Dakar 2014 winner auto: Nani Roma

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Celebration of Nani Roma, winner of the auto category Dakar 2014.
Stephane Peterhansel second, and Al-Attiyah third. It was a triple MINI on the podium.


Dakar 2014, results

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Final standings for our favourites

Nani Roma got the overall victory.
Team XtremePlus’ both Polaris, were 1st and 2nd in the SSV class!
Our Rescue Angel Truck finished on pos 39.
(Scroll down to list at bottom.) 

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Polaris #350 & #364  Truck #552

Photos: Team ExtremePlus

Pos No. Name Vehicle Time tot Var
1 #304 Roma (Esp),
Périn (Fra)
Mini 050:28:45  –
2 #300 Peterhansel (Fra),
Cottret (Fra)
Mini 050:31:13 +00:02:28
3 #301 Al-Attiyah (Qat),
Cruz (Esp)
Mini 051:22:45 +00:54:00
41 #350 Alcaraz (Fra), solo Polaris 083:30:56 +34:45:11
42 #364 Duclos (Fra),
Delaunay (Fra)
Polaris 083:35:57 +34:50:12
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Nani Roma Laia Sanz

Photos DPPI/F.Flamand (Dakar.com) 

Overall winner Marc Coma, as I hoped (left and below).
Ladies category winner is Laia Sanz (above).
The Estonians have done quite well, participating in Dakar for the first time.

Photo DPPI/G.Soldano

1 #002 Coma (Esp) KTM 052:40:16  –
2 #004 Viladoms (Esp) KTM 054:40:05 +01:59:49
3 #006 Pain (Fra) Yamah 054:50:32 +02:10:16
16 #050 Sanz (Esp) Honda 061:16:50 +08:03:56
40 #117 Meeru (Est) Honda 068:38:28 +15:58:12
52 #133 Triisa (Est) Honda 073:57:43 +21:17:27


Photo DPPI/F.Flamand (Dakar.com) 


1 #506 Karginov (Rus), Mokeev (Rus), Devyatkin (Rus) Kamaz 052:36:12  –
2 #501 De Rooy (Nld), Colsoul (Bel), Rodewald (Nld) Iveco 052:43:37 +00:07:25
3 #500 Nikolaev (Rus), Yakovlev (Rus), Rybakov (Rus) Kamaz 054:14:50 +01:38:38
39 #552 Piana (Fra), Cangani (Ita), Trote (Fra) Mercedes 113:54:10 +61:17:58


Amount of vehicles Total Cars Bikes Quads Trucks 
At Start 431 147 174 40 70
At Finish 204 61 78 15 50
Completed 47,3% 41,5 % 44,8 % 37,5 % 71,5 %

The withdrawal rate was very high this year. Everybody had lots of technical mishaps, many so bad that the vehicle broke down beyond repair, or even burnt to ashes. Bodily injuries were not too severe, except one rider and 2 journalists who died – that is always a tragedy.
This rally was worse than “normal”, usually about 50% finish the rally.

Congratulations to all who made it all the way!

Many riders are gone, others are going on…

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Annie & Garry #366 were unfortunate in this rally, as the engine died just after finishing stage 5.
So was our team mate #386 Yasir & Lauren, the gear box broke half way on stage 5.

But our Team XtremePlus is still in the race! The cars #350 William and #364 Nicolas & Sebastien, are stable on positions around 48-50.

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#350 William (solo) #364 Nicolas & Sebastien

dakar2014-truck552_640x420#350 had problems with the front suspension on stage 7. #364 tried to help but luckily the truck came to rescue – again – so everybody could continue. But they finished a little too late. It was very windy and dusty.
It seems they are driving together and thus “sharing” the codriver Sebastien, as William drives solo.
The truck #552 (Piana, Cangani, Trote) is also still in the game, position around 42. 

Recently noticed:
There are a couple of Estonian bikers doing quite well. Nice to see other riders from northern Europe in Dakar! These Dakar rookies are #117 Meeru, pos 42, and #133 Triisa, pos 59, both taking it easy and safe – very wise.

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#117 Mart Meeru #133 Toomas Triisa

Good luck to all of them, and the others struggeling in the dunes and mountains , enduring heat, sandstorms, cold, rain… and even suffering from painful injuries.


Leaving the Dakar rally 2014. Goodbye!

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These photos tell the end of story, after the damaged oil line.

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The helping truck arrives… … with the handymen.

Towed to bivouac in the night. (Photo: David Trenholm)

Repairing, adjusting cleaning, mending, fixing for hours

#366 crossed out

The Turtle (Flying sofa?) gets a ride on a trailer …

… and leaves an empty bivouac behind.

Adios amigos… 😦

Press and video clips

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A big daily newspaper and a magazine’s web page:


Svenska Dagbladet
“Feels like shit, we are so disappointed to quit the race. Reason for withdrawal: engine breakdown.”


