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Underdog GWM eyes Dakar No.5

2013-12-06 11:31

GWM RETURNS TO DAKAR: GWM's Haval 4x4 bakkie finished 6th in the previous two events - can it do better in 2014? Image: GWM

Chinese automaker GWM proved sceptics wrong when it's Havel 4x4 bakkie finished sixth in the 2012 and 2013 Dakar rallies. Now it's back again for the 2014 event and hoping to do even better.

GWM and an off-road Havel are set for another go at the world's toughest off-road race through the deserts and mountains of South America..

For such a young brand success in the world’s toughest endurance race is a perfect opportunity to win over sceptics. The 2014 Dakar Rally will be the brand's fifth Dakar against the world’s leading 4x4 specialists.


GWM surprised off-road enthusiasts when driver Zhou Yong took the automaker's Dakar-tuned race car to 33rd in the 2010 Dakar Rally. Zhou had driven the car for only 200km before to the rally.

GWM was back again in 2011 and moved up to finish 22nd before making a huge performance jump to finish sixth in 2012 and 2013 – the team having been bolstered by the addition of experienced driver Carlos Sousa.

Those two top-10 finishes should give rivals cause for concern. Sousa will be driving a Haval H5 (car number 306) but this time will be joined by veteran Christian Lavieille in a second H5 (No. 315).

The 2014 Dakar Rally will head into the dunes and heat of the Atacama desert in South America. The special stages will be longer in 2014 and there are new endurance sections.

GWM has never failed to finish a Dakar; it also won the 2013 China Grand Rally, a 6000km event contested by more than 300 vehicles.

The 2014 Dakar Rally will start on January 5 2014. The 450 competitors representing 50 nationalities in cars and trucks and on motorcycles and quads will take on a 9500km route through Argentina, Bolivia (bikes and quads only) and Chile.

The route has 13 special stages totalling 5000km.
Read more on:    gwm  |  2014 dakar rally  |  south america  |  motorsport  |  racing  |  dakar

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