Dakar - 2013 | Stage 7, Day 7 - [Calama-Salta]

Route Map - Cars / Trucks
Route Map - Bikes / Quads
Seventh day of Dakar '13 has dawned, and the Stage 7 awaits the endured competitors who have made their way this far. The route is almost common for all the categories, with only a different Parc Ferme for Bikes/Quads, which is little west of Salta and a little longer transport compared to the other two categories. Cars and trucks will head to Salta where they will halt for the night.

Stage 7 - Profile for Bikes / Quads, as well as Cars / Trucks
The highlight of the day, is the long running in length of 803 kms for Bikes & Quads, while a shorter 751 kms for Cars & Trucks. Day's action is set on a higher altitudes, which means thinner air pressure and lack of oxygen, both for humans and machines alike. The trucker's did have an advantage, where they were able to haul oxygen cylinders and masks for the onboard crew, but it was all-natural for the bike/quad riders. The stage is almost flat, with some climbs and a steeper descent near towards end of the stage.

Bikes / Quads

Bikers & Quad riders
Day 7 started with a long 418 kms of transport section before the action begun on the competitive stage of 218 kms of dirt/gravel for the first 136 kms and the later part with rock ridden route. American, Kurt Caselli did a fastest time and won the stage, while the rally leader Frenchman, Olivier Pain, finished second. Chilean rider Francesco Lopez finished third fastest. [However, there was bad news in the bikers, as another French rider Thomas Bourgin was killed in an head-on collision with a police car in the transport section before the stage start. May his soul rest in peace.]

Chilean, Sebastien Palma took the Quads stage win, 34s ahead of overall leader Marcos Patronelli. South African, Sarel Van Biljon [277] finished third quickest. Casale still in overall second, and Polish rider Rafal Sonik is overall third.

Cars / Trucks

Stephane Peterhansel
Peterhansel won the stage for Cars, also keeps the overall lead from Nasser Al-attiyah. By a tiny margin of 39s, came second Guerlain Chicherit and with over a minute Robby Gordon finished third in stage, while South African, Giniel De-villiers still hooks to the third overall.

Gerard De Rooy continues to dominate the Trucks category in his Iveco, Czech [Tatra] driver Ales Loprais came 2nd fastest, while Russian and Kamaz driver Karginov has finished third quickest. De Rooy is still the rally leader, Eduard Nikolaev second, and Martin Kolomy third placed overall.
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Terrible times for Dakar 2013 - Biker [no.106] Thomas Bourgin killed

Terrible times for the this year's running of Dakar. The reminders of the day-before yesterday's accident is still in the minds of the people related, as well for the followers, another unfortunate incident fills more tears and saddens the moment for the fallen. 25 yr old Frenchman, Thomas Bourgin, was killed in a head-on collision with a police car.

Read the statement the organisers have released here below [special press releases].

_ ______ ____________ _ ____________ ______ _

Motorcycle rider no. 106 Thomas Bourgin (FRA) was the victim of a fatal traffic accident on the link route as he made his way to the start of the day’s special stage.

The accident took place at 08.23 hours local time on the link route on the way up to the Chilean side of the mountain range. The 25-year-old rider collided with a Chilean police car that was travelling in the opposite direction. The exact circumstances of the accident are being subjected to an inquiry.
The rally’s medical teams deployed on the ground were only able to certify the rider’s death, probably instant.

Thomas Bourgin, from Saint Etienne, where he was born on December 23rd 1987, was in 68th place in the overall ranking of his first Dakar. He had realised his passion since 2009 when he took part in the Morocco Rally, followed by a 4th place in the 2011 Africa Race and a 7th place finish in the Tunisia Rally.

The organisers of the Dakar and everyone involved in it express their great sadness to his family and friends and offer their most sincere condolences. 

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Many heartful condolences for the dearest and nearest ones! May his soul rest in peace..

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Hyundai appoints Michel Nandan, as Team Principal for i20 WRT Programme

Michel Nandan with Hyundai i20 WRC car
Hyundai has made an important announcement today, including the formation of a new motorsport base in Europe and the appointment of Michel Nandan as their Team Principal.

