Dakar 2018

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Oct 4, 2006
Seattle, WA
This just in.....


Sorry I normally have a thread on about this from the start with updates.... will get this one up to date today and then go from there.
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Stage one


The opening stage of the 2018 Dakar consisted of a spectacular link section along the Pacific coast followed by a 31 km sprint near Pisco —the ideal warm-up before the first real difficulties of the rally emerge in the next few days. It helped competitors to get a feel for the dunes of the Ica Desert near Pisco (where the famous Peruvian brandy of the same name is made) before a beautiful downhill that gave specialists the chance to shine.

The essentials

Defending champion Sam Sunderland stamped his authority on the race with a solid win in Pisco. The official KTM rider is the first leader, 32 seconds ahead of a stellar Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha). Pablo Quintanilla and Joan Barreda also came within striking distance, whereas 2016 winner Toby Price finished a distant 14th. Ignacio Casale sent a clear message to his rivals in the quad category by nabbing his first stage win ahead of defending champion Sergey Karyakin and Frenchman Sébastien Souday, who has yet to finish the Dakar despite three previous attempts. Meanwhile, in the car category, Al-Attiyah again showed his determination to end the reign of Peugeot with a victory that holds the promise of several more. The Qatari's teammate, Bernhard ten Brinke, confirmed the stellar performance of the new Toyota while Stéphane Peterhansel was forced on the defensive. Aleš Loprais, on the other hand, took his sixth stage win in the truck category as he chases the overall victory that has eluded him so far. Martin van den Brink and Eduard Nikolaev are under 30 seconds back. Finally, Aníbal Aliaga gave Peru even more reasons to celebrate with a stage win in the S×S category on his Dakar debut.

Performance of the day

Bryce Menzies could hardly have hoped for a better start to his first Dakar. The American Bajas expert finished his first special in third place, a mere 38 seconds adrift of the great Nasser Al-Attiyah. He even beat team leader Nani Roma as the first Mini driver on the standings.

A crushing blow

The inaugural stage turned into a nightmare for Sébastien Loeb. Peugeot's Alsatian driver found himself without functional brakes after just 3 km of racing. The nine-time WRC champion has already lost over five minutes to Nasser Al-Attiyah and will have to work very hard to claw them back.

Stat of the day

A mere 33 seconds separated Adrien van Beveren from a second consecutive Dakar stage win over Sam Sunderland. However, the French rider is on the rise and determined to pile the pressure on his English winter training companion and brother-in-law!

Quote of the day

Stéphane Peterhansel: "I didn't feel comfortable with the headlamps so high. I wasn't very confident, so I drove like a granny. I spent the entire stage on the defensive. Proportionally, we conceded lots of time to Nasser. Two minutes in 30 kilometres is a big deal. We need to ease into the race, things will work out."






Can't embed a daily motion video on here but this is the link to day one

edit NM I figured it out
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Stage 2


After a short appetiser on Saturday, the competitors faced the full might of the dunes of Ica near Pisco on Sunday. The second stage in Peru was 90% off the track. The 267 km challenge required some serious navigational skills, especially among the car drivers, who for once had to open the road. In the end, the Peugeot drivers capitalised on the tracks of the top 10 to burst back onto the scene after a disappointing opener.

The essentials

Cyril Despres turned the race on its head in Pisco. He drove his Peugeot superbly and navigated the dunes flawlessly to secure his second Dakar stage win in the car category. The victory also catapulted him to the overall lead with a 27-second margin over Stéphane Peterhansel, who finished second on the day and rocketed up the general classification as well. Sébastien Loeb made it a 1-2-3 for the Lions. The motorcycle classification also saw a change of leader, with an amazing Joan Barreda turning on the afterburners in the second half of the stage to defeat his rivals. Adrien Van Beveren, meanwhile, managed to hold his deficit to about three minutes. In the quad category, Ignacio Casale took another step towards victory in Córdoba with his second stage win in as many days. However, 2017 winner Sergey Karyakin spent the entire stage hot on his heels and remains well within striking distance after losing just 43 seconds. Defending champion Eduard Nikolaev opened a serious gap in the truck category, leaving his rivals in the dust after just two stages.

