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Marc Coma and REPSOL win DAKAR 2009!
Seven years ago an intruder sneaked into the Dakar elite. He was a beginner. An unknown name for the "Africans", although the Spanish Enduro scene had already experienced Marc Coma’s talent. On an experimental motorbike called the CSV and sponsored by Carlos Sotelo, Coma finished the muddy European prologues in sixth place. In Africa he managed to finish among the top twenty, and on the day his bike broke down he was setting the tenth fastest time of the stage.
The following year, in 2003, and part of the official KTM structure, with Nani Roma and Isidre Esteve as team-mates and with the support of Repsol YPF, Coma got his first chance to race a Dakar with a good bike and he didn’t waste the opportunity. Riding his single-cylinder in the middle of a pack full of fast and powerful twin-cylinder bikes, Coma more than achieved his objective by finishing the Dakar in 11th position with four third places in different stages.
Marc Coma, motorbike rider from his earliest years, had a racing background at home. His father, Ricard, managed to finish fifth in the Spanish Senior Motocross Championship. There was always a motorbike at home. Both his father and his uncle were big fans and this tradition was passed on to little Marc. The first bike he rode was a Montesa Cota 348 under the guidance of his uncle at the age of 8. While he was still learning, Marc used every moment that his uncle did not have an eye on him to get on the Cota and disappear onto the mountain tracks around his home.
After his uncle’s trial bike he got his own, a Puch Cobra 74 with which he had his first "races" with his friends in his hometown. Then, as long as he got good grades at school, he got a motocross Honda CR 125 and he began to take part in his first real races. These first races were followed by county championships, regional championships and finally the national championship. He dedicated himself to this speciality up to the age of 18 but Marc didn’t see his future on the circuits, so before giving up and looking for a normal job he thought he would try his luck in Enduro. Marc had already made up his mind that he wanted to try and become a professional rider.
From that moment on Marc focused on Enduro and his first victories and success arrived quickly. In 1995, Coma became Spanish Junior Champion in the Over 175cc class on a 250cc KTM. After that Marc joined the National Enduro Team and got a silver medal at the following year`s World Enduro Championship. That result was followed by several other brilliant results in the following years, such as 4th place in the European Senior Enduro Championship, the under 23 Enduro World Championship, the Enduro World Championship for Nations and 3rd place in the Enduro World Championship for Nations.
2009: Rally Dakar Champion
2008: Central Europe Rally (Retired)
4th Rally Dos Sertoes
1st Baja España Aragón
3rd PAX Rally
17th UAE Desert Challenge (breakdown on the penultimate stage when he was leading)
2007: Participation in Dakar 2007. Retired
1st Rally de Tunisia Optic 2000
1st Rally de Sardinia
1st Rally Patagonia Atacama, Argentina - Chile
1st Rally des Pharaons, Egypt
1st UAE Desert Challenge, Dubai
Cross Country Rally World Champion
2006: Rally Lisboa Dakar Champion
1st Rally Patagonia Atacama, Argentina - Chile
1st Rally de Sardinia
1st Rally des Pharaons, Egypt
1st UAE Desert Challenge, Dubai
Cross Country Rally World Champion
Vigouroux Final Accident ends DAKAR effort badly
During the final leg of this Dakar 2009, Eric Vigouroux and Alexandre Winocq experienced the worst thing that can happen to a racing team: a mechanical failure leading to an exit from the road into the public. Fortunately, the worst was avoided, and only one person was seriously injured during the accident. A 29-year-old Argentinean spectator is suffering from cranial trauma. He is currently being maintained in an artificial coma, but according to an official medical source, the injuries are no longer life-threatening.
"This all took place during the second to last turn of the very last special, after more than 5,000 km of racing", explained Eric. "At the end of a long straight run, the brakes failed. I tried to downshift to slow the vehicle down, and we waved our arms outside the windows to warn the spectators to get out of our way. Most of the people were able to move aside, but when we jumped the embankment, there were still 4 or 5 people in front of us.
Ever since they were given encouraging news about the victim, Eric and Alex were immediately reassured. "All of thoughts are with him, of course, on this podium day. This accident has unfortunately removed any joy we might have felt while finishing this harsh and difficult general results, the only official team to still have all of its vehicles at the end of the race."
Saturday January 17, 2008
DAKAR 2009 Final Race Bulletin
Mitsubishi Defends 12 DAKAR Championships
Robby Gordon Hummer podium takes third
Thursday January 15, 2008
DAKAR 2009 Race Bulletin #7
VW Crashes Out! Americans Ready!