It was way back in 2002, 03' that Hyundai were last active in the WRC, with the Accent World Rally Car, in collaboration with Motor Sport Developments, GB.

Hyundai confirmed in September, 2012 to re-enter the WRC with their newly [under development] i20 WRC car, to start competing in the 2014 World Rally Championship.

Hyundai confirmed today that, Michel Nandan [former engineer of Toyota, Peugeot and Suzuki in different technical positions in each] would head the development and competition programme as Team Principal.

Hyundai i20 WRC car - testing in Deutschland
Nandan said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by Hyundai to spearhead its exciting new entry into the WRC. The project is still in its infancy, but things are moving rapidly, and I am looking forward to developing the team as this year progresses. There is much to be done, of that we are fully aware, but with a dedicated facility in Alzenau and an ambitious core of highly motivated personnel, we are already making good progress.

Hyundai has also established a motorsport subsidiary, Hyundai Motorsport GmbH, in Alzenau, under which the company’s WRC-Program would run. It is proposed that the cars will be built in their new headquarters in Germany, close to Frankfurt, where Hyundai’s European HQ is situated.

As we all know and seen, an interim version of the i20 has already begun testing in Korea, and is still on to enable Hyundai to undertake component and suspension analysis with further tests scheduled throughout 2013.

Nandan added: “We are deliberately using an interim version of the i20 to carry out important component testing and to ensure that we have done our homework before we enter competition. This phase will continue throughout 2013 as we prepare for our first full season back in WRC in 2014. There are a lot of other decisions that we will have to make during the course of the year, particularly regarding the selection of drivers, but this also requires time and due diligence. We will, at the same time, keep a close eye on how the 2013 WRC season unfolds.

"Hyundai is excited to re-enter WRC, and we're back not just to compete, but to win," said Tak Uk Im, Executive Vice President & COO of Hyundai Motor.

Source wrc.com
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Dakar - 2013 | Stage 6, Day 6 - [Arica-Calama]

Race2Recovery - LandRover
Day 6 begun with a tragic news of the previous night's accident involving the Race2Recovery support crew, with one of the two taxi's crashed head on to their vehicle. Too bad to hear such news for any racer or anyone else to digest easily. However the race resumed for the day and the long transport section of 291 kms begun to align for the start line.

Stage 6

Stage 6 - MAP
Nani Roma @ Stage 5 - Start 
The day's action is a definitely going to be a typical 'Mad Max' day, as the next Special Stage which is about 438 kms, is same for all the categories and for spectators it is going to be a fiesta for eyes to watch all the action from their heroes doing what they love to! But, there is a catch for them too, as it happens that the Stage passes through public highway and it is going to be a neutralised section. Which means, no breaking lands' road-traffic [much like the transport/road section] laws on this stretch for about 97 kms in length. 

Stage 6 - Profile
Speeding on the neutralised section might result in disqualification and ousting off the rally & may even face legal charges by the law of the land. This ends at the 326 kms mark. Race goes on flat-out from here for another 112 kms, but over rocks-ridden, steep hill-climbing gravel-road, towards stage finish and it is definitely going to be a greater challenge. Another 40 kms of transport ends the day in Calama, Rally HQ.

Bikes / Quads

Franchesco 'Chaleco' Lopez
Quad rush
Country man, Chilean Francesco Lopez took the win of the stage, while Ruben Faria finished second and Cyril Despres finished comfortably in third. Overall, Olivier Pain still leads, but Cyril closes to him by just 2m22s after Pain finished stage down at 10th. French man David Casteu is third overall.

Another Chilean, Ignacio Nicolas Casale took his Quad to stage win and proved that they command on home grounds. Marcos Patronelli still leads overall rally, while Casale in 2nd.

