tracks. They had to scramble to put out a small fire and managed to upright the truck again, but the damage is too big. Now waiting for a Boucou towtruck (source: RTLGP)

 

210105_VandenHeuvel.jpg?itok=D0oFM0Rk

 

https://twitter.com/...6538113/photo/1

 

In front the Kamaz fleet battled the attacking MAZ torpedoes just like how they did against the De Rooy trucks a few years. The ace (Sotnikov) was allowed to run wild while Shibalov and Karginov tried to hold up Viazovich and Visnievski a bit. That worked until halfway when Sotnikov lost some time and Viazovich went in the lead. But although he won a stage and this batlle, the war is not over as Sotnikov only lost 18 seconds and still has a lead of 16 minutes.Also Viazovich has to open the stage again with Sotnikov starting second.Martin Macik is keeping the Kamazki's honest with a 4th time and is now 4th overall as well. Martin vd Brink is the only Dutch trucker left in the top10 at 8th place. His son Mitchel vd Brink is going much slower in the Volvo around 25th place (3hrs behind), but like the stage today showed, better arriving late than not arriving at all


Edited by Alex79, 05 January 2021 - 17:19.


#23 Branislav

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 12:25

Loeb 4th :clap:

 

It's coming



#24 Alex79

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 16:55

The longest day today, 800 km's of which 337km  was special stage.

 

At the bikes one Dutch team surrenders the lead, and another one takes over. Just as the past days, the earlier starters had a more difficult time finding the route, the later starting flyers battled for the win. Xavier de Soultrait is not. He is a staple in de top10 these days and so it looked like the HT Husqvarna rider would end up around top10 today. But thanks to others 'erring' he clocked a 5th time. Just behind Ross Branch who was in the stagewin fight for most of the day, but he lost 5 minutes and got 1 minute penalty as well so he fell back to fourth. Also surprisingly well of were Daniel Sanders and Luciano Benavides (Kevin's brother) who clocked in 2nd and 3rd. Juan Barreda bagged himself another stagewin, 6 minutes quicker than his pursuers. Skyler Howes continued the slow but steady approach and although he was just in 20th place after a small fall, he only dropped back to fourth. De Soultrait is now the new leader of the rally, so now HT is leading this rally 15 seconds ahead of Honda rider Barreda. Branch, Benavides and Howes are very close together, 5m24s back. KTM Factory lost big time today. Both Walkner and Price got lost, losing around fifteen minutes. Another scary story comes from De Soultrait's teammate Paul Spierings, who arrived at the crash of Indonesian biker C.S. Santosh, who he had to resuscitate as he was not breathing. Luckily Santosh survived and is in hospital now.

 

At the cars the difficult navigation has no hopscotch effects like in the bikes or quads, but that's simply because there are a few very good navigators on board. People like Matthieu Baumel and Brett Cummings at Toyota, Daniel Boulanger at Mini or Taye Perry and Fabian Lurquin at Century. It's not for nothing that Nasser Al Attiyah won another stage today and had a nice batlle with Henk Lategan and Peterhansel. Baumel, Cummings and Boulanger made almost no mistakes so the driver could concentrate on going fast. The Qatari was just 11 seconds quicker than Peterhansel, Lategan lost 1m30s. Sainz was in the top3 until the last CP, but then he fell behind Loeb who was 20secs quicker. Erik van Loon's slower approach nets him a 10th place today, catching Baragwannath and  De Villiers looking for a waypoint (a missed point cost you 20 minutes penalty as Baragwanath found out already). Edit: after the stage Loeb was hit by a 5 minutes penalty, probably for speeding.In the standings. Peterhansel is leading Al Attiyah by 4m58s, Sainz, Lategan and Kuba Przygonski all move up because Mattieu Serradori lost 20 minutes today and falls to 6th place. Because of his penalty Loeb is now 7th

 

A good day also for Kris Meeke and Wouter Rosegaar. After their fire in stage 1 they repaired the Zephyr buggy and soldiered through two difficult days. They even arrivedin the dark yesterday and today they started 53rd, almost an hour after leader "Chaleco" Lopez. But at the finish the Ulster-Dutch combo clocked the 2nd time in the stage, 1m45s after Aron Domzala and a few seconds quicker than Mitch Guthrie and Lopez. Stagewinner Cristina Gutierrez ran into big trouble and lost 57 minutes with technical problems and there was a story that a Kamaz truck almost flattened a stuck SSV buggy in the dunes yesterday. Luckily the brakes worked and there was no accident :eek:

 

Kris-Meeke-Dakar-2021-1.jpg

 

Speaking about accidents, this is how Teruhito Sugawara's truck looked after they survived a crash and got in paddock yesterday. The Japanese crew fixed the little Hino and pulled the Joker, meaning they did not have to start bog last, but somewhere further up the field. They clocked a 15th time today

 

Be-pavadinimo-6-1068x498.jpg

 

Up front, it was Kamaz vs MAZ again, with one Iveco running interference. In the end, Dimitri Sotnikov beat Andre Karginov, Alexei Visnievski and Martin Macik by a few seconds. Sergei Viazovich ran into serious trouble with a broken front axle after the 2nd waypoint and it looks like he either has to be towed out or has to abandon the rally. Ignacio Casale did well today in 6th place, Martin vd Brink renewed his 10th place subscription. His son Mitchell steered the Volvo to 20th place and is finding the same calling as the trucks from the French Boucou-team: playing RAC road assistance with other competitors and slowy but steadily spooling off the rally. In the standings Macik jumps ahead of Shibalov and is now 2nd, 26 minutes behind Sotnikov


Edited by Alex79, 06 January 2021 - 19:00.


