Torrential rain, floodings, heat, enormous heights… The 2016 edition off the Dakar rally once again proved to be an event featuring extremes for man and machine. With their MINI ALL4 Racing, Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and Mathieu Baumel (FRA) finished as best placed all-wheel drive pairing. Only one driver, Stéphane Peterhansel, completed the 2016 Dakar faster than Al-Attiyah but the French two wheel buggy drivers still has to face an appeal. And so, the entire Dakar result is provisional, so far.
Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen who switched from WRC to cross-country rallying, last year, made a sensational Dakar debut. He contested the 2016 edition of the legendary event together with the experienced French navigator Michel Périn. The pairing particularly impressed with their consistency, finished fifth in nearly every stage and made virtually no mistakes.
For Nani Roma and Alex Haro (both ESP), the Dakar began with a major setback. On stage two they got stuck in a mud hole for nearly an hour. But they didn’t give up and step by step, they battled their way back up in the overall standings. In stage nine, when many of their rivals struggled with problems, they had a trouble-free day and as a result, the leaped back up to the top 10. On the following days they kept on gaining ground to finish 6th. in the end.
For Orlando Terranova and Ronnie Graue (both ARG), the 2016 Dakar didn’t run as they had hoped it would. Like Nani Roma they got stuck in a mud hole in stage two, thus losing a lot of time. And on the following days, things also didn’t run according to the Argentineans’ plans.
Overall standings Dakar 2016
1st S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 45h 22m 10s*
2nd N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 45h 57m 08s
3rd G. De Villiers (ZAF) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 46h 24m 57s
4th M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 46h 27m 28s
5th L. Poulter (ZAF) / R. Howie (ZAF) Toyota – 46h 52m 53s
6th J. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 47h 03m 16s
12th O. Terranova (ARG) / B. Graue (ARG) MINI ALL4 Racing – 50h 31m 04s