Cars / Trucks

Nasser Al-attiyah
Nasser Al-attiyah wins stage ahead of Peter and Gordon finishes 3rd. It is not good going for Nasser's team-mate, Carlos Sainz, as the buggy developed serious mechanical/engine problems and rendered un-repair-able by themselves, so retired. Peterhansel leads overall lead.
Gerard De Rooy - Stage winner

Rally leader and Iveco driver, Gerard De Rooy won today's stage, while Russian, Andrey Karginov took 2nd and Peter Versluis finished 3rd. Yesterday's stage winner, Hans Stacey landed in trouble, when his Iveco truck nosedived and broke beyond recovery and retired.

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Unfortunate tragedy strikes at Dakar'13 - Day 5, Stage 5 [Night]

In an unfortunate accident, involving a support vehicle of Race2Recovery team and two taxis has resulted in two deaths & atleast 7 injured, when the support-vehicle [not race-vehicle] of Race2Recovery team and two civilian taxis.

The event organisers have released this statement:


A serious accident involving 3 vehicles occurred in Peru on Wednesday 9th January at 21.30 hours (Peru time), 10 kilometres from the border with Chile.

The accident involved a support vehicle with 3 passengers and two taxis, one of them carrying 6 people and the other with 4 people.

One of the two taxis collided head on with the support vehicle, and the second taxi overturned several times in an attempt to avoid the accident.

Unfortunately, two of the people in the first taxi – one of them the driver – died, and 7 others were injured (4 Peruvians and the 3 passengers in the support vehicle). They are being examined in hospitals in Tacna (Peru), where they were taken following the accident.

Assistance coordination has been put in place by the Peruvian authorities and the organisation of the rally, involving 3 local ambulances, a fire engine and several police officers. The organisation has also jointly deployed 2 paramedic ambulance vehicles from the rally and 2 security vehicles.

An Antonov aircraft of the Peruvian police has been put on special alert to transport the injured to Lima, in coordination with the rally’s medical service.

The Peruvian authorities have begun an inquiry into the accident in order to determine the exact causes.

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Race2Recovery team have issued this statement:


Three British members of the Race2Recovery team competing in the Dakar Rally in South America have been badly injured in a road traffic accident, it was confirmed early today. (Thursday)

Their vehicle, a Land Rover Defender (a team support vehicle not a race car) was involved in a head-on collision while travelling in convoy on Day 5 of the challenge with other support vehicles in the town of Tacna, in Peru near the Chilean border.

It is understood that two other vehicles were involved in the accident and two people received fatal injuries and others were injured.

The three Race2Recovery members are Justin Birchall, 40, a team driver and civilian volunteer from Burnley, Lancashire, whose Wildcat vehicle retired earlier in the race; former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and Gulf War and Falklands war veteran Lee Townsend, a team mechanic, from Yate near Bristol; and retired Army Major John Winskill, aged 42, the team logistics expert from Durrington, near Salisbury, Wilts.

The men were transferred to a local hospital and later flown from Tacna by an Antonov aircraft to hospital in Lima where they are said to be ‘stable and conscious.” Their injuries were described as “non-life-threatening.” Their families have been informed of the accident by other team members.

Team leader Captain Tony Harris said: “Our hearts go out to the families and relatives of those who have died in this tragic accident and we offer them our condolences and sympathy. Our entire team has been struck by the friendliness and support we have received from the Peruvian people since arriving for the Dakar Rally.”
Captain Harris said that the Team had unanimously agreed to continue the challenge with the two remaining Wildcat vehicles.

“The team decided before we even started that we would continue our endeavour. This is obviously a huge shock but we know that we have the blessing of the injured. They want the team to finish,” he said.

The accident is being investigated by the local police in Peru and the team is being supported by the race organisers.

The Race2Recovery team consists of four Wildcat race vehicles and additional support vehicles. The team is made up of British and US servicemen who have been severely injured and lost limbs in conflict and civilian volunteers.

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It is very unfortunate that this accident has happened, that too with a team who are here to beat their tragic pasts. May the departed souls rest in peace, condolences to the dearest ones & wish speedy recovery to the injured.

