Dakar 2013 Pre Race

Husqvarna Team Speedbrain ready to roll

posted Jan 4, 2013, 12:49 PM by The Dakar   [ updated Jan 14, 2014, 11:57 PM ]

Monster Energy Speedbrain Husqvarna
Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain ready for the Dakar 2013. Tomorrow sees the start of the Dakar 2013 which sets off from Lima in Peru and finishes in Santiago, Chile on 20th January, covering 8000 km (5000 miles) in fourteen stages and includes 4100 km of special test. 459 vehicles and 189 bikes will make the journey in this incredible and fascinating rally, being held for a fifth time on South American soil.
The Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain is all set to undertake this motorcycle marathon. The team managed by Wolfgang Fischer carried out a brief test of the bikes prior to today’s technical checks, and declared themselves ready and looking forward to the start of the rally. The team consisting of sixteen members from nine nationalities has four official riders; Spaniard Joan Barreda, Portuguese Paulo Goncalves, Italian Alessandro Botturi and Australian Matt Fish. All have passed the technical and administrative checks and are ready for the first stage of the rally which heads from Lima – Pisco with a 250 km of road section and 13 km of special test – a little appetizer before being thrown into race with its fearful dunes and the soft sand of the Peruvian desert.

Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain is fired up after a particularly positive 2012 rally season which culminated in a Pharaon’s Rally win for Joan Barreda. The clear objective will be a podium place in Santiago on 20th January.
The bike, the Husqvarna TE449RR by Speedbrain has been worked on and improved throughout the season and has caught the attention of several prominent private riders such as Jordi Viladoms who in the role of “ special client” will be taking advantage of a TE449RR by Speedbrain.
“After preparations that have lasted practically the whole year – stated Team Manager Wolfgang Fischer – the entire team, the riders and the bikes are ready for the start of this amazing race. Yesterday we tested out the bikes for the last time, and today there are the administrative checks. The riders are on top form and the team is united and psyched up to begin the first of fourteen stages in the best way possible.”

Content and image credits: Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain news release
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Yamaha 2013 Dakar Rally

posted Jan 4, 2013, 4:51 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 4:52 AM ]

Olivier Pain Yamaha
As the New Year begins, so does Yamaha’s first racing challenge of 2013. Having spent 21 days at sea crossing the Atlantic and passing through the Panama Canal, the Yamaha Netherlands Verhoeven Team’s Yamaha YZ450F four-stroke based machine and support equipment for Dutch rider Frans Verhoeven has arrived in South America and is undergoing technical inspection with 195 fellow two-wheeled competitors on the beaches of Lima, capital city of Peru. The team is set and prepared for the first event of the 2013 Dakar Rally, the special stage at Chorillos on January 5th.
Frans Verhoeven, who has recently signed a two-year contract with Yamaha Motor Europe and Yamaha Motor Netherlands for the 2013 and 2014 Dakar Rally, is no stranger to the competition. His first Dakar experience was 2005, the Dutchman gradually increasing his experience to finish a career best of eighth in 2009. Verhoeven can also claim three stage victories along with two top three finishes in the 2012 Rally. Yamaha can claim a special place in the Dakar story, having won the first two ever Rallies in 1979 and 1980 with the Yamaha XT500 and rider Cyril Neveu. The manufacturer has gone on to claim a total of nine titles from 1979 to the present and is optimistic of at least a top five finish with Verhoeven on-board.
In preparation for the 2013 Dakar and to familiarize himself with the Yamaha YZ450F bike and support team, Verhoeven entered the Libya Rally du Maroc in October 2012. The ‘training exercise’ proved extremely successful with rider, machine and staff all performing above expectation, taking fourth in the final standings.

“The main goal with the Libya Rally in October was to get to know the Yamaha 450 and work on its set up,” said Frans Verhoeven. “I was really impressed with its speed and the smoothness of the engine. It was my first time riding with this kind of engine management control and traction control so it took some understanding but my confidence has really grown. It was a pleasure working with the mechanics, we understand each other very well and most importantly we had no crashes and no technical problems! I think we have the potential to do really well in the rally, the potential of the bike is great and the support from Yamaha is essential for success.”
Frans Verhoeven will not be the only rider representing Yamaha in the rally. Yamaha Racing France Yamalube riders Olivier Pain and Michael Metge will be putting their YZ450Fs to the test in South America alongside David Casteu riding for the Casteu Adventure Team and former stage winner David Frétigné riding the WR450F for the Yamaha Racing France Power Bike Team. A total of 49 Yamaha machines will line up to contest the 2013 Dakar Rally, but not all will be two-wheeled. 2010 Dakar Quad Champion Marcos Patronelli will be fighting for victory on his modified Yamaha YF700M machine for a combined Yamaha Motor France and Yamaha Argentina entry alongside defending World Cup Rally Quad Women’s Champion Camellia Liparoti, also on the YF700M quad.