Wednesday January 14, 2008
DAKAR 2009 RACE BULLETIN #6
STAGE 11 CANCELLED DUE TO FOG
& Sand Conditions? Baja Racing News Investigating
The day’s special stage has been cancelled. As the weather forecast announces heavy fog on the whole route of the stage and as the timing of the stage cannot be altered due to the crossing of the Andes and the crossing of the border between Chile and Argentina, the organizers have decided to cancel the portion of stage 11 between Copiapo and Fiambala that should have been against the clock. The participants will be getting to the Fiambala bivouac in liaison starting at 8:00 AM.
Monday January 12, 2008
DAKAR 2009 RACE BULLETIN #5
ROBBY GORDON DAKAR TEAM USA VIDEO
DAKAR 2009 RACE BULLETIN #4. Accident Videos Now!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW SEVERAL RACE ACCIDENT VIDEOS
Saturday January 10, 2008
DAKAR 2009 RACE BULLETIN #3.
MITSUBISHI DEFENDS 12 DAKAR CHAMPIONSHIPS
"MITSUBISHI LEAVES NOTHING TO CHANCE AS ROMA'S CAR IS REBUILT FOR SECOND HALF OF DAKAR RALLY
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's small army of mechanics and engineers left nothing to chance on the Valparaiso rest day of the 2009 Dakar Rally in Chile on Saturday.
They spent the whole day in the service park, at the naval college overlooking the Pacific Ocean, checking and double-checking every nut and bolt on Joan 'Nani' Roma's (Spain) turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancer' to ensure that he and co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra (Spain) will be perfectly prepared for the second half of the event, which resumes on Sunday morning.
Crucial mechanical components were replaced by the technical team, as per the rebuild schedule for rest day, because Mitsubishi hopes of an eighth successive Dakar title now rest with the sole-surviving 'Racing Lancer'.
Thousands of people have lined the roads, highways and town centres over the past week to greet the rally, with an estimated 500,000 people seeing the cars off from Buenos Aires on January 2nd and large crowds gathering in remote towns such as Puerto Madryn and Ingeniero Jacobacci.
Valparaiso was no exception and the Chilean people have welcomed the Dakar with the same warm hospitality as the Argentineans.
Valparaiso translates as Paradise Valley in Spanish and is fondly referred to as Valpo in local dialect. It is an important seaport for Chile and a vital cultural centre, housing the National Congress and also benefiting from being named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is prone to earthquakes and was named 'Little San Francisco' or the 'Jewel of the Pacific' by ancient sailors.
Tomorrow (Sunday) marks the first of the four special stages in Chile, as the route of the 2009 Dakar Rally heads north along the Pacific Coast to an overnight halt at La Serena. The day commences with a 245km liaison through La Calera and El Melon to the start of the 294km special stage and culminates with a 113km road section to the bivouac.
La Serena is a commune in the Elqui Province and capital of the Coquimbo region of Chile.
RESUME OF FIRST WEEK OF 2009 DAKAR / ARGENTINA-CHILE
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart's chances of earning an eighth successive victory in the punishing Dakar Rally rest with Joan 'Nani' Roma and Lucas Cruz Senra (both Spain) after a punishing first week's competitive action across Argentina.
Mitsubishi headed to South America with four, new turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancers' and their usual line-up of four experienced drivers and co-drivers. The team had left nothing to chance in the weeks building up to the event, with meticulous physical preparation for the crews and an extensive test and development program with the new car, which had won 'out of the box' in the hands of Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret (both France) in the Baja Portalegre.
But the remote Patagonian wastelands of southern Argentina and the treacherous sand dunes of the western Mendoza province were a totally different proposition to the rigours of a test session in North Africa and the opening days of the 2009 Dakar Rally became a rapid learning curve for Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart.
The opening high-speed dash across the pampas netted the team fifth, sixth and eighth positions, with Luc Alphand (France) leading the Mitsubishi charge from Peterhansel and Roma, but Hiroshi Masuoka (Japan) and Pascal Maimon (France) were sidelined with a broken engine pulley.
As a solitary BMW jostled with a trio of Volkswagens for the early overall lead, Peterhansel leapt back into contention with the second fastest time on the run south into Patagonia and the overnight halt at Puerto Madryn. He duly moved up to third overall, with Roma and Alphand nestled into fifth and sixth places. Mitsubishi appeared to have weathered the early storm.
Peterhansel set the fifth fastest time on the tiring westerly sprint across the Patagonian scrubland to the railway town of Ingeniero Jacobacci, where Roma was eighth and the pair held fourth and fifth overall. But Alphand discovered gas-oil leaking from the rear of his 'Racing Lancer' and lost 30 minutes affecting emergency repairs to a fuel pump seal and slipped to 10th place.
