With the winners of the Dakar Rally rolling through the finish line in Valpariso, Chile this past weekend, the annual race across South America’s harshest terrain has concluded. Although it was won by a new cadre of drivers, last year’s winning teams repeated their victories, yielding a few surprises along the way.
After leaving Africa and abandoning the traditional Pars/Lisbon-Dakar route in 2009 for security reasons, the Dakar Rally has finished its sixth year in South America. This year’s race began in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina and finished in Valpariso, Chile, running more than 8,500 kilometers across 13 stages. This year’s race is considered to be one of the most challenging of all time, traversing parts of the Andes, as well as the Atacama desert.
In the cars category, Mini All4 Racing secured victory for a third year in a row. Nani Roma clinched first place, followed by his teammate and category victor in 2012 and 2013, Stephane Peterhansel, who holds a record breaking 11 wins for the event. With this victory, Roma fulfilled his longtime dream of winning the cars category, after winning the motorbike category in 2004. Peterhansel finished second, with teammate, Nasser Al-Attiyah, finishing third. With this, all three made good on their team’s instructions to sweep the podium at all costs. After taking an impressive lead, Peterhansel was instructed to allow Roma to pass him, and all three Mini drivers were instructed to freeze their positions in the race in order to ensure a podium sweep. The team’s decision has caused controversy, and some can’t help but wonder how results may have differed, barring any outside interference. The team drove modified Mini Countryman models, sponsored by Monster Energy.
Marc Coma raced his KTM 450 Rally to victory in a fourth straight victory for the bike, as well as another win added to the seemingly endless streak of KTM victories (since 2001), with Coma adding to his wins in 2006, 2009 and 2011. Coma’s fellow Spaniard and teammate, Jordi Viladoms, finished in second place for the motorbike category, with Frenchman Oliver Pain of the Yamaha team clinching third.
Yamaha driver Ignacio Casale won the quad category, preserving Yamaha’s streak, with the team having won every year since the category’s inception in 2009. Russian driver, Andre Karginovg brought Kamaz its second straight victory in the truck category, with the Iveco team, Kamaz’s only real challenger in recent years, taking home second place.
Check out the video below:
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