Dakar 2012 – Stage 10

Stage 10

Iquique > Arica

Route

January 11th: A loop to the South before heading back on the trail North. A variation of surfaces and a few dunes are the order of the day, before a road section to Arica near the Peruvian border.

Magazine (2min):

Stuck in the mud. Give us a tow.

Stage 10 Summary:

Drama for Gordon as the officials find an illegal part, but he’s allowed to continue under appeal as he says it is legal, he checked it with them beforehand and he’s run it on every Dakar he’s contested so far. A bigger disaster for Holowczyc – he lost 5 hours today!

Standings

Today – Bikes

1. Barreda Bort (Husqvar)
2. Coma (KTM) +1m32s
3. Despres (KTM) +3m39s
4. Viladoms (KTM) +8m48s
5. Svitko (KTM) +9m44s

Overall – Bikes

1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +21s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +45m56s
4. Viladoms (KTM) +1h18m52s
5. Svitko (KTM) +1h24m38s

Coma pulled back 2 minutes today and is now just 21 seconds behind! Amazing considering the distance travelled each day: today’s stage took over 4 hours.

Today – Cars

1. Roma (MINI)
2. Peterhansel (MINI) +21s
3. De Villiers (Toyota) +7m44s
4. Gordon (Hummer) +14m14s
5. Ten Brinke (Mitsubishi) +29m47s

Overall – Cars

1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Roma (MINI) +19m05s
3. Gordon (Hummer) +19m51s
4. De Villiers (Toyota) +1h01m133s
5. Novitsky (MINI) 2h00m55s

Roma jumps Gordon for 2nd. Holoqczyc drops from 3rd to 13th, and he’s lucky so many others had dropped back or incurred penalties – if this had been a race with 2 or 3 official manufacturers he might’ve been much further down the list. This promotes Novitsky to 5th despite being two hours down, I think from the daily shows I’ve watched that he’s running as MINI’s ‘fast assistance vehicle’ so has to stop to help whenever the other MINI’s run into trouble.

Trucks: de Rooy’s lead is now an hour over his team mate Stacey.

Dakar 2012 – Stage 9

Stage 9

Antofagasta > Iquique

Route

January 10th: The total stage mileage today is 556km but that includes a lengthy untimed neutral section as the stage is split into two parts. Again this day contains dirt, fesh fesh and rocky tracks. The second section features one of the highlights of the whole rally: a 3km, 32% incline descent – on sand – into the Pacific town of Iquique; Bolivia is not far away, and you may have seen this same descent on the ‘Top Gear Bolivian Special’!

Magazine (2min):

A look at the organisational side of the rally. What happens if something goes wrong?

Stage 9 Summary:

A mixed day for the Hummers.

Standings

Today – Bikes

1. Rodrigues (Yamaha)
2. Despres (KTM) +3m16s
3. Svitko (KTM) +4m35s
4. Viladoms (KTM) +5m58s
5. Verhoeven (Sherco) +7m02s

Coma, Despres and several others took the option of a 15-minute time penalty for an engine change. David Casteu broke down with engine failure and lost several hours, entering this stage lying 4th overall he’s now out of contention.

Overall – Bikes

1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +2m28s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +44m19s
4. Viladoms (KTM) +1h13m432s
5. Farres Guell (KTM) +1h18m05s

Today – Cars

Nasser al-Attiyah is out with alternator belt problems, having stopped three times to fix it he gave up and went home. Robby Gordon was not pleased! Expected him to wait for assistance then continue. Nasser says he’ll be back next year.. but not in a Hummer. Gordon must’ve channelled his anger well, he was fastest.

1. Gordon (Hummer)
2. Peterhansel (MINI) +1m38s
3. Roma (MINI) +8m37s
4. Holowczyc (MINI) +10m39s
5. Leal Dos Santos (MINI) +15m23s

A horde of MINIs, but de Villiers wasn’t far behind them and neither was Carlos Sousa in the Great Wall – a Chinese manufacturer entering the Dakar for the first time I think.

Overall – Cars

1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +5m58s
3. Holowczyc (MINI) +16m49s
4. Roma (MINI) +19m26s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +54m10s

Quads: 2nd overall entering today, Tomas Maffei lost 44 minutes today which means the Patronelli brothers sit first and second.

Trucks: Sad news as Ales Loprais exited the rally today after his truck rolled on to its roof. Both he and his co-drivers are okay apart from bruises, but as one of the top challengers to de Rooy it is a shame to see him go.