But the former Dakar winner was in sensational form on the following morning's run north to Neuquen and stormed through the field from 15th on the road to take the third fastest time and climb to eighth place. Roma and Peterhansel set the fifth and eighth times on the 380km special and confirmed fifth and fourth overall behind a pair of Volkswagens and a solitary BMW.
Peterhansel pushed a little harder on the fifth stage into San Rafael, where competitors came face-to-face with a series of challenging sand dunes for the first time. He held the initiative early in the stage and could well have taken a stage win, but he descended one sand dune and was heading for the foot of a second one 15 km from the finish, when the Mitsubishi hit a patch of camel-type grass and flipped over.
The impact damaged the car's bodywork and radiator and the Frenchman was towed into the bivouac, the resultant penalty of 15 minutes knocking him down the leader board to sixth place. Alphand and Roma had been seventh and eighth on the stage and remained inside the top 10.
The subsequent sixth stage was shortened because of recent rainfall in the Mendoza province and a river crossing was cancelled, but teams still had to negotiate the same series of sand dunes in reverse. Peterhansel and Roma eventually finished the stage with the fifth and sixth fastest times to hold sixth and fifth in the overall standings, but the Mitsubishi challenge was reduced to just two cars.
Alphand was forced to withdraw 12km after the start, when co-driver Gilles Picard (France) was taken ill assisting Alphand in putting plates under the wheels when they were stuck in a deep muddy swamp. They had been trying to free the 'Racing Lancer' for over 90 minutes.
As a precaution, Picard was airlifted to the bivouac in San Rafael for medical checks, but Alphand was unable to continue. Picard then underwent an electro-cardiogram test. Everything was in order and the pair travelled with the team to Valparaiso.
Roma and Peterhansel began the shortened seventh stage, near Mendoza, behind a trio of Volkswagens and team director Dominique Serieys (France) issued a battle cry for his remaining two drivers to launch an assault and a serious challenge for the lead over the coming stages.
But Peterhansel's turbo-diesel 'Racing Lancer' sustained a small fire early in the stage and terminal engine damage occurred at the 114km point. The nine-times Dakar winner was sidelined before the passage through the Andes into Chile, although Roma managed to set the fourth fastest time.
He headed into the rest day, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, in fourth overall, 29m 16s behind Carlos Sainz (Spain) and still within striking distance of the leading Volkswagen trio.
But seven punishing stages are planned for the second week of the 2009 Dakar Rally and Roma and Cruz Senra will have to tackle the rigours of the Atacama desert and the return across the Andes into Argentina without the support of their team mates, Peterhansel, Alphand and Masuoka."
DAKAR 2009 RACE BULLETIN #2. Al Attiyah Out of DAKAR
"Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah has been thrown out of the Dakar Rally, which he was leading, after missing a number of control points on the sixth stage, race organisers said. The BMW driver, who won the first and third stages and led the overall standings by over seven minutes, skipped nine mandatory way points as his car threatened to overheat on the shortened 178km run from San Rafael to Mendoza.
"A preliminary Argentinian Police report also suggests that Terry’s life may have been saved had the race organisers instigated a search immediately on Sunday night at the end of the second stage when he failed to reach the finish of the day’s racing. He was not found until the early hours of Wednesday morning. “Officially the result of the autopsy revealed that the French pilot Terry died of pulmonary oedema ... which produced cardio-respiratory failure,” said Julio Acosta, chief of the department of operations of the La Pampa province police, late on Wednesday night.
“The death of the pilot occurred between Monday and Tuesday morning,” Acosta said. “He could have been saved, if he had been rescued in time,” Acosta said. Terry, 49, had been missing since Sunday’s 2nd stage of the race between Santa Rosa and Puerto Madryn. Acosta said confusion over whether Terry had arrived at the Nequen camp on Sunday delayed the start of the search.
“The search was not started immediately, that same Sunday, because a Terry checked into the Neuquén camp, but it wasn’t Pascal but his brother, who is also competing in the rally,” Acosta said. Terry had informed race control on Sunday that his Yamaha had run out of petrol at the 197 kilometre mark, but that he had procured some from another competitor. Organisers later tried to contact him on two occasions, but were unable to get any response.
Search operations were launched the following day, but they were unable to locate Terry until early on Wednesday morning when he was found dead by local police. “The motorcyclist was found in an area that is very inaccessible with very dense vegetation 15 metres from his bike,” organisers said in a statement. “He had taken off his helmet and had taken shelter with food and water next to him.” Although the autopsy had been performed, Acosta said Terry’s body was still being held by authorities pending completion of the necessary documentation. “There was a breakdown in the organisation’s chain of communication between January 4 and 5,” said race director Etienne Lavigne. “Information that he had deployed a distress signal reached Paris on January 4 and we here were not informed before the fifth.”