#25 JRodrigues

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 19:13

 Another scary story comes from De Soultrait's teammate Paul Spierings, who arrived at the crash of Indonesian biker C.S. Santosh, who he had to resuscitate as he was not breathing. Luckily Santosh survived and is in hospital now.

 

 

Those Hero's must be cursed  :( Seems like he is in induced coma.

Joaquim Rodrigues (Santosh's team-mate and former team-mate to Paulo Gonçalves, as well as his brother-in-law) opened up a few months ago about a depression he'd been through because of last year's accident. This must be a hard rally for him, even harder with this now.



#26 JRodrigues

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Posted 06 January 2021 - 22:22

Those Hero's must be cursed  :( Seems like he is in induced coma.

Joaquim Rodrigues (Santosh's team-mate and former team-mate to Paulo Gonçalves, as well as his brother-in-law) opened up a few months ago about a depression he'd been through because of last year's accident. This must be a hard rally for him, even harder with this now.

 

Man.. just saw Joaquim's words after today's stage (the same stage everything happened last year), and he said (while tears dropped down his face) he didn't sleep this night thinking about this stage. But when he started everything started flowing, and it was just like Paulo was riding with him.  :(



#27 Branislav

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 11:45

Loeb is done :(



#28 Alex79

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Posted 07 January 2021 - 16:37

Today's route of 456km's seems to have been quite difficult as all categories resembled the quads racing in the Atacama desert in 2016. Everyone driving past each other, turning around, looking for a waypoint and not finding it, haring off in the opposite direction. I had a good laugh this morning as I followed the Dakar GPS tracker and watched Martin vd Brink and friends in the Trucks (someone on rallymaniacs.com posted this picture) The rest was acting in the same vein as I watched the newsflashes coming in

 

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The bikes were falling in their known pattern again. Juan Barreda opened the stage and lost 19 minutes, Pablo Quintanilla followed and lost 12 minutes. The three KTM bikes (Sunderland, Price and Walkner) all lost some time early, but Price clawed himself back into 3rd place at the finish, only 1m20s behind the winner. The Dutch lead at the top was surrendered to Argentina as Kevin Benavides (started 14th) and Juan Cornejo Florimo (started 7th) fought for the stagewin and maybe the overall lead. Benavides won and beat his teammate by a minute. As both Xavier de Soultrait and Skyler Howes stuck to a more moderate pace and clocked in as 6th and 7th, the Argentinian takes overall lead as well. De Soultrait is 2nd at 2m31s, Cornejo 3rd at 4m32s. Another privateer doing well is Lorenzo Santolino, who steered his Sherco to a 4th time and jumps into 6th place overall. Ross Branch loses a place and Ricky Brabec falls out of top10, although he insists he is riding conservative.

 

In the cars Peterhansel and Al-Attiyah were sparring in front and never farther apart than two minutes. It looked like the Frenchman was gaining four minutes, but in the last part the Qatari got back two minutes. They ended up 3rd and 4th in the stage. For the stagewin it became a battle between de Afrikaanders. Henk Lategan was not participating however, he crashed after 15kms and had to abandon with a broken collarbone. Giniel de Villiers also has an injury (a sore neck after a wild jump) which meant he was not only battling navigation errors and flat tyres, but also hád to back off to stay in course. Today he was coming in hot and battled with Brian Baragwanath (another late starter today) throughout the day. The Century-driver lost eight minutes halfway, but fought back to a deficit of 58secs, 2nd behind De Villiers. Erik van Loon looked like he was going to ruin the party, but he got a flat after a scuffle with a biker and then Murphy's Law came in to ruin his day again. Second flat tyre, a broken axle, a small fire. He is still in the rally, but he lost 90 minutes again. Carlos Sainz made a nav-error, Loeb got mechicals plus nav errors, and Serradori takes the cake as his Century grounded to a halt and only got going after 4 hours delay. The other way around is also possible: Yazid Al Rahji lost 3 hours yesterday, started late and got a sixth time. In standings Peterhansel leads Al-Attiyah by 6 minutes, Sainz still 3rd but he is getting company from Kuba Przygonski and Martin Prokop. Baragwanath is back in top10, Serradori and Loeb fell down the order

 

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In the trucks a howl of joy yesterday at Riwald Dakar Renault team. Gert Huzink and his crew have been working two days to get the Hybrid Renault back into the Dakar Experience (meaning they can finish the rally after a DNF, but are not classified) and today Huzink was again at the start, last in the row, but he clocked a 10th time at the finish. Could even have been better as they were in top5 reach, but they lost 23 minutes in the last stretch. Up top Andre Karginov finally looked like he was going to get a stagewin, but after mechanical troubles and navigation troubles, now there were jury troubles. After the finish he was hit with a 20 minute time penalty, which seems to be a missed waypoint. That handed Dimitri Sotnikov another win, 1 minute ahead of MAZ driver Alexei Visnievski. Martin Macik also looked in for the win, but he lost 24 minutes in the last part after being in the lead for most of the day, he was clocked 9th. The problems for Sergei Viazovich continue. He was starting late as well, and clocked a ninth time at two waypoints. After that he stopped and has not moved again. Overall, Sotnikov has now backup from Shibalov in 2nd, Macik fell back to third, Ales Loprais emerges in 4th

 

Gert-Huzink-Foto-Orange-Pictures.jpg?v=u


Edited by Alex79, 07 January 2021 - 16:39.