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Dakar - 2013 | Stage 5, Day 5 - [Arequipa-Arica]

Stage 5

Arequipa, Peru - Countryside
Dakar rally on its 5th day in running is scheduled to depart Arequipa, Peru and cross the border and finish at Arica, Chile. The day also went on a completely different special stages, where the Bikes/Quads start racing closer from the start, while the Cars/Trucks a longer connective transport to start racing.

Arica, Chile - Birds eyeview
The day's route is mostly dirt/gravel with lots of rocks in and beside roads, and with a small stretch of sandy surface. It will be the toughest also as the competitors are expected to endure, with the machines on the sizzling hot route over very harsh terrain. The route is mostly downhill as they get closer to the seashore city Arica, but it does also have sections of uphill in today's itinerary.


Route Map - Bikes / Quads
The race started almost right after they departed the Rally HQ in Arequipa, and have shorter stage distance of about 136kms, compared to the bigger brothers cruised to theirs.
David Casteu

Joan Barreda Bort, was the first biker to start racing towards the finish line at Cachendo, hits trouble and finishes 3hrs over stage winner, David Casteu. Olivier Pain still Overall leader, with just over a minute lead to today's stage winner.

Marcos Patronelli
Route Terrain - Bikes / Quads
On Quads, Marcos Patronelli started first, finished first and sits comfortably in first overall. Second placed, Husseini hit trouble mid-stage and finishes with an hour as penalty. Chilean rider Ignacio Nicolas Casale, now takes the second overall, trailing more than an hour to the leader

Cars / trucks

Route Map - Cars / Trucks
Cars and trucks had bigger transport/road section to line up for the start. After 284kms of road transport, Nasser took the [176kms] stage start first. However, Peterhansel's team-mate, Mini All4 Racing driver, Nani Roma claimed his first stage victory with 1m23s over him. Robby Gordon finished 3rd, with a gap of 1m41s to stage leader. 

Route Terrain - Cars / Trucks
Nani Roma
Carlos Sainz finished 5th, while Nasser Al-attiyah in 7th. Another 53kms of road section, ended the day's action. In the overall results, Peterhansel still leads Nasser by now just under 10 minutes.

Hans Stacey - Iveco
Trucks started about 2hrs after the cars departed from finish line. Hans Stacey took his first stage win, while Kamaz driver Nikholaev finished second, while Gerard De Rooy did third. However Gerard still leads overall trucks.

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ASEAN India - Car Rally | 2012

http://www.aseanindia.com/car-rallyHere is a car rally for uniting the people and culture, beyond the borders. ASEAN India - Car Rally was started from Yogyakarta, Indonesia & concluding in Guwahati, India.

This was on the occasion of the 20th commemorative year of India-ASEAN relations, the 2nd edition of the ASEAN-India Car Rally was held from 26 November - 21 December 2012. It kick-off from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with a ceremonial flag-off in Singapore and wind its way through 8 of the 10 ASEAN countries before finally ending in New Delhi, India. The proposal was for the Heads of Government of India and the ASEAN nations to receive the rally in New Delhi.

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Dakar - 2013, [Day 4] Stage 4 - Report

Day 4, Nazca to Arequipa:

A long gruelling stage awaits the competitors today as Stage 04, which requires 3 refuelling stations over the longer 720km (288km special stage + 429km transport).

We can say, this is the first of beginning of the longer stages.

Stage 4

The need for experience & skill goes into today stage, as the stage demands more today. In the first 1/3rd section is a 2km slide downhill special stage and also a refueling point just around. The stage has two different tracks/passage, slightly apart from each other, one for the bikes/quads and another for the cars/trucks.

Joan Barreda Bort took stage [another] win stage today, while Olivier Pain is the new leader of the bikes category. Says he was lucky to watch from the top of the dune, while others [who were lost] were struggling to navigate, he took the advantage and made it quickest. Quips, "I don't want to get overexcited about my place in the overall". He sits at a slender margin of over 2m24s to David Casteu & 3m9s to Cyril Despres in bikes overall.