Later on Wednesday, France’s Yvan Muller had to pull out of the race after his buggy caught fire in what appeared to be a collision with the lorry of Portugal’s Elisabete Jacinto, whose vehicle was on fire at the same place, organisers said. No competitor was injured in the incident. Chilean police have issued a statement saying 2,500 officers would be deployed during the section of the race that traverses their country between Jan 11-14 as the authorities expected 250,000 people to line the roads. The rally will visit Valparaiso, Coquimbo and Atacama before rejoining Argentina on January 14. Chilean authorities will also have two aircraft at their disposal – a Hercules and a Boeing 737.
Terry was the first fatality at this year’s race which started in Buenos Aires on January 3 and finishes back in the Argentine capital on January 17, but is the 51st person involved with the event to die since its inception in 1979. These include 19 competitors, 17 race personnel, including its founder Thierry Sabine in a helicopter crash in 1986, and at least 15 spectators or others who died due to the high-speed chase of cars, motorcycles and lorries over some of the toughest
terrain in the world.
The race was switched to South America from North Africa this year after the threat of terrorism caused last year’s race to be cancelled."
Stage 1 - Saturday, January 3 - Report
Buenos Aires >Santa Rosa
CLICK HERE STAGE 1 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 1 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 2 - Sunday, January 4 - Report
Santa Rosa > Puerto Madryn
CLICK HERE STAGE 2 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 2 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 3 - Monday, January 5 - Report
Puerto Madryn > Jacobacci
CLICK HERE STAGE 3 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 3 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 4 - Tuesday, January 6
Jacobacci > Neuquen
CLICK HERE STAGE 4 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 4 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 5 - Wednesday, January 7
Neuquen > San Rafael
CLICK HERE STAGE 5 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 5 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 6 - Thursday, January 8
San Rafael > Mendoza
CLICK HERE STAGE 6 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 6 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 7 - Friday, January 9
Mendoza (ARG) > Valparaiso (CHL)
CLICK HERE STAGE 7 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 7 VIDEO PLAYER
Rest Day - January 10
CLICK HERE REST DAY PLAYER
Stage 8 - Sunday, January 11
Valparaiso > La Serena
CLICK HERE STAGE 8 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 8 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 9 - Monday, January 12
La Serena > Copiapo
CLICK HERE STAGE 9 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 9 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 10 - Tuesday, January 13
Copiapo > Copiapo
CLICK HERE STAGE 10 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 10 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 11 - Wednesday, January 14
Copiapo > Fiambala
CLICK HERE STAGE 11 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 11 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 12 - Thursday, January 15
Fiambala > La Rioja
CLICK HERE STAGE 12 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 12 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 13 - Friday, January 16
La Rioja > Cordoba
CLICK HERE STAGE 13 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 13 VIDEO PLAYER
Stage 14 - Saturday, January 17
Cordoba > Buenos Aires
CLICK HERE STAGE 14 MAP
CLICK HERE STAGE 14 VIDEO PLAYER
CLICK THE MAP FOR MORE INFO ON THE ATACAMA DESERT
Live Text Feed: sbs
Live Tracking: tracking.dakar
Daily Highlights: todo noticias & paddocktalk
Daily News: Dakaradventure
Rally News: Telegraph Great Britain
DAKAR 2009 Photo Files: Dakaradventure
Robby Gordon's TEAM DAKAR USA Website
Mitsubishi-DAKAR Official Website 12-Time DAKAR Champions
CURRENT DAKAR SUMMARY VIDEOS
CURRENT DAKAR EXTRAS VIDEO PLAYER
Baja Racing News.com Inside Reports from reporters on-site
SI's Tim Tuttle questions Robby Gordon's Off-Road Interests
DAKAR 2009 PREPARATION VIDEOS
January 1, 2009
Now that the holidays are over, back to Baja racing news. Baja Racing News.com will be covering the DAKAR LIVE! over the next few weeks, after the first race in the Baja racing series of 2009, the DASH on December 31, which will be LIVE! Webcast here on Baja Racing News.com
The DAKAR will be important in several different ways. The Mitsu vs. VW battle will be epic and we will be following the race results closely. CLICK HERE FOR THE INSIDE STORY ON THE MITSU PREPARATIONS
Baja Racing News.com has several close-in reporters with exclusive stories for the rally 2009. One insider report never before revealed until now. The DAKAR people did consider Mexico and Baja, in particular for 2009. The DAKAR group contacted both states, north and south. Previously, DAKAR had promoted to North American racers through several events at Best In The Desert race series promotions and Ensenada ranch events.
Mexico was not chosen for 2009 because of the significant insecurity currently challenging both states.