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Peterhansel's twelfth, Price's first victories highlight Dakar triumphs

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by R.J. O'Connell, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell

    Stephane Peterhansel 2016 Dakar Celebrations.jpg
    The 37th running of the Dakar Rally concluded on Saturday in Rosario, Argentina, with the list of this year's champions highlighted by the twelfth victory for "Mr. Dakar" Stephane Peterhansel - claiming Peugeot's first Dakar win in twenty-six years.

    Peterhansel's sixth victory in the Car category (2004-05, 2007, 2012-13, 2016) matches his six victories as a competitor in the Bike category (1991-93, 1995, 1997-98), adding to the 50-year-old Frenchman's record total of wins across two continents. For Peugeot, this is their fifth Dakar victory and their first since 1990, and in a discipline that is utterly and rightfully dominated by all-wheel drive cars, their rear-wheel drive 2008 DKR looked astonishingly quick and durable in the punishing South American terrain - becoming the first 2WD winner of the Dakar's Car class since the Schlesser Buggy won in 1999 and 2000.

    One of the main storylines of the Cars at Dakar was the debut of nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb, who joined Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz at Peugeot. With the same unbelievable adaptability that saw him win in his debuts in the World Touring Car Championship, the Blancpain Sprint Series, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and even the X Games in recent years, Loeb set a blistering pace for the opening week of the rally. But a savage rollover on Stage 8 ended Loeb's bid for a win on debut - he would ultimately finish the rally ninth overall, taking four stage wins along the way. Sainz briefly took the lead of the rally in a bid for his second Dakar crown - until gearbox damage forced the veteran Spaniard to retire after ten stages. Peterhansel remained patient behind them, and as his teammates began to falter, the Dakar legend pulled away to leave the field in the dust, in a figurative and literal sense.

    Stephane Peterhansel 2016 Dakar Action.jpg

    Last year's Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah finished second for Mini, 34 minutes behind Peterhansel, while Giniel de Villiers made it a podium filled with former winners as the South African came home third for Toyota - notching up his fourth straight Dakar podium. Mikko Hirvonen, another former WRC star making his Dakar debut, was a stage winner as well and finished fourth overall in another of the Minis.

    With the retirement of defending champion Marc Coma from competition and Cyril Despres moving to the Car category from 2016, the Bikes class was set to be a wide-open affair and the potential launching pad for a new generation of Dakar heroes. In the end it was Toby Price, the 29-year-old Australian riding for Red Bull KTM, who became the first rider to claim the vacant crown that Coma and Despres traded for a decade.

    Toby Price 2016 Dakar Celebrations.jpg

    Price is the first Australian to win the Dakar in its thirty-seven year history, and in only his second entry. With five stage victories and a margin of victory of nearly forty minutes, Price claimed an emphatic victory to stake his claim as the future standard bearer of the Bike riders. It was a 1-2 finish for KTM - who claimed an unbelievable fifteenth consecutive Dakar victory - Slovakian Stefan Svitko finished second for his first Dakar podium, while Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla also picked up his maiden Dakar podium by finishing third overall - the best result for a Chilean rider. Rookies Kevin Benavides (4th), Adrien van Beveren (6th), and Antoine Meó (7th) also impressed on their first tries at the Dakar.

    Portuguese rider Paolo Gonçalves was an early contender who led for most of the first week of the rally, and although his run ended with a brutal fall on Stage 11, the Honda ace will be commended for his sportsmanship in assisting injured rider Matthias Walkner on Stage 7.

    The Quad category saw Marcos Patronelli win for the third time, leading a family 1-2 over his brother Alejandro - himself a two-time winner. It's the third time the Patronelli Brothers have finished 1-2 at the Dakar. Dutchman Gerard de Rooy took his second Dakar win in the Trucks category, as well as the second win for Iveco.

    No matter the setting of the Dakar Rally, it remains one of motorsports' most dangerous events. Once again, that danger was demonstrated throughout parts of the rally. An accident involving Mini driver Guo Meiling injured ten spectators on the Prologue stage. Stage 1 was wiped out entirely due to severe weather concerns. Most unfortunately, one spectator was fatally injured after being struck by the Mitsubishi Lancer of Lionel Baud on Stage 7 - the only fatality to spectator or competitor in the 2016 Dakar.

    What did you think of the 2016 Dakar Rally? Which competitor had the most impressive performance? Be sure to leave a comment below!

    Images: © Red Bull Media House
    • Like Like x 6
  2. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    RaceDepartment Founder Staff Premium

    Peterhansel is now really one of the biggest (underestimated) legends in motorsport history. Insane what this guy has achieved over the years.

    As a Dutchman I am super proud on De Rooy's amazing truck victory :)
  3. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Premium

    It's not 110% sure though. There is an appeal on Peterhansel, not heard anything about if that one is pulled or not.
  4. Daniel Monteiro

    Daniel Monteiro

    And last but not least, the Portuguese Mário Patrão won the Marathon class on the motorbikes. In that class they are not allowed to change many parts like the engine, frame, etc... so it does not get much more endurance than that - kudos to him! :thumbsup:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell

    Good call, Daniel!
  6. T_rac3


    Hi everyone,
    And also congratulation to my compatriot Emanuel "Many" Gyenes for second place at marathon class (which is not bad in such a tough race). He won first place at same class in two years: 2011 and 2015.
    And last but not least congratulation to all contributors at RD site. This is where I come everyday to read sim and real life motorsport news . Good job guys!!!!!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  7. Mark Aalberts

    Mark Aalberts

    Whenever i hear the wordt Paris Dakar there is always that one moment that pops in mind. 2 Legends catched in one view, maybe the only truck ever created that was able to keep up with the top of the car class and chase a overal podium position. Infact after this stage it was 3th overall untill they withdrawed from Dakar when the 2nd truck was involved in a fatal accident. I wonder what Ari Vatanen was thinking when he got overtaken by that 10 ton beast.:roflmao:

    80s,... golden era of motorsports when sky was the limit.:sneaky:

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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