Performance of the day

For all his experience in the world of motocross and enduro, Jonathan Barragán is still a rookie at the Dakar. The biker from Madrid is making his debut on a GasGas in the Spanish maker's return to the greatest rally in the world. Barragán, eleventh in Pisco and just three seconds off the pace of 2016 champion Toby Price, is already mixing it with the big boys. He is now the top-placed rookie in the general classification.

A crushing blow

The nightmare scenario came true for Nasser Al-Attiyah in Pisco. The Toyota driver, who had to open the road in a navigation-heavy special after yesterday's victory, steadily lost time to the Peugeot drivers and finished the stage about a quarter of an hour back, although it must be said that his co-driver Matthieu Baumel fell ill after just 15 km.

Stat of the day

Joan Barreda is still chasing an overall Dakar win, but today he proved again that he is one of the fastest bikers the rally has ever seen. The Spaniard claimed his 20th stage in Pisco. The only ones with more stage wins are Arcarons (27) and various multiple-time Dakar winners: Despres and Peterhansel (33), Coma (25) and Auriol (24).

Quote of the day

Sébastien Loeb: "I think we posted a decent time and we won't be opening the road tomorrow, so I think it will be all right. We always follow the track, even though we sometimes suspect that it's not the right one. But we stay the course because we don't want to lose it. Our goal is to make it out of Peru in one piece. Failing to find a waypoint can cost you dearly."






Stage 3


Following a first long stage that enabled initial gaps to be opened on Sunday, the competitors had to tackle the dunes of the Ica Desert for one last time, allowing them to showcase their navigation and dune-crossing talents. There was much time on offer to be made up for the unfortunate participants of the previous day before swooping down into San Juan de Marcona and its big fine sandy beaches.

The essentials

Sam Sunderland set the record straight. The winner in 2017 was distanced yesterday, but grabbed his second victory in three days and more importantly opened up big gaps over his rivals. Kevin Benavides and Toby Price limited the damage, but Matthias Walkner and Adrien van Beveren did not, trailing the leader by more than 13 minutes. Sunderland’s performance was echoed by Nasser Al-Attiyah, who brilliantly recovered after a below-standard day yesterday. The Qatari dominated the stage from start to finish and methodically distanced the Peugeot armada to reduce his disadvantage in the general standings, which nonetheless are now solidly led by Stéphane Peterhansel. Federico Villagra picked up his first victory on the Dakar on his third participation in the truck category by beating the leader of the general standings, Eduard Nikolaev, at the very end of the stage.

Performance of the day

Ignacio Casale continues to dominate the Dakar 2018. The Chilean quad rider triumphed in San Juan de Marcona to take his third consecutive stage victory in fine style. The winner in 2014 finished half an hour ahead of Alexis Hernandez and Sergey Karyakin, both powerless to counteract Casale’s superiority.

A crushing blow

Proud to open the way following his excellent performance yesterday, Joan Barreda went through hell at the end of the special. The official Honda rider missed a way-point and had to turn back for 15 kilometres until he found the right track. As a result, he lost 28 minutes to the stage winner. Barreda must now attack to claw back the time lost and hope that his rivals make mistakes.

Stat of the day

With 80 kg less and 3 cm more suspension clearance on his Toyota, Nasser Al-Attiyah is taking full advantage of his new Hilux’s dynamic qualities. These modifications are permitted by new FIA rules that came into force recently, to strike a balance between the performance of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive vehicles.

Quote of the day

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “We had two flat tyres: today and on morning one, on the short stage, and we had one today before thirty kilometres. We lost around three minutes, but it was not a big deal. We won the stage, which was good. We needed to push, but not really crazily. It was not a big push, because the road really isn’t easy and very dangerous in places. It was a good performance and I’m quite happy to win. It’s no problem. There’s still a long way and we believe our Toyota Hilux is a good car and we’ll do our best like what we did today. It's good, except for yesterday when we opened which was very difficult for us because there were no lines, but I think we are in a good way now”.