Frans Verhoeven Yamaha

“Yamaha has a real pedigree in the Dakar Rally,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager, Laurens Klein Koerkamp. “Our production machinery has been there fighting at the front, from the very first rally with Cyril Neveu in 1979 to our last victory in 1998 with Stéphane Peterhansel. We are confident that with our official support and technical experience through Yamaha Motor France, the combination of riders Verhoeven, Pain, Metge, Casteu and Frétigné and the modified YZ450F and WR450F can challenge for at least top five results.”
The 2013 Dakar Rally will officially start on the 5th January in Lima and will head south for the first time. The competitors will embark on an arduous and grueling journey of 14 stages over 8,000km through Peru, Argentina and Chile to the finish in Santiago de Chile on the 20th January.
Credits: Images and content news release Yamaha Racing
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Renault Duster kicking up some dust at Dakar 2013

posted Dec 30, 2012, 3:56 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 30, 2012, 4:15 PM ]

Keep an eye out for an odd-looking contender with a Renault badge. The Duster crossover, will also be kicking up dust at the Dakar 2013. The Duster will be campaigned by two Argentinean teams, and the Dakar Rally promises to be a good marketing platform as this Dacia-developed vehicle continues finding ready new markets – it is already a big success in Europe. The vehicles will complete 8 000 km across South America in countries such as Peru, Argentina and Chile.
Team Renault conducted their tests in Cordoba and the Nihuil dunes on terrain similar to that of the Dakar course, and the Duster has fared well in the demanding regimen. Jose Garcia, who will be at the wheel of the Duster in the Dakar, said: "We are more than pleased with this car that has been extremely reliable. We know we have a very good car with very good benefits that we will achieve our mission in the world's toughest race."
The Dakar-spec Renault Duster will be powered by a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine that will put out an impressive 305PS of peak power and 442Nm of torque via a 6-speed gearbox transmission while the drive-train features an All Wheel Drive (AWD) configuration. The suspension has been fully modified with a four-link front suspension and a double-trapeze rear suspension.

Renault will field two Dusters in the 2013 Dakar Rally, and the two teams will feature drivers Emiliano Spataro and Jose Garcia, with Benjamin Lozada and Javier Mauricio Malano as their navigators respectively.

Motorsport and Renault Duster
: A competition version of the Duster fitted with a 350 hp (261 kW) V6 engine and driven by former Formula1 worldchampion Alain Prost took part in the 2009/2010 French ice racing championship Trophée Andros, finishing in second place.

In 2010, the Duster participated in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, being first in the crossover class. The two Dacia teams successfully finished the Rallye on board the Duster: Dounia and Isabelle (Team 315 - Dacia) were first in the general ranking, while Nathalie and Dorothée (Team 316 - Dacia) finished in 5th place (out of 8 teams competing in the class).

In 2011, Dacia announced that they racing the Duster in the "Unlimited Class" of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Dacia Duster 'No Limit' was powered by an 850hp version of the VR38DETT engine used in the Nissan GT-R mated to a six-speed sequential transmission.
In the hands of France’s three-time Trophee Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut, Dacia Duster No Limit produced an extremely competitive time for the course which enabled it to claim third place overall against a field of Pikes Peak specialists and previous winners.

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Renault Dakar Duster 2013
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Helder Rodrigues a man on a mission

posted Dec 30, 2012, 1:35 PM by The Dakar   [ updated Dec 30, 2012, 1:37 PM ]

Hélder Rodrigues, from Lisbon, Portugal. He is best known for his participation in the Dakar Rally series, although he already had a pretty impressive career before taking on the desert rally raid.
After making his way up through regional and national events, Hélder won his first Portuguese National Enduro Championship in 1999 riding a Yamaha 250. In the same year he finished second in the European Enduro 250cc class, as well as winning an ISDE gold medal.  Seven further national Enduro titles would follow.
In 2006, he sought a new challenge, and decided to race in that year's Dakar Rally as part of Team Bianchi Prata, finishing in ninth place.
He would then finish fifth overall in the bike category of both the 2007 and 2009 rallies – each time achieving the best results for a private rider.
He returned to the Dakar in 2010, finishing fourth and equalling Carlos Sousa's record for the best finish at the famous rally by a Portuguese rider.
Hélder Rodrigues is the most chilled-out guy in the bivouac, but that all changes when the Portuguese biker gets out on the stage. Away from the race Hélder has a smile for everyone but when the clock is running it’s all business.
Hélder was back in business at the 2012 Dakar as he once again recorded a third place finish overall. The Portuguese biker returns in 2013 with a new bike and a new team after switching from Yamaha to their Japanese competitors Honda.