#29 Alex79

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Posted 08 January 2021 - 16:59

The route for stage 6 was shortened a bit so, that privateers had more time to recuperate from their ordeal. Especially the canyon part made it difficult. The cars and bikes running in many different directions made it worse for the LV's and trucks, and when frontrunners like Loprais, Macik and Shibalov barged through, it looked like a chase scene from Sam Peckinpah's trucker movie Convoy

 

stage-5-of-the-dakar-rally-between-riyad

 

In the bikes Juan Barreda and Ross Branch started 15 minutes apart, but at the finish the cap was only 15 seconds between "Bang-Bang" and "The Kalahari Ferrari". Barreda was the quickest again, winning his 27th stage, reducing his distance overall to 6 minutes. Branch takes 2nd today and has a view for the podium, beating Daniel Sanders bij 40 seconds, and Ricky Brabec by 1,5 minutes. Xavier de Soultrait looks to have missed the first waypoint, so apart from the 8 minutes he lost as 13th in the stage, he might get 20 minutes penalty as well, wait and see. Toby Price made a really good effort by not going too fast and getting lost, but just get home in 7th and taking the lead overall as Kevin Benavides lost nearly ten minutes as stage opener and clocked a 15th time. The Argentinian (who is hampered by a broken nose and a sore ankle after a fall) is 2nd now 2m16s behind Price, Jose Cornejo Florimo finished 11th and lost 6 minutes, meaning he stays 3rd but Branch has only 44 seconds to cover.

 

In the cars.Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz were really struggling with the new way of navigating. Until last year you got the roadbook for cars on a paper roll which you could edit or highlight yourself if possible. But now you cannot prepare anything anymore and you get the pacenotes on a little tablet. Cruz got caught out a few times already which made his "jefe" behind the wheel a bit grumpy. Today it worked better and from the first CP till the last Sainz had the quickest times, winning the stage 4 minutes ahead of Yazeed Al-Rahji. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stephane Peterhansel drove more reserved but never strayed far apart, the Qatari was 3rd, 16 secs ahead of the Frenchman. At Century there were mixed feelings: Mattieu Serradori had a horribile day yesterday, losing four hours and ripping a front wheel off his buggy in the canyon section. He was in 6th place in the timing screens, but in the last 40kms he lost a rear wheel, but was able to limp home "Three Wheels on my wagon". For Erik van Loon this horrible Dakar is over, the Dutchman parked his Toyota with mechanical problems ( a broken diff) at a tankstop. It does not look much better for Sebastien Loeb, who clocked a 5th time at the first CP and then broke his suspension.

 

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Also in the mood for screaming is Kris Meeke. The Ulsterman shows flashes of speed, but the Zephy buggy is unable to keep up with him. After the 2nd time wednesday, he broke a wheelhub yesterday, today he lost another 28 minutes, clocking in as 31st in the LV category. Leader Chaleco Lopez was hit by trouble as well and lost 53 minutes, so he drops from first to fourth. Aron Domzala takes over after finishing 5th and letting Seth Quintero and Khalifa Al-Attiyah (Nasser's brother) fight for a win. Quintero won it and is now in 3rd overall, behind Austin Jones. Mattias Ekstrom is in trouble (stopped after 370km, Thomas Enge ended up 16th

 

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In the trucks we had a classic "Raz-Dva-Tri" (russian 1-2-3 finish). Airat Mardeev and Dimitri Sotnikov battled for the win the whole day, and Mardeev was the winner by a minute, the 150th stagewin for the Russians. Sotnikov 2nd, Shibalov 3rd by 5 minutes. Ales Loprais was best of the rest in the litlle Praga. The Dutch Renault Fleet (Martin vd Brink,Pascal de Baar and Gert Huzink) made it home, 8th, 9th and 10th. Mitchell vd Brink was stopped for a long time with mechanical issues and he is now, as darkness has fallen, the last truck still on the stage, 25th past CP2 after 108 km. "One of these nights" as the Eagles would say


Edited by Alex79, 08 January 2021 - 19:02.


