DAKAR DIESEL DOMINANCE ONCE AGAIN!
The 2017 Dakar Rally has come and gone, with floods and bad weather causing havoc for locals and event organizers alike. But the race went on despite some stages being cancelled or shortened. In the highly contested Auto class, the brand-new Peugeot 3008DKR diesel-powered 2WD long-travel suspension buggies dominated the event, sweeping the top three steps of the podium. Diesel-powered racers took seven of the top ten positions in the final running order as well as taking stage wins on all but one of the contested stages for the grueling cross-country race. This year’s Dakar Rally started in Paraguay before entering the high altitudes of Bolivia, where the turbo diesels really shined compared to their naturally aspirated gas burning competitors, before finishing in Argentina.
While the gas-powered Toyota of Nasser Al-attiya took the first stage win, the Peugeot 3008DKRS simply took over after that, winning each of the remaining stages between three of their drivers. Cyril Despres took one stage win and Sebastien Loeb won five, while Stephane Peterhansel won three stages enroute to his record 13th overall Dakar victory. Peterhansel finished just over 5 minutes ahead of teammate Loeb in second and 33-minutes ahead of Despres in third, with the first gas-powered Toyota of Nani Roma finishing in fourth place at more than an hour and 16 minutes off the pace of Peterhansel’s diesel Peugeot. In the Truck category, Kamaz driver Eduard Nikolaev won the class by nearly 20 minutes over his teammate Dmitry Sotnikov. For more information and to see the full results point your browser to www.dakar.com. The 2018 Dakar will mark the 40th running of the event; will the diesels dominate again? We sure hope so!