Dakar 2012 – Stage 3

Stage 3

San Rafael > San Juan


Nearly 300km of road driving opened the day before the competitors tackled the timed special stage: cars and trucks raced 208km but the bikes and quads took a different route over 270km including an extra summit to climb, a long day for them. The terrain on the SS for all vehicles was rocky mud tracks all the way.

Magazine (2min):

A profle of the French rider Matthieu Lagrive (#97 Yamaha), a Superbike racer who has made the transition to dirt biking for the Dakar.

Stage 3 Summary (3min):

And a navigation mistake from moto leader Marc Coma who followed the car route for a short while, such are the perils of being the opening rider. My favourite thing about these videos is the French pronunciation of ‘Hummer’ and ‘Robby Gordon’.

Videos from the official Dakar YouTube channel / ASO.


Don’t read this until you’ve seen the videos.

Today – Bikes

Big time gaps today, except for the 2s gap between 2nd and 3rd!

1. Despres (KTM)
2. Verhoeven (Sherco) +8m37s
3. Goncalves (Husqvarna) +8m39s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +10m03s
5. Casteu (Yamaha) +11m42s

Overall – Bikes

1. Despres (KTM)
2. Coma (KTM) +10m12s
3. Casteu (Yamaha) +17m16s
4. Lopez (Aprilia) +17m37s
4. Rodrigues (Yamaha) +19m49s

Today – Cars

1. Roma (MINI)
2. Holowcyc (MINI) +1m09s
3. Al-Attiyah (Hummer) +1m29s
4. De Villiers (Toyota) +1m33s
5. Gordon (Hummer) +2m08s

Overall – Cars

1. Holowcyc (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +54s
3. De Villiers (Toyota) +1m40s
4. Roma (MINI) +1m50s
5. Peterhansel (MINI) +2m41s

Big gaps among the bike contingent (and quads and trucks too), but the cars are very close together and the order is changing daily! Lots of drama still yet to unfold, the challenge in all classes is not just to beat the competition but to beat the rally.


Dakar 2012 – Stage 2

Stage 2

Santa Rosa de la Pampa > San Rafael


Over 200km of road section leads into a 290km special stage on dirt and rock tracks, with some dunes at the end.

Magazine (1min):

Some of the top entries in the car category.

Stage 2 Summary (3min):

The Hummers on a charge!

Videos from the official Dakar YouTube channel / ASO.


Don’t read this until you’ve seen the videos.

Today – Bikes

1. Coma (KTM)
2. Despres (KTM) +1m18s
3. Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) +2m33s
4. Lopez (Aprilia) +2m44s
5. Przygonski (KTM) +4m17s

Overall – Bikes

1. Coma (KTM)
2. Lopez (Aprilia) +2m30s
3. Despres (KTM) +2m52s
4. Przygonski (KTM) +4m52s
4. Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) +8m16s

Today – Cars

1. Al-Attiyah (Hummer)
2. Peterhansel (MINI) +54s
3. Gordon (Hummer) +2m42s
4. Holowcyc (MINI) +3m31s
5. Roma (MINI) +4m15s

Overall – Cars

1. Peterhansel (MINI)
2. Gordon (Hummer) +2m28s
3. Holowcyc (MINI) +2m33s
4. De Villiers (Toyota) +3m49s
5. Roma (MINI) +5m32s

Only on stage 2 but the time gaps are starting to appear. This rally is about survival though, it can all change yet.

Dakar 2012 – Stage 1

The first motorsport event of any year is the Dakar Rally, which for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere is a great winter-warmer reminding us what it is like not to be cold (though thankfully the winter has been mild in the UK this season – so far) whilst also providing us a racing fix.

The organisers release ~3-minute highlight packages of each stage which are a great way to get a Dakar fix without a lot of commitment, so if you haven’t followed much of this year’s rally or want to relive it, do take a look. There are also short ‘magazine’ segments of about a minute. I’ll be posting videos here over the next week, all you have to do is come back here every day and watch no more than ten minutes of amazing footage. I wish I’d remembered these videos earlier rather than on the day the competitors contested Stage 10, so I’ll aim to post two stages per evening to catch up.