#30 Alex79

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 19:49

A bad start today as the announcement came that Hubert Auriol, Dakar winner on the bike and in a car and also former Dakar race director, died 68 years old. Some sites cited Covid19 related illness. Auriol drove Paris Dakar between 1979 and 1987 on a bike. After an accident in the last rally where he broke both ankles he switched to cars and drove for Mitsubishi and Citroen. He won the rally in 1993 in a Pajero, but this lovely ZX is what I remember him for (even tho it's essentially a Peugeof T16 with another bodyshell)

 

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After the break on saturday, the whole circus got moving again from Ha'il to Sakaka, 453kms. It is also the first part of the marathonstage. Kevin Benavides was in a very good position at the bikes to win the day, but 70kms before the finish he messed up and got lost. It cost him ten minutes and the chance to take over the lead from Toby Price, who lost five minutes but came home 7th. Benavides ended up outside of top15, together with Walkner, Stefan Svitko, Quintanilla and Barreda, who all lost around 9 minutes. According to Walkner, the first 100kms looked like motorcross in Valkenswaard: lot of sand, physically heavy to get through ;) Ross Branch lost a lot of time due to a crash which left him winded, but he's in the paddock as 27th. Hurrying slowly seemed to be the recipe. Xavier de Soultrait came home 6th behind the famous duo Sunderland and Sanders in 5th and 4th (although Sanders fell of after hitting a rock and got a cut in his face. Skyler Howes came home in third behind a Honda 1-2. Ricky Brabec won a stage and Jose Cornejo Florimo won the lead in the rally.... by One Second! Price and Sunderland are 2nd and 3rd overall, De Soultrait jumps to 4th place. Benavides falls back to fifth.

 

In the cars, the Dakar for Loeb takes the same shape as that of Erik van Loon and Chris Meeke. Promising bursts of speed, but hampered by mechanical problems. Yesterday morning the Prodrive car limped home 8 hours late, today it was looking well after 400kms with a 10th time. But then Loeb dropped another 2 hours as a wheelhub broke and he clocked a 42nd time. There will be some development work before this team is capable of podium finishes. I spotted Nani Roma;s old teamchef Erik Wevers talking to him (they have been working together at Borgward), maybe a good idea to bring some WeversSport engineers in for consultancy. Whatever advice Wevers gave Roma worked somehow, the Spaniard got a 10th time. Brian Baragwanath must have used up too much luck:. the Afrikaner rolled his Century friday, but landed on all fours and could drive on. Not today: he got troubles after the first waypoint and lost 50 minutes, and he stopped again after 242kms without moving again. Up front Peterhansel caught up with Al Attiyah again (the start difference is 2 minutes), but in the last 40 kms he was forced to back off as a rim seemed to be broken. At the finish he was 2nd fastest, and mighty upset when he found out he drove 40 clicks with a broken suspension :eek: As they have to service the car themselves this could get interesting. Yazeed Al Rahji won the stage, 48 secs quicker than Peterhansel. Sainz got home 3rd,   Al-Attiyah 4th, all within 3 minutes of each other. The Frenchman leads the Qatari by 7m53s overall. Sainz needs to cover 40 minutes.

 

YazeedAlRajhi.jpg

 

Did I say Kris Meeke has Murphy against him this Dakar? It's worse, I think Catweazle has it in for him. In top4 of the LV's timesheets the whole day, and then the damn French baguette breaks again after 316km. They made it home in 34th place, losing 90 minutes in the process. "Chaleco" Lopez Contardo won another stage and got back some time after his crash friday. Aron Domzala stays leader in the LV's with Seth Quintero eight minutes after him.

 

In the trucks a little round of applause for Mitchell vd Brink. Got his truck home bog last on saturday morning, even helping a biker who was so tired he could not drive up a dune. Mitchell did that for him in the end (didn't know the kid can ride motorbikes). Whereas he did the heavy lifting in 23rd place, 3 hours slower than the rest, his father Martin had a losing battle with the Eastern Block fleet. Kamaz scored another raz-dva-tri with Sotnikov winning before Mardeev and Shibalov. Alexei Visnievski snatched 4th to prevent a complete Kamaz lockout, Karginov slipped in 5th.Ales Loprais got 6th and Vd Brink finished 7th in front of the Tatra Buggyra trucks who don't seem to like the hillly terrain of the last days. Gert Huzink's Hybrid Renault went on strike again after 320kms. In the overall standings it's also raz-dva-tri: Sotnikov 1st, Shibalov 2nd, Mardeev 3rd. Loprais takes over 4th place as Martin Macik got in trouble early in the stage and lost 40 minutes.

 

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Edited by Alex79, 10 January 2021 - 21:41.


#31 Branislav

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 17:57

137520119_3778557975536815_3942626454575

 

4 days left



#32 Alex79

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 19:39

In the bikes, the Honda's used to teamwork to shore up the defences for Nacho, as Jose Cornejo Florimo is known. Ricky Brabec opened quite fast, pulled his teammate along in his stride. At the tankstop the Chilean took over and they drove to the finish together, relaying like it was Tour de France breakaway instead of Dakar. At the finish Nacho scored the 5th Honda stagewin in a row, Brabec had a 3rd time 2m50s deficit. At second a pensive Toby Price came in. He had to back off a bit as his rear tyre was about to fall apart and was held together by tie-rips. It held until the finish and the Ozzie was only 1m05s slower than Sancho. For Xavier de Soultrait the rally is over after a bad crash, for Franco Caimi the rally is over after an engine blowup. Which means Skyler Howes scores two bonus places and climbs to 7th overall. Kevin Benavides was in damage control mode, only at the end fatigue got to him and he backed off a bit, landing 5th place. He's 4th overall now, six minutes behind Sam Sunderland

