Dakar 2014: third consecutive victory for Xtreme Plus Polaris in class T3

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Xtreme Plus Polaris celebrating their third consecutive victory in class T3, and again a first place by solo driver Willy Alcaraz, and second place by the duo Nicolas Duclos and Sebastien Delaunay.
Here at the Sheraton in Vina del Mar, Chile with all the Polaris distributors of South America.





The whole XtremePlus Team on the finish podium:


More XtremePlus photos and stories on their facebook:

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!

Dakar lessons

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I’ve learned a lot about racing a car in Dakar. Many riders think the courses, so far, have been very difficult.

dakar2014-annie-garry-in-buggy_640x480But we feel the driving has been okay. Sure, very long days but not too tough. And the navigation worked perfectly. Garry didn’t have any problems at all driving – he used his head, chose the best tracks, no stucking in sand. He really has the capacity needed to finish Dakar.

The reason for us quitting was simply a technical matter, a minor glitch that caused a major breakdown. So unnecessary and unfair. But, that’s Dakar…

Garry: “This is what stopped us, a chaffed $50 external oil feed line to the oil cooler !!!!
If you have any, and I mean ANY weak links in either yourself, your race vehicle or your assistance team, preparations or strategy, Dakar WILL find them and your rally will be over!” 

Our white team truck #552 with Marco helping out on stage 4. 

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Checking everything from top  … to bottom.

There are other severe conditions during this race, causing problems.
The weather has been extremly hot, around 40 C. Several contestants have suffered from heat exhaustion and dehydration. Some accidents probably are the consequenses. Even deaths have hit competitors, journalists and spectators lately.

A top biker #5 Chaleco Lopez fell from an edge in a river bed, the bike crashed, thus out of race. Luckily no bad bodily injuries.
He was my Honda team mate in Patagonia rally 2005.

Dakar – stage 1 done

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Rosario – San Luis, SS 180 km
Cars #366 Pos 86, time 3:10:04 (var 0:49:28). 5th in buggy class!

Spectators enjoying a shower in the terrible heat. 

Annie & Garry are in a good mood and have done well, in spite of some problems with brakes. They got lost early in the stage, and Garry must adjust his driving, using the motor to slow down the speed.
So, it was quite exciting as the stage was rather difficult.

Connell/Seel: “Splendid stage! The terrain was like it is in Australia, in the Safari Rally. Stones, narrow, sinuous… It was awesome, I had so much fun! We passed Robby Gordon twice, and also Ronan Chabot, it was fun! Only our brakes suffered due to the hot temperature and of all the braking.”

Video (on Eurosport.se)

Happy finishing stage 1 

Evening activities:
preparing the roadbook for tomorrow and changing socks.

Svenska Dagbladet 2014-01-05:
A summary of Annies past adventures and some goals for the coming – to reach the finish line for the 22th time. This time as the codriver to Garry Connell in a buggy.

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)


Annie’s Dakar Video blog on Eurosport.se

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Its up!
Now you can follow my swedish Dakar Video blog on eurosport.sevideo.eurosport.se/rally-raid/dakar/2014.
Already there are pre-rally videos showing what’s going on before the start of Dakar 2014.
I will show you stuff from behind the scenes and also try to report how the race is going.
I hope you all realize that transmitting from the desert can be very difficult, so updating the blog is maybe not so regular.


Daily broadcasting, approximate times (in Sweden)
Eurosport 1 starting Jan 5:  23.00, 1.00, 8.30 etc
Eurosport 2 starting Jan 6:  0.30, 9.30, 13.00 etc
* A hint: if you don’t already have Eurosport, sign up for a subscription on eurosportplayer (computer) for 69 SEK monthly (or equivalent amount in other currencies). 

Dakar 2014 administrative check and technical verification.

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All the team competitors and mechanics in Xtreme Plus getting ready for the day’s administrative check and technical verification. We rolled in like a blue wave at the Casino City Center.
Competitors have to show racing license, drivers license, insurance doc, medical file, pass security briefing incl GPS information… Also mechanics have to fulfil many criteria and pass the control checking.
Vehicles are controlled for safety, like roll cage, belts, safety equipment, and that it confirms with the technical regulations.







My Team Xtreme Plus getting ready for Dakar 2014

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Tents up, bags out, repack.. hot, hot, hot!