Marcos Patronelli has a sail-breeze finish and going strong over 9m48s over the nearest Sebastien Husseini in Quads category. Rafal Sonic from Poland is at distant 1h0m16s.

For Cars & Buggies, it was a mix of emotions & problems. Trouble hits Carlos Sainz After yesterday's electronic problems, Sainz's car seems to be giving him a hard time again. The Spaniard stopped near 147km mark, while his team-mate & team-boss Nasser Al-attiyah finishes ahead of others claiming another stage win. Peterhansel still leads the overall rally by 5m16s atop of Nasser.

Kamaz driver Ayrat Mardeev takes stage win, over an advantage of the problems those in front of him were experiencing, especially Miki Biansion, Gérard De Rooy and Eduard Nikolaev. Gerard De Rooy dropped to second place in overall by a thin 56s to new rally leader Ales Loprais.

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Dakar - 2013, [Day 3] Stage 3 - Report

Day 3

Action started from Pisco and shifted towards Nazca in Peru. The race stage started 4kms of transport section, from the Parc Ferme. 243kms of [mostly sandy] competitive section and another 96kms of road section to conclude the day's action.

It was the top finishers who lead the trailing group, again bikes and quads turn to start first. Cars & trucks followed them later.

Stage 3

Demographics of the stage clearly describes the contour of what to be tackled, with more than 90% of sandy route. Chilean Franchesco Lopez took the stag honours, while Cyril Despres finished third to claim overall first on bikes, while Argentinian Marcos Patronelli maintained his first overall by claiming the stage victory.

Nasser Al Attiyah won the stage, while team-mate Sainz finished on 10th, thereby loosing overall lead. Looks like he lost nearly 30mins, another sat-nav glitch? Well lets see that later! American Robby Gordon finished 2nd today. Peterhansel in 3rd, and reclaiming overall lead.

Gerard De Rooy, keeps his first with another stage win in trucks category.

[Trucks & quads action, Day 1, Stage 1]
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El Matador gets back lost Lead in Stage 2 - Dakar 2013

Carlos Sainz gets back the 2013 Dakar Rally lead after event organizers has found technical glitch with the satellite that misled the Spanish driver yesterday afternoon, who lost 10-20mins.

During stage 2, the Red Bull Buggy driver dropped back from the lead to eleventh place overall as he lost more than 20 minutes while searching for a waypoint, but as it turned out, it was no fault of his own, therefore was handed back the rally lead.

El Matador now leads the pack with a 5-minute advantage over 10-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel.

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Dakar - 2013 | Day 1, 2 - Stage 1, 2 | Report

After a grand ceremonial start, the competitors headed to the start line amidst the spectating crowds.

First Leg of Dakar was much like a warmup of 13kms of competitive stage distance, after 250 kms of 250kms from the city of Lima to Pisco, but nothing less exciting. Thousands of fans, spectators lined almost the entire length of the passage, cheering and lauding their 'Gods on wheels'.

Stage 1, Day 1:

Bikers did the honor of opening the Dakar Rally, in the reverse order and last years winner Cyril Despres starting last. Quads, Cars and Trucks followed the bikers, in a similar order. Chaleco Lopez with his KTM 450, Ignacio Flores on his Yamaha Raptor, Carlos Sainz in his Redbull Buggy, Gerard De Rooy in his Iveco took the stage win.

Day 2, Stage 2:

The second day, stage 2 of Dakar will start from Pisco and loops back to Pisco, with 85kms of transport section and 242kms of competitive stage. A proper Dakar stage! The stage is mostly sandy, with dirt/gravel at first 50kms an some more 50kms of chunks in between.
Joan Barreda Bort on his Husqvarna 450, Marcos Patronelli on his Yamaha Raptor, Stephane Peterhansel in his Mini All 4, Gerard De Rooy in his Iveco took the stage win and lead the rally.

I know, I know, it may look confusing for now with the hard to believe shuffle in the result sheet, but this how things are in an endurance rally raid! Unpredictable and interesting..

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