Hélder Rodrigues: "My own preparations for the 2013 Dakar have been going well and I was happy with my performance at the Rally of Morocco. That was the last big warm-up race before the Dakar so it was important that I was happy with my riding and also my bike. Everything seems to be working well, I’m feeling good, the bike is fast and the whole team is working hard. I’m actually confident I have the tools to win the Dakar Rally in 2013. It’s certainly my aim to do better than last year and to be fighting for the title right up until the finish line."


Credits: Images and post compiled with content fractions from Honda HRC and Red Bull Motorsports
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Lucio Alvarez Andino Rally Team

posted Dec 29, 2012, 7:56 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 30, 2012, 12:16 PM by The Dakar ]

 Lucio Alvarez Andino Rally Team Toyota Hilux
Lucio Alvarez Andino Rally Team with a Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux. During the two past Dakar Rally Raids, Lucio Alvarez has been the highest placed Argentinean driver in the car category. In 2012, he was even among the front-runners, finishing fifth, despite putting it "on the lid" in a roll-over. Lucio Alvarez's mission for the 2013 Dakar is to establish his standing within the group of rally raid racers considered the best on this planet. Alvarez has taken his year-long physical preparation very serious and entered several races of the World Rally-Raid Cup. His goal is to remain in the Top 5.
Alvarez was in impressive form earlier this season and shadowed Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah - a former Dakar winner - to the end of Qatar’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally to seal an Overdrive Toyota one-two finish. He also finished fourth overall with the Toyota in the punishing Silk Way Rally where he was leading for most of the event run across the Russian rally-raid racecourse.

Diver Lucio Alvarez Andino Rally Team: "We always want to progress, but for the moment the idea is to stay in the Top 5. And if I manage to enter the top three, that would be even better. During the 2012 season, I did the Qatar Rally and raced in Russia; then we did some testing in Finland. I am full aware that so many things can happen on the Dakar. We are going to try to run a smooth and consistent race. I know where I am standing in my personal development as race-driver."

Navigator Bernardo Rolando Graue: "This time we have more pressure in a very competitive starter line-up. Everyone is expecting us to do better than last year. The goal will be to first do the same thing and we know that will be very difficult. The key will be to have a reliable car and to not get over excited on the stages."

The Overdrive Racing Toyota chassis were built in Belgium in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed. The Hilux has undergone continuous development during the South African off road championship season and has acquired a lot of the new specification of the evolution vehicle. Both RSA Team (Giniel de Villiers / Duncan Vos) Toyota Hilux are now powered by a 5-liter version of Toyota’s production all-aluminium V8 engine fitted with a 36 mm air restrictor to meet the latest FIA regulations. We assume - as there is not much specifications available at Team Andino Rally - that all Overdrive racing Toyota's are running the same configuration.

Image credits: Lucio Alvarez Andino Rally Team + Overdrive Racing

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Loeb eyes future Dakar Rally bid

posted Dec 28, 2012, 8:36 PM by The Dakar   [ updated Dec 28, 2012, 8:41 PM ]

Sebastien Loeb has revealed that he would like to compete in the Dakar Rally in the future. As crews begin to gather in Peru for the January start to next year's event, Loeb has dropped a firm hint that he would be tempted to have a go at it at some point. The world rally champion has never competed in any kind of a rally raid event before, although did contest the final world championship-qualifying Safari Rally with Citroen in 2002.
Loeb has made it clear, however, that he would likely take a more experienced navigator with him than his regulars - nine-time world champion Daniel Elena and his wife Severine Loeb.
"One day, maybe I would like to go and do Dakar, but I wouldn’t do it with Severine and not with Daniel... for sure we would be lost!" said Loeb.
While Loeb might not have tackled Dakar before, Citroen has enjoyed a strong record on the rally while it was based in Africa.

The French car manufacturer won the event four times with its ZX - although a return does not appear likely yet. Loeb himself concedes that any attempt on the Dakar would be off his own back, rather than part of an effort with Citroen.
"If I did Dakar, this would be a private thing, it would not be something with Citroen," he said.