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In the cars the day started with a sombre tweet from Daniel Elena. Only one spare tyre, only three working brakes and no assistance as it was the second half of marathon. And after the second puncture Dakar was over for Loeb. It seems even the rapid assistance truck is broken down, so I don't know if Loeb can start in Dakar experience. At Century it was a very bad day at the office as well. Baragwanath came home 12th, Serradori 24th, both after punctures and Manuel Gastaldi even rolled the car twice, had to be uprighted by the Coronel brothers. Yazeed Al Rahji also lost time with multiple punctures, 57th time. At the front Peterhansel had to take it easy with his defective wheelrim, but he still got a third time, and if he had listened better to his codriver he would not have lost 3 minutes searching for a waypoint at the finish. Carlos Sainz got 2nd place, Al-Attiyah won the stage and closed the gap to 5m50

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Kris Meeke's Catweazle Dakar continues. Today it was a broken drive belt and after a puncture they discovered the wheeljack did not work. Thanks to a big rock to drive the buggy on they managed to change a wheel, but they lost another 50 minutes in 28th place. Aron Domzala also lost a lot of time with mechanicals and got only 17th place. Austin Jones profited and took over the lead after arriving 5th today. Lopez won another in front of ex quad rider Sergei Karyakin. Kees Koolen surprises with 8th place, if they did not have a puncture it would have been top5.

In the trucks the Kamazkis were quarreling again who was going to win the day. Ignacio Casale and Alexi Visnievski also pitched in, but it was not enough, they ended 5th and 4th. Shibalov was the lucky one who got fastest time, in front of Sotnikov and Karginov, who got caught speeding again and was relegated back to third after a time penalty. Only thing that can get really interesting here is the Praga Truck of Loprais in fourth. Distance to #3 is 16 minutes and tomorrow's stage might favor the more agile Czech truck a bit before Russian brutish behaviour (like mowing down the only tree in 10 miles range live on camera :blush: )

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Edited by Alex79, 12 January 2021 - 06:12.


#33 Alex79

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Posted 12 January 2021 - 20:26

There was a mountain of bad news today, so we start with something cheerful. The succes of the Dakar Classics category has inspired Gerard de Rooy to send two legendary DAF trucks his father Jan de Rooy drove in Africa to the Arabian Dakar next year. This one is called The Bull and was used in 1985, but the more iconic one is the Two Headed Monster that used two truck cabins on a chassis in 1984.

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But now for the very hard stage today. In the bikes there was a lot of retirements. First Toby Price fell after 155 kms and had to give up with a broken collarbone. Then Ross Branch's Yamaha gave up, engine blown and all the bikes from the Japanese manufacturer had to abandon, all of them with engine trouble. Somewhere farther down the field Luciano Benavides tried to make up for time lost and fell off as well, also had to be flown out. Kudos to Daniel Sanders, who seems to made of teflon, as he fell twice but still arrived in Neom in eighth place.Just before an aggravated Skyler Howes who liked the stage but could kick himself for the navigation mistakes he made.
The four Honda riders organised in pairs again, Brabec and Nacho Cornejo up front, Barreda and Kevin Benavides from behind. Brabec stopped to help Price, allowing Nacho to drive on. The Chilean got the 3rd time and because of his help to Price, Brabec was gifted 2nd place thanks to time bonuses. Barreda looked like he was going for another win, but he crashed and had to wait for Benavides to get his bearings again, clocking 5th. Benavides won the stage. Special mention to Joaquin Rodrigues, who had trouble starting because of the tears in his eyes (it was one year after the death of Paulo Gonçalves) but came to the finish in 13th place

In the cars the stone riddled tracks in the beginning favoured buggy's instead of 4wd's, although the part along the Red Sea was smoother and looked like the Sandy Version of the famous Great Orme rallystage. All the Toyota's suffered punctures and that cost Al-Attiyah and Al Rahji more than 12 minutes. For Yusuf Seidan it got worse as he clipped a rock and broke the front suspension on his Century. In the same vein was Mattieu Serradori, going for a stagewin, until he also stopped with one puncture too many and had to wait for his teammate Leroy to help. Brian Baragwanath started very slowly (42nd time at the rocky and narrow 30km point) but he clambered up to 5th place, a few seconds behind the three Toyota's Carlos Sainz lost time again because of fading brakes and leaking fluids, losing 20 minutes and arriving 11th. Peterhansel does what "Der Wüstenfuchs" (as Eurosport Germany calls MR Dakar) does best, drive conservatively, don't make mistakes but be quick enough to win another stage today. The Frenchman leads Al Attiyah bij almost 18 minutes, Sainz is over an hour back and Kuba Przygonski is fighting Nani Roma over 4th place

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In the LV'class, the bad luck of Kris Meeke is catching on. Again the Ulsterman started well, until he hit a big rock and the front suspension arm was broken. Teammate Lionel Baud stopped to deliver some spare parts, but it still cost Meeke and Rosegaar another 2 hours and 50 minutes to finish 45th. At least they are still in the race, Seth Quintero broke his hear suspention and the OT3 buggy (which looks suspiciously like an Audi TT bodyshell) is broken beyond repair. Countryman Austin Jones also lost a lot of time and finished in 10th, conceding the rally lead to the original careful owner, Chaleco Lopez, who won the stage 11 minutes ahead of Khalifa Al Attiyah and Michal Goczal. Kees Koolen popped up in 8th place.

