It was the last day for Dakar Rally 2011. Its been epic for the last 15 days. 9000kms and rallying at its best. Fast Cars and Bike and Trucks!!
A dream come true for some and heartbreak for others but all said and done, a life changing experience indeed. Its all over only for the preparation to start for the 2012 edition.
Cars : 25 years in the making and heck he’s done it. Qatari rally legend Nasser Al Attiyah has won the 2011 Dakar. VW Touareg Race 3, thats the name of his weapon and did he not shoot well. Carlos Sainz (Defending champ) would have given him a run for his money only for some mechanical glitches two days back to ruin all his chances. But in Dakar, as they say, its as much about the machines as the men.
Giniel de Villiers (the South African rally specialist) drove a calculated rally to finish an overall second behind Nasser with the Matador (Sainz) coming home third despite being fastest in most stages. Another strong performer was Dakar legend Stephan Peterhansel who finished 4th (the BMW has some serious reliability issues)
Click here for Final Car Standings
Bikes: “Three is sweet”. Last year Marc Coma was penalized for suspected foulplay. Gues what he did this year : Win the Dakar in style. The Spaniard had been driving flat out for the last 2 weeks to taste that champagne. Who could have potentially stopped him? A Frenchman named Cyril Despres. After 9000kms, 15 minutes was the difference between going to history books or going back home. And he went home in 2nd place. An effort worth applauding though.
Click here for Final Bike Standings
Trucks: Dig this : Nasser Al Attiyah won his first Dakar, Marc Coma his third. But guess what the Czar (Vladimir Chagin is his real name but Czar he is) did?.. win his 7th Dakar, yes Seventh. This Russian seems to be winning the toughest endurance event on this planet for fun.
And he does that in his indestructible tank like Kamaz truck. Phenomenal performance. Going up and down the first week but pushing at the right places at the right time (he is called Czar for a reason). Second place was another Russian on another Kamaz. Firdaus Kabirov, a legend himself drove like wind but there’s no shame losing to Vladimir Chagin.
Click here for Final Truck Standings