Dakar 2012 – Stage 8

Stage 8

Copiapo > Antofagasta

Route

After two days in the Copiapo region including the Rest Day, it is time for the rally to press on, Northwards! Today we leave the dunes and return to the mud and rocks for a 477km special which at one point climbs to 3000m. This is the longest stage of the rally, but it is expected to be fast.

Magazine (3min):

At the halfway stage of the Dakar 2012, let’s look at what’s new to the rally. First a visit to the new opening city Mara del Plata in Argentina, before looking ahead to the Peruvian stages coming later in the week which are new to this year’s event.

Stage 8 Summary:

Trouble for Despres and Goncalves..

“Fesh Fesh” is my new favourite term just for how it sounds, but the racers hate it. Fine dusty sand which gets everywhere.

Standings

Today – Bikes

Sadly, Lopez withdrew before this stage due to a fall on stage 7.

After the first seven motorcycles went through and were getting stuck, the organisers modified the course and sent the others around the area. Because of this they have decided to modify the times of those first seven riders to give them back some of the time lost, however Despres still lost time to the rest.

1. Coma (KTM)
2. Ullevalseter (KTM) +1m55s
3. Faria (KTM) +7m00s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +7m10s
5. Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) +8m44s

Overall – Bikes

1. Coma (KTM)
2. Despres (KTM) +1m26s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +49m01s
4. Casteu (Yamaha) +1h09m52s
5. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +1h12m11s

Coma to the lead! Goncalves also got stuck and drops a place to 5th, moving Casteu up to 4th.

Today – Cars

1. Roma (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +5s
3. Holowczyc (MINI) +2m04s
4. Peterhansel (MINI) +5m38s
5. Al-Attiyah (Hummer) +8m09s

Wow, a stage win by just 5 seconds!

Overall – Cars

1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +7m36s
3. Holowczyc (MINI) +7m48s
4. Roma (MINI) +12m27s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +37m45s

Gordon took 5 minutes from Peterhansel, he’s up to second place and closing in.

Dakar 2012 – Stage 7

Stage 7

Copiapo > Copiapo

Route

Today’s stage is a 419km loop starting and finishing in Copiapo, running through the Atacama desert. It starts with a 154km road section before the competitors hit the soft sand of the desert, with a brief untimed neutralised section roughly halfway through before hitting the dunes.

Magazine (3min):

Tensions are rising for some! (Note – the sound mix is pretty bad here at times, the overly-dramatic music is louder than the guy talking).

Stage 7 Summary:

Incredible footage, some of those dunes are huge!

Standings

Today – Bikes

1. Coma (KTM)
2. Despres (KTM) +2m03s
3. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +2m49s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +3m46s
5. Farres Guell (KTM) +6m50s

Overall – Bikes

1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +7m48s
3. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +49m39s
4. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +55m33s
5. Casteu (Yamaha) +1h05m38s

Coma took a couple of minutes out of the lead. Goncalves is up a position and Casteu enters the top five with Lopez having dropped to 9th.

Today – Cars

1. Al-Attiyah (Hummer)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +7m30s
3. Peterhansel (MINI) +7m3s
4. Holowczyc (MINI) +14m572s
5. Roma (MINI) +15m191s

A 1-2 for the Hummers, and Al-Attiyah was on a real charge! A stage win by over seven minutes.

Overall – Cars

1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Holowczyc (MINI) +11m22s
3. Gordon (Hummer) +13m09s
4. Roma (MINI) +18m05s
5. De Villiers (Toyota) +34m07s

Peterhansel put 6 minutes on Holowczyc today, more than doubling his lead. Gordon gained a small amount of time to the rally leader and moved up to 3rd. Al-Attiyah lies 6th at +42m54s.

In the meantime, the quads are led by Alejandro Patronelli by about an hour, his brother is 3rd sandwiching Maffei.
The trucks are led by De Rooy’s Iveco, who is ahead of the Tatra of Loprais by 17 minutes with De Rooy’s teammate Stacey in 3rd before a trio of Kamaz machines.

The following day was Sunday January 8th, the Rest Day. The rally stays in the Copiaco bivouac to allow everyone to recover from the opening week’s exertions (and to allow late arrivals stuck in the sand on Stage 6 a chance to get in) before hitting the challenges of the rest of Chile and the new stages of Peru. I’ll jump straight into Monday’s Stage 8 with my next post.