Sunday 19 January 2014

Rally - Roma wins Dakar

Spain’s Joan ‘Nani’ Roma has won the 2014 Dakar Rally in his Monster Energy X-raid Team MINI ALL4 Racing. He finished the rally just 5:32 minutes  in front of his teammate Stéphane Peterhansel (FR) with Nasser Al-Attiyah (QT) third in another MINI.

It was the first win for Nani Roma in a car at the Dakar Rally. The Spaniard had already won the event on a motorbike when it was still held in North Africa in 2004. "I'm so relieved and happy," Roma said. "It was my big goal to win the Dakar not only on a motorbike but also in a car. A dream came true for me and I want to thank everybody at X-raid and MINI for their great work!"

The 9,374 km-long route led from Rosario (AR) across the Andes and the challenging Atacama desert to Valparaíso (CL) at the Pacific coast. The drivers had to face a lot of different weather conditions and soils. Gravel in the Andes and a lot of extremely fine sand in the hot Atacama desert.

Further back the South African based Team Ford Racing equipe finished in 22nd place overall with Lucio Alvarez driving the Ford Ranger pickup:  “We didn’t have the race I was hoping for," he said, "but the important thing is we brought the car to the finish line and we had a good run this week.  To be more competitive we’ll need to focus on engine performance, but other than that the car is really good.”

“The fast but rough stages in Argentina were probably the hardest on the car, and the long 605 km Stage 11 was probably the most difficult with a mix of conditions from rocks to soft sand. We started the stage with 500 litres of fuel, three spare tyres and lots of spare parts so that was pretty tough.”

“The best part of the 2014 Dakar for me was the last 100 km of Stage 12, with the big dunes which I really enjoyed driving over,” said Lucio.

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