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Coma out for the Dakar 2013 - Caselli in!!

posted Dec 21, 2012, 7:07 PM by The Dakar   [ updated Dec 21, 2012, 7:14 PM ]

Caselli a stalwart in the US offroad racing scene
Coma out for the Dakar 2013! KTM, the brand whose factory teams and bikes have sealed eleven consecutive Dakar Rally victories announced in a press conference in Barcelona on Friday that one of its key riders, Spaniard Marc Coma will be unable to ride in the 2013 edition of the world’s most famous rally.
Marc Coma, who injured his shoulder in an accident in the Morocco Rally in October, is not completely fit. The team has therefore decided he should not tackle the event that involves more than 8000 km of perilous riding over the world’s toughest offroad terrain through Peru, Argentina and Chile.
Alex Doringer (KTM Rally Factory Team Manager): “Marc is one of our key riders and together with his teammate Cyril Despres has giving KTM the last seven Dakar titles. While we are disappointed that he is unable to ride, the health and welfare of our factory riders is the most important consideration. If he is not 100 percent fit, it is better for him to sit out the 2013 rally.” Coma, winner of three Dakar titles and the reigning World Cross Country World Championship is, together with his teammate Despres, recognized as one of the world’s finest exponents of rally sport.
A deeply disappointed Coma spoke after the press conference saying: “We worked really hard with the doctors and the physiotherapists right up until the last minute but we have to be realistic. One of the muscles in my shoulder is still giving me problems and there is a lack of movement. This is the logical consequence and we must be honest and clear about the situation.”

Marc Coma unable to ride in Dakar 2013
Coma, who will now concentrate his efforts on regaining complete fitness ahead of the rest of the 2013 season and looking forward to the Dakar 2014 said he was sad for the team but underlined that the Dakar is a ‘winning project’ for KTM so there was no alternative than to make this announcement. Team manager Alex Doringer said he hoped Marc would be at the start in Lima to wish the team well and see them launch their attack.
Doringer underlined that in view of the high profile that the Dakar Rally has for KTM, that the company had always taken the precaution of having a reserve rider registered with the Dakar organizers, ASO. He said they had now given the green light for the accredited reserve rider to step in and ride Coma’s KTM 450 Rally bike.
We always took the precaution to have a reserve rider properly registered in case of such circumstances and it will be KTM USA’s Kurt Caselli who will step in to ride Coma’s bike. We want him to ride the Dakar without any pressure, embrace the adventure and learn from the experience,” Doringer said.
Caselli is at the forefront of the US offroad scene and is the current AMA National Hare and Hound Champion. He is a multiple national title winner in premium US offroad events, has been a stalwart in the US International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) Championship and was a member of the KTM team that recently finished second in the 2012 edition of the legendary Baja 1000. Caselli’s start number is yet to be confirmed.
Kurt Caselli: “It has always been a goal in my career to compete in the Dakar. There would be no way possible for me to achieve this without the ongoing support of KTM. To be able to race the greatest off road race in the world aboard the best bike in the world is truly a blessing. This is not only a milestone in my career but also in my life.”

Content and images credits: KTM news release
KTM USA's Kurt Caselli as reserve rider

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X raid with 7 race vehicles at Dakar Rally

posted Dec 16, 2012, 9:25 AM by The Dakar   [ updated Dec 16, 2012, 9:27 AM ]

X-raid with seven race vehicles at the 2013 Dakar Rally. Seven racing cars – six MINI ALL4 Racing and one BMW X3 CC, ten service trucks and two race trucks were shipped to Peru in late November: Team X-raid is going to contest the 8.300-kilometre event across South America with a true armada of vehicles.
The four Monster Energy X-raid Team pairings were confirmed earlier, this year: the French winners of the 2012 Dakar – Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn (FRA), the Russian pairing Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov and Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc with his navigator Filipe Palmeiro (POR).

In addition, the X-raid Team colours will be represented by another three pairings: Both Boris Garafulic (CHI)/Gilles Picard (FRA) and the Germans Stephan Schott / Holm Schmidt will make a debut, in the forthcoming Dakar: they are gong to race the event for the first time with a MINI ALL4 Racing.

Mini All 4 Racing

The only BMW X3 CC entered by the Trebur based team will be raced by the Argentinean Orlando Terranova and his Portuguese co-driver Paulo Fiúza.

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“We can rely on drivers we know really well, this year,” says Monster Energy X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. “Nearly all of them already raced the 2012 Dakar for us. And Orlando did so in 2011.”

The 2013 Dakar Rally will be started on 05th January in Peru’s capital, Lima. From there, the event takes the field along the cost southwards. Following a short detour to Chile, the competitors will drive – via the Andes – to Argentina. There, San Miguel de Tucuman will be the rest day, scheduled for 13th January. Afterward, the drivers will have to cope with the famous dunes of Fiambala to then cross the Andes to Chile. On 20th January, the vehicles will cross the finish line of the 2013 Dakar in Chile’s capital, Santiago.

