Peterhansel gets Dakar for Mini
BIG WIN FOR LITTLE MINI: Mini's Stephane Perterhansel (right) and co-driver Jean Paul Cottret celebrate winning the 2013 Dakar after the final stage between La Serena and Santiago, Chile on Saturday. Image: AFP
SANTIAGO, Chile - France's Stephane Peterhansel, in a Mini, has won the 'Dakar' rally autos title.
It's a fifth auto crown to add to his six motorcycling triumphs.
South Africa's Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz were second in a South African-built Toyota Hilux.
Peterhansel was virtually guaranteed victory when he went into the concluding 150km run into Santiago with a 44-minute lead.
Spain's Nani Roma claimed the event's last stage, his fourth in
2013, as the 8000km race ended.
'DEDICATED TO JEAN-CLAUDE'
Peterhansel said after the stage: "It's a special moment: 15 days of racing full of emotions and tension and the pressure vanishes all of a sudden. I'm thinking of Jean-Claude Olivier, who passed away last week.
"He taught me everything I know, so the second week was quite hard because I thought of him throughout. Now I'm dedicating this win to him.
"A race is never won from the beginning. The team did a cracking job. We never stopped, we never had a mechanical. We only had to drive as fast as we could. My co-driver Jean-Paul did an amazing job navigating. We never had to ease up. We always maintained a high pace, apart from the last couple of days, when we started dosing our efforts.
"This is the first time since I started racing in cars that we've finished a race without a single mechanical problem. This is the best car I've ever driven. It wasn't an easy victory because we knew the buggies would be fast but this situation enabled me to focus from the start."
45 MINUTES CLEAR
Villiers finished fourth in the penultimate stage in Chile on Friday to head into the final day lying comfortably second overall. He made up more than five minutes on Peterhansel but he remained 44 minutes behind the race leader in the standings.
He was 45 minutes clear of third-placed Russian Leonid Novitskiy after 13 stages of the two-week race.
South African Sarel van Biljon continued his late fight, winning his second stage in the quads division on Friday. He had also won Stage 8 to look at a podium position but after a disastrous Stage 9 he tumbled down the standings.
Going into Saturday, he was 21st, more than 15 hours behind Argentine leader Marcos Patronelli.
France's Cyril Despres, riding a KTM, won his fifth Dakar motorcycling title as the 2013 edition came to an end with a 150km timed run into Santiago. He was champion in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012.
Portugal's Ruben Faria was second, 10min43 off his team mate's pace, with Chilean rider Francisco Lopez Contardo, on another KTM, in third, 18min48 behind the leader.
"It's true that I needed to cross the line and see all these pictures and people here to know that nobody can take this win from me," said Despres, who was 17th on the concluding stage. "The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won't be interesting any more. And that day is still far off.
"It's too long, it's too tough, it's too hot, it's too cold, you've got to rise early in the morning, you've got to find your way out of the dune mazes in Peru and Chile, you've got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Cordoba.
"It's just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it's even better when you win a difficult race."
1 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +1hr43min06
2 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Husqvarna) +8sec
3 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +24
4 Mario Patrao (POR/Suzuki) +1min21
5 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +2min14
6 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Husqvarna) +2min32
7 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) +2min37
8 Frans Verhoeven (NED/Yamaha) +2min39
9 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +3min07
10 Gerard Farres Guell (ESP/Honda) +3min11
Motorcycle final standings
1 Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) +43hr24min22
2 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +10min43
3 Francisco Chaleco Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +18min48
4 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +23min54
5 Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/KTM) +55min29
6 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +1hr06min30
7 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +1hr11min22
8 Javier Pizzolito (ARG/Honda) +1hr26min07
9 Frans Verhoeven (NED/Yamaha) +1hr26min35
10 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Husqvarna) +1hr28min20
*Results other than the motorcycles had not dropped by midnight. Wheels24 will have them for you first thing Sunday morning.