And finally in the trucks, it was time for the battle Russia versus Czech Republic. The Kamazki fleet started first but as the stage dragged on the two Tatra Buggrya's, the Praga and the Iveco with Tatra chassis caught on. Shibalov and Karginov fell back to 5 and 6, Loprais managed a solid 4th and in the last kilometers Martin Macik slipped past the Kamaz trucks (he had to drive in their dustcloud for a long time and was finally fed up with it). The risk was rewarded with a stagewin 2m27s ahead of Mardeev and Sotnikov, in a time that would have meant fifth place in the cars 😳 Ignacio Casale was a bit disappointed at the finish, the Chilean did really well in the first part, but was hampered by the twistier terrain in the second part. Martin vd Brink had other problems in the Renault, his machinist (as mechanic Danny Kozlowski is called) had a sore neck and Wouter de Graaf lost his dentures after a hard jump, "fo he waf a bitj hard fo undjerftand". Despite all this they came home 7th :stoned:

0112-Mammoet-54911efa-89a8-46d2-88b7-a9a

Edited by Alex79, 13 January 2021 - 06:34.


#34 Alex79

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 21:24

As the miles pile up the Dakar gets more gruelling for every category: 583 kms today to Al Ula, 342 of which special. According to many competitors the start was sand and dunes, and the end was twistier with a lot of rocks. The navigation roadbook is handed out mostly ten minutes before the start of every category, which makes it more equal, but also a lot more dangerous.

 

At the bikes Nacho Cornejo was quite rattled at the finish. He was in top3 contention the whole rally, but he took to many risks and crashed. Although he battled to the finish and arrived with an 11th time. after a doctors checkup he was carted off in a neckbrace to the hospital. Rumours were a concussion / whiplash. A bittersweet day for the Honda's, who came out all guns blazing and saw Brabec win the stage, Barreda finish 2nd and Benavides 3rd, no more than 2 minutes between each.Best KTM was again the BAS Dakar customer bike of Skyler Howes in 4th, Mattias Walkner 5th by mere seconds. Benavides still leads, but Brabec is only 50 seconds away now. On a personal note, maybe it is a good idea to give out the roadbooks for bikers earlier, as many bikers who crash are sometimes underestimating the Danger Zones on the route, mostly steep climbs, ravines or potholes that cause imbalance.

 

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In the cars Al Attiyah had to make up time to be in striking distance of Peterhansel, but it did not work out as planned. The Qatari was 2nd today, but the Frenchman drove a smart pace, not a hard pace, and lost only a few seconds in 3rd. Yazeed Al Rahji was in insane mode though and arrived with a shredded tire and a dented rear wheelrim as he did not want to lose time in the last km's by changing a puncture. Dirk von Zitzewitz, Al Rahjis navigator, was pleasantly suprised that the suspension kept up with their antics. Sainz lost another four minutes today, and Nani Roma arrived 10th after losing 10 minutes. Interesting note, an RTL7 camera caught a Peugeot DKR buggy driving around in the Al Ula region, with former rallydriver and rallycrosser Kevin Abbring on board. The reporter spoke to him later and it turns out his teamboss Guirlain Chicherit is thinking of entering either a Hydrogen powered Buggy or a Electric Hybrid Buggy in either 2022 or 2023. for that purpose Abbring was testing an electric Peugeot DKR, dubbed a GCK eBlast

 

In the LV's, finally, Kris Meeke, was home before darkness fell. The PH Sport Zephyr flew in the first half, when the terrain got twistier Meeke backed off a bit and clocked 7th time, three minutes behind the winner. Overall he is bog last with 85 hours penalty time :eek: Russian Dakar winner Sergei Karyakin won the stage in his CanAM SNAG buggy, but for the overall lead Chaleco Lopez only needed to drive conservatively, he clocked 5th time, 2m31 s behind Karyakin. Austin Jones remains 2nd but is still 10minutes behind

 

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In the trucks the troubles for Martin vd Brink continued as navigator Wouter de Graaff struggled with severe neck problems, on camera it was clear to hear how every jump, stone or sudden turn agonized him. When Vd Brink began a high speed chase with the Tatra's of Martin Soltis and Ignacio Casale on rocky terrain, de Graaff had enough and screamed : "Please let me out, I'd rather walk, damn you!" After that the Renault drove at 80% and arrived 11th in the paddock, in front of Soltis who blew a tyre, Casale came home eigth. Up front, the Kamazki's have no problem now that Martin Macik starts in front of them. The Czech does not have to contend with a huge dustcloud in front and can drive his own pace. He won his second stage today, 1m40s ahead of Sotnikov and Mardeev. Shibalov lost some time with a puncture and was 5th behind Visnievski. Also in an awkward "on camera" moment was the Renault of Pascal de Baar, who judged a corner incorrectly and almost tumbled his Renault in the Sea two corners after the start :eek: After driving on two wheels for three seconds the truck fell back on four wheels, oof

 

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Edited by Alex79, 13 January 2021 - 22:19.


#35 JRodrigues

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 10:04

Barreda just missed the refuelling point and ran out of petrol! His fight is over

 

update:

 

 
exits the race. The Spaniard, who had ground to a halt after running out of petrol, requested an examination by the medical team that has airlifted him to the bivouac.

Edited by JRodrigues, 14 January 2021 - 12:05.