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Team Toyota South Africa

posted Dec 10, 2012, 9:28 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 10, 2012, 9:29 AM ]

Dakar Toyota Hilux South Africa
Toyota Motorsport is engaged in a race of a different kind as the newly crowned South African off road champions grapple with the herculean task of packing some six tons of spares and equipment for the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America in January. It’s a race against time and the deadline is less than two weeks away. On December 14 both of the Toyota Imperial South Africa Team’s Toyota Hilux 4x4s, partially disassembled and loaded on SAA Cargo pallets, and all the spares and equipment needed during the 15 days of the Dakar, packed in some 130 cases and stacked in three SAA Cargo aluminium containers, must be delivered to SAA at OR Tambo International Airport for the long flight to Lima in Peru. Toyota Motorsport’s workshops in Barbecue Downs, just down the hill from the Kyalami grand prix circuit, are a hive of activity and it’s a case of all hands on deck. “It’s a bit crazy around here just now,” admitted team principal Glyn Hall in something of an understatement, surrounded by wrapped large components and rows of boxes filled with smaller components. “We have to take absolutely everything we need to look after the two race vehicles. That means spares for virtually every component of each of the two Imperial Toyota Hilux 4x4s. There are something like 4 000 individual items including a complete spare engine, spare gearboxes, front and rear diffs, more than two dozen drive shafts, suspension uprights and steering assemblies, steering racks, four dozen shock absorbers and spring assemblies, brake assembly kits, wiring harnesses, light assemblies 16 top wishbones and 28 lower wishbones.

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When the 22-strong team (consisting of drivers, co-drivers, engineer, physiotherapist, technicians and team manager) arrive in Lima at the end of December, the technicians will unpack all this equipment and repack it into two support trucks that travel between the overnight bivouacs as well as a race truck that follows the competing cars with essential spares. The two race Hilux 4x4s will be reassembled in readiness for a pre-race shake down and final test 50 km outside Lima in the first week of January. Afterwards there will be documentation and scrutineering in Lima before the two Imperial Toyota Hilux 4x4s line up on the start line in Lima on January 5, with Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in vehicle #301 and Duncan Vos and Rob Howie in vehicle #312. “We also have a logistics truck that carries what we need to set up our pits and sleeping quarters at the bivouac – ‘easy-ups’, ground sheets, tents, sleeping bags and consumables,” Hall added. “During the race the rest of us travel a more direct route between bivouacs than the competitors in a fleet of Toyota Hilux pickups, Fortuners and Land Cruisers, as well as a 10-seater minibus. "Packing and unpacking for the Dakar and moving everything from South Africa to Peru, Argentina and Chile, before returning to South Africa, is a massive operation which has to be carried out with military precision. There’s a lot of paperwork involved including customs clearance leaving and returning to South Africa as well as for our passage through the three countries the rally visits, Peru, Argentina and Chile."

Content and image credits: Imperial Toyota South Africa
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Booster Racing – Mastromatteo

posted Dec 9, 2012, 5:05 PM by The Dakar   [ updated Jan 14, 2014, 11:49 PM ]

Temper-Mental Racing Dakar Aggressor
The Dakar Aggressor is a 2wd rear engine v8 powered car built by Jason LaFortune, Temper-Mental Racing (TMR), SoCal USA specifically for the upcoming Dakar 2013 Rally in South America. The car is build for Víctor Mastromatteo, an Argentinean living in Chile since 22 years according to information we could obtain.
Mastromatteo, has 2 prior Dakar Marathon Rally experiences. 2012 he was forced into a DNF at the 4th stage in the Prorace Team Sportech Toyota.
The year before Víctor Mastromatteo and copilot Sebastian Gasparini from Chile finished the Dakar 2011 as 54th in the car class, also running a Toyota.

At the 2013 Dakar competing with the #442 Víctor Mastromatteo - and copilot Aliaga Americo - brings a much more "serious" vehicle to the Rally Raid: the Dakar Aggressor!
It will be interesting to follow them perform starting at the 5th of January in Lima, Peru.
Here are the vehicle specs as send to us by Jason LaFortune.
  • Engine: GM LS3, build by Redline with over 300hp
  • Transmission: Albins
  • Seats and Safety Harness: Sparco
  • Suspension: King Shocks
  • Wheel travel front: 19 inch
  • Wheel travel rear: 17 inch
  • Wheels: ProAm
  • Tires: Toyo 35"
  • Weight: 4000lb
  • Engine Management: Motech
  • Wiring: Smithracewire
  • Safety: car has fire suppression system installed

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