Yay!! The year starts with Dakar!!!!


Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Here we go chums, the veriest (check, it is a word) exciting competition that you'll see during January.
Another great Eurosport dip onto the world's toughest motor race, two shows per day at 7ish and then a full roundup at around 11 usually.

This'll take you to the official site:

Dates as below:

01/01/2012 Mar Del Plata Santa Rosa de la Pampa
02/01/2012 Santa Rosa de la Pampa San Rafael
03/01/2012 San Rafael San Juan
04/01/2012 San Juan Chilecito
05/01/2012 Chilecito Fiambala
06/01/2012 Fiambala Copiapo
07/01/2012 Copiapo Copiapo
08/01/2012 Rest day
09/01/2012 Copiapo Antofagasta
10/01/2012 Antofagasta Iquique
11/01/2012 Iquique Arica
12/01/2012 Arica Arequipa
13/01/2012 Arequipa Nasca
14/01/2012 Nasca Pisco
15/01/2012 Pisco Lima
At least it isn't going through any war zones now, I remember when Ari Vatenen was ambushed around 1999 I think. I'm curios to see if the Amarok can fill the Toureg's big shoes, I still expect VW to win though.
Al attiyah in a Hummer, that's gotta be the one to watch? Bet on a VW driver if you like, then check the competitor list.
VW aren't entering this year, a real shame.
:givemestrength:Damn forgot about them 'focusing on WRC'. A bunch of Privateers entering though. I will instead put some money on the Toyota Hiluxes, they look prepared, and have two previous winners in the lead car. Always thought Hummers were too clumsy for this sort of thing.
Well a Hummer was third a little while back, but you're right they look so ungainly. Not sure if they're allowed FWD either. I love to watch Robbie Gordon do his "lift off" at the starting ceremony.
I'll keep an eye on the Toyotas then, but what about Mini? They entered last year with high expectations for 2012. I was impressed by Mini's performance in Rali Cymru GB too.
I don't think Mini have the experience of making cars for these multi-day torture rallies. For wrc last year they were very good on tarmac rallies, but less so on the gravel that makes up most of the Dakar rally. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I don't expect much.
At the half way rest day it is still a mini one-two, 13 minutes back to the Hummer, another Mini, and the de Villers Toyota in half an hour down! Al-Nattiyah's breakdown on wheels is ten further minutes back, loads of setback's so far for them. Hard to see past a Mini winning now! Mostly just costal jaunts remaining now.
Oooh, that's a brave statement! I'll have a sportsman's on a Hummer taking the prize.
Some cracking coverage from Eurosport, including several spills from the bikes. Coma trying to fight back from a mapreading error, in vain I reckon unless Despres does like wise or fails to finish. We're a week in and 8 minutes lead is a big lump of time between first and second.
It's great to have VW out of the game this year, it's really made the event more entertaining, I'm surprised that BMW X3s are pretty much nowhere to be seen. It's also a shame that Alfie Cox decided on an early barbecue.
Looks like the MINI's will wrap up a 1-2-4 soon, good for them outsmarting their BMW bosses. The MINI must be one of the smallest entrants, especially next too the Hummer and Hilux. Will the other teams opt for smaller cars next year? I doubt it, but at least a Hilux finished 3rd. (one hummer finished the race in 5th mcZ - back to the drawing board)
Hmmm, we have to consider that Citroen will bring a full works team possibly with some pretend development of their WRC car. That Great Wall BMW has run well and that Mitsubishi/Toyota car will be a bit more developed. It's just a pity Hummer isn't American any more, I reckon they'd enter as a works team based on the last couple of years' performance.
The bikes have been a great competition this year, Despres should be glad of Coma's woes yesterday to help him save face, but then neither of them has given too much of a shit about trying to gain an advantage at the expense of the other for as long as I can remember.
Cool photo from this years Dakar. Epic landscape.
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