#36 Alex79

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 12:54

I was wondering when I read this. was this fatigue, a navigation mistake or something else

Edited by Alex79, 14 January 2021 - 12:54.


#37 Alex79

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Posted 14 January 2021 - 22:03

In the second to last stage the bikers had a 3 versus 3 incominng: Benavides, Barreda and Brabec (Honda) against Howes, Walkner and Sunderland (KTM). Honda was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it to keep Benavides in front, KTM did eveything to get Sunderland (best KTM rider overall) in striking distance. In this fight that strange incident with Barreda happened. Like JRodrigues posted, he drove past the tankstop and had to pull over when he ran on empty. It seems he was literally and mentally out of gas, as the Spaniard explained he totally missed the tankstop, probably because he was losing focus. Barreda did have a crash two days ago from which he appeared with a destroyed bike, but he looked ok. He had himself airlifted out after this mishap and has abandoned, 5th time he did not finish a Dakar. Up front Sunderland was running fast and in contention for the stagewin with Pablo Quintanilla, who profited from a later start and could follow tracks more easy. At the finish the Brit was 2m40s faster than the Chilean. Benavides came in third and lost 6 minutes to Sunderland, who now has a gap of 4 minutes to close down in the last stage tomorrow. Ricky Brabec can probably forget about winning this year, he was doing ok in the beginning, but in the second half he erred of the right path and lost 11 minutes. Daniel Sanders is no threat to the American in 4th, unless something unusual happens (like getting stung by a bee as seems to have happened to Sanders :p  )

 

The rally is taking a toll on everyone, in the LV's there was an upset as a buggy crew got in a blazing row with each other. The end was that navigator Xavier Blanco refused to be in the same car with driver Ricardo Ramilo any longer, and so the cranky Spaniard left his navigator in the dust literally. Luckily Blanco still had a Sat-phone or this would have ended badly. After the finish Ramilo was disqualified. On camera there also was a bit of doorbanging between Chaleco Lopez and Lionel Baud as the Frenchman tried to pass the Chilean - who just started again after repairing a tyre - he cut in way too enthusiastic and almost T-boned his buggy. An even closer call for trucker Jaroslav Valtr who nearly plowed into a stricken buggy at full speed, but just missed him. phew

 

 

For the stage, Lopez' scuffle costed him 12 minutes, although he was second at the finish. Seth Quintero and Dennis Zenz won a second stage this year, Gerard Farres Guell arrived in third. Kris Meeke also did well, 5th just in front of Austin Jones, who still is second overall behind Lopez. Thanks to all the troubles everyone had, Kees Koolen pops up again in 6th place, although he has 3 hours to make up to get on the podium.

 

In the cars the race seems to have fallen in favour of Mini, but the difference is no larger than the repairtime for a flat tire. And Al Attiyah had three flats today, whereas Peterhansel had only two. The Qatari won the stage, but the Frenchman only lost 1 minute. Giniel de Villiers could have been higher up, but he also lost a lot of time because of the tyre issues. He seems to have shredded 23 tyres this whole rally, so it might be an idea to make them sturdier next year. Wei Han almost took everyone by surprise by posting 6th time in the little "Breton Beetle" aka the MD Optimus, but the Chinese driver was then hit by a speeding penalty of 20 minutes. Peterhansel leads overall by 15 minutes on Al Attiyah

 

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In the trucks I said yesterday that Macik was not riding in the dust anymore, it seems I was wrong. The Czech has developed a Kamaz-streak by mowing down a tree, which broke his windshield, so the Iveco became a very large Buggy :stoned: He got a fifth time today, 7 minutes behind the winner, but he can be proud to take over the fifth place of Ales Loprais, who lost 25 minutes in the dunes. It'll be a nice little duel for 5th tomorrow. All four Kamaz trucks are in 1-2-3-4: Raz Dva Tri Tjetirije. Winner today was Shibalov, three minutes ahead of Mardeev. Sotnikov took it easy as the lead is big enough. Pascal de Baar came home ninth on "new slippers" as he called the new tyres, just in front of Martin vd Brink. Mitchell vd Brink got home last again, but a birthday party awaited him, as he turned 19yo. Congratulations / Van harte gefeliciteerd :clap:

 

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#38 Branislav

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Posted 15 January 2021 - 13:07

MINI WON :clap:



#39 Alex79

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 09:15

7500 kms the dakar crews have driven, some a bit more if they made navigational mistakes :drunk: At the trucks it was as good as a done deal, at the bikes and maybe the cars, it could still become an upset if someone made a mistake.

