19 Jan 2014


Graham King reviews and rounds up the 2014 Dakar Rally

Week 2 of the Dakar from Salta, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile via the Andes mountains and the Atacama desert, saw a dramatic battle for the truck category lead, while a local hero dominated the quads.

Read the Rest Day update here

Truck category overall leader after Stage 6: Gerard de Rooy (Iveco)

Week 2 stage winners:

Stage 7: Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz)
Stage 8: Andrey Karginov (Kamaz)
Stage 9: Karginov
Stage 10: Ales Loprais (Tatra)
Stage 11: Karginov
Stage 12: Gerard de Rooy (Iveco)
Stage 13: Loprais

Gerard de Rooy might have led the event at the start of Week 2, but it was dominated by the Kamaz of Andrey Karginov. A string of indifferent stage times by de Rooy allowed Karginov to take big chunks out of the gap to first place.

A loss of nearly 16 minutes on Stage 11 dropped de Rooy down to second, promoting Karginov into the lead. De Rooy fought back over the next two stages, but couldn't quite do enough, ending the rally just 3mins 11secs behind first time winner Karginov. Kamaz now has 12 Dakar triumphs to its credit.

Karginov's teammate and 2013 winner Eduard Nikolaev was safe in third all week, but not in a position to trouble the leaders. Dmitry Sotnikov and Anton Shibalov ensured Kamaz held four of the top five positions at the finish.

After losing their two Wildcats early in Week 1, the Race2Recovery team's attention turned to getting its Renault truck to the finish. It took a Herculean effort with only half the power of the leading teams, often running close to the time limit and overcoming suspension problems. But the crew of Mark Cullum, Chris Ratter and amputee Daniel Whittingham finally crossed the line 49th out of the 50 finishers.

Top 5 runners after Stage 13:

1st Andrey Karginov/Andrey Mokeev/Igor Devyatkin
Kamaz Master Kamaz 4326 - 55h00m28s

2nd Gerard de Rooy/Tom Colsoul/Darek Rodewald
Team de Rooy Iveco Torpedo - +3m11s

3rd Eduard Nikolaev/Evgeny Yakovlev/Vladimir Rybakov
Kamaz Master Kamaz 4326 - +1h34m52s

4th Dmitry Sotnikov/Vyatcheslav Mizyukaev/Andrey Aferin
Kamaz Master Kamaz 4326 - +3h22m10s

5th Anton Shibalov/Robert Amatych/Almaz Khisamiev
Kamaz Master Kamaz 4326 - +4h37m25s

Quad category overall leader after Stage 6: Sergio Lafuente (Yamaha)

Week 2 stage winners:

Stage 7: Ignacio Casale (Yamaha)
Stage 8: Casale
Stage 9: Sebastian Husseini (Honda)
Stage 10: Sergey Karyakin (Yamaha)
Stage 11: Casale
Stage 12: Casale
Stage 13: Casale

With pre-event favourite Marcos Patronelli's dramatic exit during Week 1, the quad category was anyone's for the taking. But Ignacio Casale comprehensively stamped his authority during the second half of the rally.

Casale had been third on the Rest Day, but a strong win on Stage 7 promoted him to the lead. The previous top two, Sergio Lafuente and Rafal Sonik dropped to second and third respectively. Casale pulled the gap out, Lafuente just about staying in touch while Sonik dropped further and further out of contention.

Lafuente retired on Stage 11 leaving Casale virtually uncatchable, but that didn't stop him claiming the last three stages, taking his tally of wins to seven, more than anyone else on the whole event. Casale crossed the line in front of a home crowd 1hr 26mins clear of Sonik.

Top 5 runners after Stage 13:

1. Ignacio Casale - Tamarugal XC Rally Team Yamaha Raptor - 68h28m04s
2. Rafal Sonik - Sonik Team Yamaha Raptor - +1h26m49s
3. Sebastian Husseini - Maxxis Dakar Team Honda TRX700 - +5h40m24s
4. Mohammed Abu-Issa - Maxxis Dakar Team Honda TRX700 - +10h07m11s
5. Victor Gallegos Lozic - Tamarugal XC Rally Team Honda TRX700 - +10h23m41s