Dominant Peterhansel delivers again in Dakar Rally
Updated: Saturday, 19 Jan 2013 23:11
France's Stephane Peterhansel defended his Dakar Rally crown to underline his reputation as the most successful competitor in the history of the annual endurance event.
Peterhansel's victory is his fifth in the car category, breaking Ari Vatanen's record, and increases his tally of overall titles to 11, having also won the motorbike category on six occasions.
The 47-year-old's latest triumph was secured as he completed the 14th and final stage, which ran 346 kilometres from La Serena to Santiago, in 10th place, three minutes 43 seconds behind stage winner Nani Roma.
Peterhansel has led the 2013 Dakar since the second stage nearly two weeks ago, and was full of praise for the indomitable X-Rain Mini that made it possible.
"This is the first time since I started racing in cars that we've finished a race without a single mechanical problem," said Peterhansel, whose overall margin of victory was 42mins 22secs ahead of former winner Giniel de Villiers.
"This is the best car I've ever driven."
Peterhansel's compatriot Cyril Despres also successfully defended his title in the motorbike category, the KTM rider pacing himself to 14th place today as he finished nearly 11 minutes clear of Portugal's Ruben Faria in the overall standings.
Argentina's Marcos Patronelli enjoyed a dominant overall victory in the quad class, winning by almost two hours, while Russia's Eduard Nikolaev took his maiden Dakar crown win in the truck class.
1 Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) & Jean Paul Cottret (Fra) Mini 38hrs 32mins 39secs
2 Giniel De Villiers (Rsa) & Dirk Von Zitzewitz (Ger) Toyota 39:15:01
3 Leonid Novistkiy (Rus) & Konstantin Zhiltsov (Rus) Mini 40:01:01
4 Joan (Nani) Roma (Spa) & Michel Perin (Fra) Mini 40:09:22
5 Orlando Terranova (Arg) & Paulo Fiuza (Por) BMW 40:21:49
6 Carlos Sousa (Por) & Miguel Ramalho (Por) Great Wall 41:10:55
7 Ronan Chabot (Fra) & Gilles Pillot (Fra) SMG 41:50:44
8 Guerlain Chicherit (Fra) & Jeanpierre Garcin (Fra) SMG 42:00:23
9 Pascal Thomasse (Fra) & Pascal Larroque (Fra) Buggy Md Rallye 43:08:11
10 Lucio Ezequiel Alvarez (Arg) & Bernardo Rolando Graue (Arg) Toyota 43:18:27