For those wanting more detail, there are 30-40 minute recap shows available on Eurosport (Europe), NBC Sports (USA), SBS (Australia), France Television (France) and other networks around the world. I watch those shows because they are good fun, but obviously it is a big commitment to ask everybody to do that for a fortnight. Do watch these shorter 3min videos for a taste of the action.

This year the rally travels from the Atlantic coast of Argentina to the Pacific coasts of Chile and Peru.

Again the rally is contested by different vehicles: bikes, quads, cars and trucks. My main interest lies with the cars (a fleet of (big) MINIs against Robby Gordon and Nasser al-Attiyah in Hummers, what a contrast!) and then the bikes (featuring an epic battle between Marc Coma and Cyril Despres), but the trucks and quads can be fun sometimes too. The videos should typically open with the bikes and then cover the cars.

Stage 1

Mara del Plata > Santa Rosa de la Pampa


A short warm-up stage of just 57km to get things going, but with a long road section of 700km afterwards to get the competitors deep into Argentina.

Intro (1min):

Stage Summary (3min):

Sadly one of the characters of the Dakar was out on day one, Alfie Cox’s Volvo went up in flames.

Videos from the official Dakar YouTube channel / ASO.


Don’t read this until you’ve seen the videos – spoilers!


1. Lopez (Aprilia)
2. Coma (KTM)
3. Pizzolito (Honda)
4. Cody (Honda)
5. Przygonski (KTM)


1. Novitskiy (MINI)
2. Holowcyc (MINI)
3. Peterhansel (MINI)
4. De Villiers (Toyota)
5. Gordon (Hummer)

Early days yet though.

Weekend Preview: 04-Jan-09

Welcome to the first in a new series of posts previewing the coming weekend’s racing. Yes, I know it is Saturday and the weekend already – I only thought of this idea this morning!

As you know in 2008 I posted a series of F1 race previews. To save repeating the same stuff before each race (and to shamelessly find a way to create more content) I thought it would be good to expand to cover more races and to write some very short comments about each of them. We’ll see how long this lasts shall we? Hah. The format will probably develop as more races take place per weekend from April. Okay, let’s begin:

Weekend Preview: 3rd & 4th January 2009

Dakar Rally: Today is Stage 1 of the 2009 Dakar, which this year takes place in Argentina and Chile. As usual hundreds of bikes, cars and a few trucks will be tackling the 9500kms over the coming fortnight including some drivers from other disciplines, such as Carlos Sainz (ex-WRC), Robby Gordon (NASCAR) and Ukyo Katayama (ex-F1). Stage 1 runs from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa de la Pampa.
You can follow rally updates at www.dakar.com including live stage results.
TV coverage is on Eurosport in Europe, on Versus in North America, on Fox Sports Latin America in Central and South America and on ESPN Star Sports across Asia. I’m not sure how much is live and how much is daily highlights, take a look and find out! Other coverage partners can be found here. Unfortunately I can’t get any of the channels it’s on and I don’t want to be downloading updates every day. I miss having Eurosport, I want it back!

Message to IRL IndyCar fans in US/Canada: NOW would be a great time to check if you have the Versus channel. Go and have a look, watch some of their Dakar coverage and report back to: a) me because I’m curious, b) your favourite IRL blogs, and c) the likes of Cavin and Miller. Are they taking an official Dakar feed or a Eurosport feed, or are they providing their own content, commentary, etc? Is it any good?
The Dakar Rally is organised by the same people behind the Tour de France which is probably how this coverage deal came about.

Africa Race: Since the Dakar has moved out of Africa, for the time being at least, an alternative has been set up. It’s about the scale of the early Dakar rallies so there aren’t a huge number of competitors and the TV deals aren’t great (I can’t find where it will be shown). In any case, if you’re interested you can follow it at www.africarace.com and www.africarace-live.com.

That’s about the size of it for this weekend. Thanks for reading and I hope I’ll be able to continue this feature throughout the year. Feel free to include anything I’ve missed in the comments.

If anyone can tell me how to fix the mis-alignment in the footer of my posts please let me know. I was dicking about with the settings and it went out of line, I returned it to what it was and it didn’t fix itself.

This post was written with the aid of a Lemsip as I hate colds – at least I have Mario Kart!