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2012-01-17

DAKAR RALLY: Cars and Trucks

* Perú - New names dominate the Dakar Rally - MINI and Iveco take 1-2 wins

(Photo: Peterhansel -winner auto section - and his MINI ALL4 Racing)
Lima,Perú -Gizmag by Jack Martin -January 16, 2012: -- A new name dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI. Though the race isn't over yet, the margins are such that MINI will finish with first, second and fourth place later today, and that frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel will record a record tenth Dakar Rally victory. Though the original MINI built a fine motorsport heritage in league with Formula One constructor John Cooper, MINI's new owner BMW has now really has something to crow about...  
The performance of the Dutch Iveco Team which took first and second place in the truck section, ending a three year winning run for Russian heavy-duty truck manufacturer Kamaz...  Indeed, Kamaz has won eight of the last ten Dakar Rally's in the truck segment, and along with another of the former Eastern Block's finest, Tatra, have dominated the event for two decades, winning 16 of the last 19 events...  Last but not least, a very special mention to Great Wall Motors, a Chinese company that is going where no Chinese company has gone before it - straight up against the best in a brutal sport - and making admirable progress. The team entered the rally for the last two years, but this year progressed to seventh outright - an outstanding result for such an inexperienced team led by portuguese driver Carlos Sousa...


* Japan - Third successive category wint for Hino

(Photo: A Hino truck racing at Dakar Rally 2012)
Hino-shi,Tokyo,Japan -3D Car Shows, by Gerald Ferreira -January 17, 2012: -- Hino, the leading Japanese truck manufacturer, continued to build on its amazing record of successes in the gruelling annual Dakar Rally, this time notching up its third consecutive victory in the category for trucks with engines of less than 10-litres capacity...  This year’s event total route for the trucks was 8 336km, made up of 14 competitive special stages, totalling 4 120km, and 4 216km of liaison sections... The highest placed four-wheel-drive Hino 500-Series truck, crewed by Teruhito Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki placed an excellent ninth overall in a field dominated by so-called “monster trucks” with much larger engines and many of them specially developed for this event... The second Hino, driven by Teruhito’s 70-year-old father, Yoshimasa, and co-driver Hiroyuki Sugiura, placed 24th overall and third in the 10-litre engine category. (Second in this class was the Mercedes-Benz Axor of Dutchmen Johan Elfrink and co-driver Hortulanus, which finished 14th overall, almost five hours behind the leading Hino)...

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