Teknikens värld 2014-01-09 /web page/
The World of Technique
“Punctures have been a common problem for many competitiors this year, also för Annie. But what brought her and Garry down was a leaking oil hose. It caused a major damage in the engine and the mechanics had not enough time to fix it before next start. It is not allowed to change the engine in cars like in bikes.
This is the first time ever that Annie must abandon a race, this was her 6th participation in Dakar. The team had reached pos 74 in total when finishing stage 4 and was among the top in the SSV class.”
TeknikensVarld.se/2014/01/09/45504/annie-seel-brot-dakarrallyt (opens in new tab)

VIDEO, stage 4
By Marily Trincavelli Schwander “Mujeres Tuercas”, a friend and fan –

Stage 4. A long way to ride

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San Juan – Chilecito. First a 211 km timed section, then a 111 km neutralised sector raced at a link section pace, and then another timed section 205 km long. Specials in total 657 km. Highest point to reach is at over 3200 m.
“The longest special stage since 2005 for the cars and a really demanding route in the countryside! Rivers and canyons will offer terrains with interesting possibilities to overtake fellow competitors!”

The connection road. 

Standings this stage: pos 83, 12:21:39 (+7:01:07)
Total pos 75.

Photo by Marie Hessel

This was a nightmare stage! Never ending course, in total 868 km. Mainly the same track as in 2011 when I got big problems – leaking oil and engine stopped.

Already at 133 km the engine stopped, loosing all oil. We worked hard to find the leak. It was 35dgr, the sun burning, we stood in a dusty floodbed. The engine is cramped for space, hard to get hands on the problem. Our team partner Yasir passed by, but couldn’t help.
At last the “angel of salvation” team boss Marco Piana came in his rally truck #552, also our service truck just in case. After a long time we found the leaking oil line. We fixed a bypass disconnecting the oil cooler.


Then we could get on the road again, but very slowly so the oil wouldn’t overheat. We were rolling quite well even when it got late night when approaching the finish.
But the last waypoint was tricky! Many cars and trucks were driving around lost in the darkness. Really no fun, we just wanted this to end. And we did reach the finish at last, then only 167 km connection to drive. But after only a few km all oil pressure was gone. Luckily Marco was just behind us and towed us to the bivouac.
So great to have a service truck of your own, always taking you home! I wish I’d had one when racing alone on my bike encountering all those mishaps.
We arrived at the bivouac around 3 in the morning.
Bodily damage: my butt was quite sore after this 20 hours sitting on a bumpy ride.

The mechanichs did their best  to fix the oil line and engine, all night and morning.

Too bad Yasir must quit the race halfway of the stage due to broken gearbox.

Stage 2. Flat tyres – 3 times

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San Luis – San Rafael, SS Cars 433 km. It’s been long and tough for most competitors. Quite speedy tracks and parts through rough stone areas and over great dunes.

Annie & Garry finished the stage at about 21:15 local time, timed on the special stage 8:31:35 (var +4:39:30). Position 83.  


Annie: “Only 50-60 km into the stage we got a flat tyre, and then another… we have only 2 spare wheels. So we had to slow down and drive cautiously, the stones are very edgy and hidden in the sand! Then there was that really nasty fesh-fesh, that blew all over us – everywhere – couldn’t see anything.
And then 40 km from finish one more flat tyre. So annoying, but we managed to fix one of the other flatties with a vulcanite plug. 

Many riders stood along the track with flat tyres, including our team mate Saedan. One car was totally burnt out, also a truck upside-down in the ditch. 

Fesh-wash at night

This track was in the same soft dunes where I fell badly in 2009, broke my nose and got the handlebar bent – then it was raining and hailing all night. (*)” 

Look back in this blog 2009-Jan Dakar:
2009/01/11/smashing-stage-5/ (pictures)

* *
Anticipations on this day – before start. Video transmitted by Marie Hessel:

Cooling off in the hot weather. And look at the dog! (hot or in heat?) 

Photos by Judith Tomaselli

Ready, steady, go!

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The super team seated in the Flying Sofa hitting the first stage

Annie & Garry hiding behind helmets and sunglasses

Garry driving

Annie navigating

At the start line

Ceremonial start Dakar 2014

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All the competitors and teams, all in all some 700 people gathered for the official competitors briefing presented by the ASO organiser Etienne Lavigne and race director David Castera.
The emphasis is on sporting conduct and safety. And of course the spirit of the Dakar rally which is important: it’s not a race, it is THE RACE!

After the briefing all competing vehicles rolled over the starting podium and made a presentation before driving a loop for the public waiting to celebrate the competitors.


Garry and I had a great drive round town, waving, honking, and I even jumped out and danced in the street for all the people. I think we got some new fans along the road!
VIDEO Dakar intro street show, cars and trucks:
Youtube.com/watch?v=hzZgxutKi8g (total 15 min) – #366 at 1:10-1:36
http://Youtube.com/watch?v=lKUvEF30SCE (11 min) – Truck #552 at 5.15


In the evening we packed everything for the race car and I made my road book, which is colouring and making notes to help me while navigating for Garry.

Now the Dakar 2014 really kicks off!

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About a million spectators kicking off the greatest event of the year.

VIDEO of the Dakar fiesta (english speaker)


Meeting the stars of Dakar 2014

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All competitors are gathered and it is great to be able to meet the real superstars before start.
A lot of smiles and hugs all day long. And wishing luck!

Talking to Dakar’s most victorious competitor Stephan Peterhansel, who said that still after 15 Dakar rallies in a car, he still feels more like a motorcycle rider.
I know, the bike rider never leaves your heart.

* (left)

And greeting Argentinian super star Marcos Patronelli, who I’ve been sharing assistance team with in Dakar 2009-2010.

* (right)