The 2013 Dakar Rally wound its way to the from Lima, Peru to the finish line in Santiago, Chile during the first three weeks of January.
The Rally, formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally, was held for the fifth time in South America, having moved from its traditional route through North Africa due to security concerns.
The race is formed of four categories, defined by the different vehicles used: Cars, Motorcycles, Trucks and Quad Bikes, with the later only being added once the event moved to South America.
In the cars category, the winner was Stéphane Peterhasel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret of France, for the Mini All 4 Racing Team. The pair retained the title they won last year, and also collected Peterhasel’s fifth Car title, to go along with the six career wins in the Motorcycle category. These 11 titles make him the most successful competitor in the history of the event. Out of the 152 cars that started the event there were 90 that finished.
Since 2005 the motorcycle title has been going back and forth between France’s Cyril Despres and Marc Coma of Spain, and this year was no exception, with Despres retaining his 2012 title, his fifth overall title, and a twelfth win in a row for a KTM bike. Since Coma was unable to compete this year due to a shoulder injury picked up on the Morocco Rally in October, it will be interesting to see if he returns to challenge Despres in the 2014 edition.
Following the Iveco PowerStar team’s win in the Truck category last year with Gérard de Rooy at the helm, the question was whether Kamaz would be able to return to the top step of the podium, having won all but three of the Rallies since 2000. They did it in style, with Kamaz trucks occupying each of the top three spots in the rankings. Russia also returned to form in the trucks, with Eduard Nikolaev taking the title with compatriots Ayrat Mardeev and Andrey Karginov rounding out the podium. Vladimir Chagin, the “Tsar of Dakar” still remains the most successful single-category winner in the history of the event with seven wins to his name.
The Patronelli brothers Marcos and Alejandro, have now won four of the five quad titles, with only Josef Machácek the other title winner. This year it was the turn of Marcos Patronelli to pick up the title, following Alejandro’s successes in 2012 and 2011. Yamaha are still the only manufacturer to win a quad title.
The 2014 Dakar is looking to be held again in South America in January next year, but the dates and locations are still to be confirmed. For more information on the 2013 Dakar, visit http://www.dakar.com/