 

But it soon panned out that the mistake was with the challengers. KTM rider Sam Sunderland had to open yesterday's last stage and he already had an error in the first 40 kms. It made him drop out of top10 to 11th place in the stage, losing 13 minutes in the process. Best KTM in the stage was Mattias Walkner who came home 3rd, just before Skyler Howes on the BAS Dakar customer bike in 4th. But the first two places were for the former winner in Arabia (Ricky Brabec 1st) and the new winner in Arabia, (Kevin Benavides, 2nd). In the overall standings Benavides is 5 minutes quicker than Brabec, the first 1-2 of Honda since 1987 when Cyril Neveu and Edi Orioli were fighting for it in Africa. Behind the Honda's are three KTM bikes, Sunderland still gets the podium in 3rd, Michael Hutchence look alike Daniel Sanders does really well on his debut in 4th and Howes might just have earned a seat in the factory KTM team next year, as he was placed in BAS Dakar because the Austrian Marque wanted to evaluate his performance in a semi-pro organisation. Yamaha comes out of this Dakar with a lot of homework. I might have said earlier that all bikes had already abandoned with blown engines, but I was wrong. Adrien van Beveren was still hanging in there... until yesterday after 30 kms, when his Yamaha engine spit out its last breath. No Score for Yamaha. A bad tiding also came from France. Pierre Sherpin, amateur biker who had crashed on stage 7, had died from his injuries in transit from Arabia to Europe. He was found unconscious after a crash and was put in an artificial coma as he had brain damage. May he rest in peace  :(

 

In the cars it was Mini vs Toyota for both the last stagewin and the rally overall. Yazeed Al Rahji and Carlos Sainz had just a few seconds between them halfway, but a few kilometres before the finish the Toyota got engine troubles a bitter experience for the Arabian who somehow got back to Jeddah, albeit bog last. Peterhansel and Al Attiyah were in a close fight for the rest of the day, just as Monsieur Dakar wanted. The Qatari clocked a second time behind Sainz, but his margin on Peterhansel was only 40 seconds in third. This makes Peterhansel the winner of the Dakar for the 14th time in total and the winner of the Dakar on three continents. Al Attiyah is 2nd by 13 minutes, Sainz 3rd by an hour. Kuba Przygonski came home 4th in a customer Toyota and Nani Roma's more careful approach nets the Prodrive team a fifth place on the dakar debut. It seems the wheel hubs are a weak point of the car, they break easy and sometimes made tyre changes a grueling experience. Hopefully they will sort out the problem.

The Coronel brothers always said after debuting their Demon Jefferies buggy "you make up a little list of things you want to improve, but it turns into a pack of A4 paper. Incidentially, Tim and Tom had a relatively problemfree Dakar.... until yesterday when they got stuck 800 meters after starting, had an oil leak halfway and got stuck again when they had to avoid the crashed Scania of Karoly Fazekas.Still they got to the finish in 26th place.

 

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In the LV's Kris Meeke finished like he started, with a win.I was a bit concerned when I saw the images of a lot of buggy's crisscrossing to find an elusive waypoint, but Meeke and Rosegaar already nabbed it and won by 3 minutes in front of buggy veteran Reinaldo Varela. As Chaleco Lopez also missed that waypoint, it could have been a bit tricky for him, but his rival Austin Jones also missed some time and only came in 9th, Lopez stranded on 11th place and still had 18 minutes of a lead left. Kees Koolen and Jurgen vd Goorbergh finished the rally in 6th place, 3 hours behind Lopez

 

"YAYA, HATTRICK!!" That was how Martin Macik greeted the cameracrews. The Czech managed to win another stage, although he was more concentrated on keeping fourth in the standings.Ales Loprais was leading in the first waypoints, but then got stuck and fell back to 7th. Macik overtook him again and won the stage, one minute ahead of Shibalov. Dakar winner Sotnikov came home 3rd. Pascal de Baar put his Renault just outside top10, 11th, but just like every rally in South America, he managed to finish the truck with a broken right headlight "Don't know where we got that" he quipped. For Jaroslav Valtr the rally ended on a real sour note. The Czech was taking too many risks and broke the front axle of his Iveco halfway the stage, no chance of finishing there. Martin and Mitchell vd Brink both managed to finish the rally, father Martin in 9th place, son Mitchell in 19th :clap:

Martin-van-den-Brink-Dakar-2021-678x381.

 

Last, the classics category was won by the Sunhill buggy on Marc Douton, 2nd place was for the Mitsubishi team ofJuan Donatiu and third for the Renault Kerax truck of Team Boucou. Thanks to driver Lilian Harichouri, the RAC of the Desert finally scores a podium. Even the heavily smoking peugeot 504 pickup managed to crawl home, although the car seems to have had engine troubles the entire rally. It even had to be repaired before the start because of an oil leaks, thanks to a few African mechanics working in Arabia, Roberto Camporese managed to start and even score a top10 finish in the last stage

 

If you look at it purely for the images, I think the Arabia setup could work very well. The routes are beautifull, certainly not sprinting rally like it was in Argentina. Lots of dunes and tricky navigation. Only gripe I have the new rules on navigational roadbooks are preventing especially the bikers from preparing the routes. That leads to them underestimating the danger zones and crashing. It also caused discrepancies in briefings where drivers are told there will be a lot of dunes in stages, but that turns out only at the very last km's and to get there, there will be  200 kms twisty tracks full of rocks. It is why Loeb complained of "gymkhana in the desert" with the high point friday 8th when a whole bunch of trucks was clogging up a small mountain pass. We'll have to see how it pans out next year.

 


Edited by Alex79, 16 January 2021 - 09:20.


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#40 Requiem84

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 09:22

Thanks Alex for your hard work in this thread, much appreciated!

#41 Alan Lewis

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 10:03

Seconded. This has been a pleasure to read.

#42 Alex79

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Posted 16 January 2021 - 15:27

Thnx ppl. I always liked these kind of rally, glad you enjoyed it :wave: