VW snares rally trifecta
THE gruelling two-week Dakar Rally in South America might be over for another year, but you should expect to see images from the race over the next year as Volkswagen exploits its 1-2-3 win.
VW’s storming diesel Touaregs came first and second last year and then rammed home the domination with the top three placings, plus seventh place, this year.
VW Group Australia PR general manager Karl Gehling said it was a great result for the Volkswagen Motorsport team.
‘‘To achieve back-toback victories highlights the impressive performance of both the race Touaregs and the drivers in such a demanding event as the Dakar,’’ he said.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz won the rally in 47 hours, 10 minutes, with the next VW two minutes behind.
The factory VW team had a multi-million-dollar budget, far more than any other team, while the other manufacturers didn’t officially have factory teams, but gave support to private teams.
The Australian team of Bruce Garland and Harry Suzuki won last year’s production category in 11th outright in a diesel Isuzu D-Max ute.
Unfortunately, Brisbane-born Garland’s ute only lasted half way this year after a loose spare wheel holed the radiator in a freak accident while in 21st place.
They limped back to the bivouac only to be disqualified for missing too many way points.
Five Australians started the rally with West Australian KTM rider Garry Connell the first to withdraw in the first week, followed by Garland and Suzuki.
The only Australians to finish were KTM riders Rob Pollard of Perth in 39th and French-born Christophe Barriere-Varju, of Sydney, in 57th out of 89 riders left from a starting grid of 150.
The bike category was won for the third time by Cyril Despres of France.