300 cars go on the 9000km distance
The rally Dakar started the first show starts today and tomorrow, the Wild Hunt is really on. The first leg of the race then leads from Asunción over a length of 454 km in the North of Argentina to Resistencia. From there, it goes on to Bolivia. After nearly 9000 km, the Dakar rally ends on 14th January 2017 in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires. Over 300 vehicles - including cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads - with more than 500 participants are ready to start the biggest spectacle of off-road racing.
For Toyota oxygen with the vehicle number 301 in the Hilux Evo, the two-time Dakar Champion Nasser Al-Attiyah newly enlisted for the motor sport team of the Japanese manufacturer and its longtime Navigator Matthieu Baumel on. The number 302 is the workplace of 2009 Dakar winner and long-time Toyota driver of Giniel de Villiers and his German co-pilot Dirk von Zitzewitz.
The eight mini-crews have completed the technical inspection and are ready for the start. Unfortunately, Bryce Menzies (United States) had to explain his withdrawal from this year's Dakar after a previous injury had necessitated an operation. The X-raid team mini John Cooper works rally by Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen (United States) will now be the experienced duo of Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Andreas Schulz (GER) piloted passenger.
Before the beginning of the rally Dakar 2017 their X-raid team-mate Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), 2016 had occupied fourth place in his first Dakar said: "nothing like the experience to be at the actual Dakar at the start. We must be humble now and focus optimally on every single day." Hirvonen divides the cockpit of the new mini John Cooper works rally with his regular co-driver Michel Périn (FRA). Also the combination of Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (GER) is launched in a mini John Cooper works rally.
Five more crews complete the mini family in the Dakar rally in 2017 and form a truly international team of specialists for Cross-Country rallies:
Jakub Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) compete for the colors of the Orlen team in Dakar. Przygonskis experience with the mini ALL4 racing has become bigger and bigger in 2016 - and Colsoul fiebert also opposed the start of the Dakar.
Also Boris Garafulic (CHL) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR), Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) and Stephan Schott (GER) and Paulo Fiuza (POR) are in the proven mini ALL4 racing vehicles of X-RAID team on the road. The Brazilian duo Sylvio de Barros and Rafael Capoani belongs also to the mini family in the 2017 Dakar Dakar Rally Rally.
Peugeot relies on third Dakar startup on the tried and tested four pairs of drivers from the previous year: Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (No. of 300/yellow stripes on the air inlet of the cockpit), Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (No. of 304/blue stripe), Cyril Despres/David Castera (No. of 307/red stripe) and Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (No. of 309/white stripe).
Like its predecessor, the Peugeot 2008 DKR, but unlike the all-wheel-driven competition, features the 3008 DKR a two-wheel drive. In the new rally Lions many evolutions to engine, chassis and aerodynamics are used. Also new is an air conditioning to keep you cool and competitive driver and co-pilot at hot temperatures. (ampnet/SM)