Stage 4


A splendid fine sandy beach with a spectacular grouped start, more than 100 kilometres of dunes of all sizes and a tricky canyon to tackle just before the finish was the setting in the region of San Juan de Marcona for the long fourth stage that was favourable to surprises!

The essentials

Adrien Van Beveren could not have hoped to have done better. Thanks to a big and brave victory, the Frenchman has jumped from 7th to 1st place in the general standings. The Yamaha rider took advantage of title holder Sam Sunderland withdrawing following a back injury caused by a jump, whilst Xavier de Soultrait and Matthias Walkner finished in second and third place. As for the car race, the top 3 was much less of a surprise, with another demonstration of strength by the Peugeots. Sébastien Loeb won his first stage victory of the year in front of Carlos Sainz, whilst Stéphane Peterhansel finished in third, concentrating on controlling the general standings. Nasser Al-Attiyah went through hell today and lost almost one hour. A skilled dune driver, he nevertheless twice got stuck in the sand. In the quad category, Sergey Karyakin finally put a stop to Ignacio Casale’s domination thanks to a narrow victory over the general standings leader. In the truck race, Eduard Nikolaev is enjoying a dream Dakar in his Kamaz, with a third consecutive victory crowned by a big lead over Federico Villagra.

Performance of the day

Called up at the last minute to replace the injured Paulo Gonçalves, Jose Ignacio Cornejo is enjoying a successful debut with the official Honda team. The young Chilean rider, who took part in his first Dakar in 2016, currently occupies 7th place in the general standings thanks to a fine seventh placed finish in San Juan de Marcona, making it his second consecutive top 10 finish.

A crushing blow

In contrast to his team-mates’ 1-2-3 finish, Cyril Despres experienced a nightmarish day behind the wheel of his Peugeot, due to losing a rear wheel after hitting a rock. The five times winner on a bike found it difficult to explain this mistake in a section without any apparent difficulties. Second in the general standings this morning and winner of stage 2, Despres is condemned to wait for long time until his assistance team arrives to try and repair in order for him to continue the rally. In any case, his ambitions in the general standings are well and truly crushed.

Stat of the day

With already 10 stage victories on the Dakar in just three editions, Sébastien Loeb is a man in a hurry. The best is probably yet to come for the Peugeot driver who is not particularly fond of navigation in and among the dunes, as opposed to the quicker terrains which the rally will soon encounter…

Quote of the day

Xavier de Soultrait: “It was full, full, full attack! I think we finished first and second with my team-mate. I started in the first wave on the beach and went out full throttle. I was in front during the first two hundred kilometres, but then Adrien caught up with me and we continued together through the dunes. When we ride together like that, I think that the riders following us need to do their utmost to hang on, because we couldn’t go any faster. Adrien established a gap in the dunes: he pushed and I told myself that I had to stick with him. I really had to pull all the stops out, because it wasn’t easy to follow him, but it was a bit like a chase right until the finish”.






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There are two land cruisers running this year


These are the teams


Current rankings for the first team


and the second

Day two took out the best American racer in the bunch

Wow! that looked nasty! Was that Bryce?
There are a couple of 100 series running as well.

Team 392 - It is listed as LandCruiser Rent2Race - Looks like a hundy of some sort - Rent2Race
Team 410 - HDJ100

There have been some critical mistakes early. The rookies going way to fast in terrain they have never been in. The one motorcycle jump on day 1 less than 1 mile from the start was scary.
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I so want one of the Russian KAMAZ trucks. Those things are amazing!
Loeb out. Co-Driver injured.
Wow! that looked nasty! Was that Bryce?

Yeah he isn't having a ton of luck. Broke his shoulder last year in a crash and now this one.
There are a couple of 100 series running as well.

Team 392 - It is listed as LandCruiser Rent2Race - Looks like a hundy of some sort - Rent2Race
Team 410 - HDJ100

There have been some critical mistakes early. The rookies going way to fast in terrain they have never been in. The one motorcycle jump on day 1 less than 1 mile from the start was scary.

Forgot about the 100's

first one is listed like that because she is a journalist. She is an official entrant but is mostly doing it for fun and for her news show.




Some private cruiser entries from the 93 season and a bronco

Always have to admire the Dakar photography!

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