Stage 13- Final:
It is a wrap. The longest off-road race in the world is now over with just under 6,000 miles covered. Nani Roma and Team Mini Win The 2014 Dakar. Did Stephane Peterhansel obey team orders? get the full scoop here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-13-la-serena-to-valparaiso/
Stage 12 Update:
What team orders? Stephane Peterhansel takes first in the stage along with the overall lead! What will happen tomorrow is anyone's guess. Only 97 miles of racing are left in the longest off-road race in the world. See the whole story here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-12-el-salvador-to-la-serena/
Stage 11 Update:
Robby Gordon and the Gordini go missing. Stephane Peterhansel is told to stop pursuing Nani Roma. With the MINI's now locked in position, Roma will be the winner of the 2014 Dakar. However, there are still two more stages to go. See the full story here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-11-antofagasta-to-el-salvador/
Stage 10 Update:
Brutal dunes and some of the most barren desert terrain we have ever seen are all part of today's stage. BJ Baldwin and Carlos Sainz both have their Dakar dreams dashed. Stephane Peterhansel is now within two minutes and fifteen seconds of Nani! Three more stages to go! Get all the info here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-10-iquique-to-antofagasta/
Stage 9 Update:
Mr. Dakar goes on the attack and cuts even more time out of Nani Roma's overall lead. Robby Gordon breaks the Gordini's nose. BJ Baldwin goes wide and into a ditch. Four more stages remain in the longest off-road race in the world. Get the complete update here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-9-calama-to-iquique/
Stage 8 Update:
Finally the competitors have reached Chile as they are now a bit over halfway done with the longest off-road race in the world. Stephane Peterhansel cut into Nani Roma's overall lead, while BJ Baldwin pushed himself into a solid 14th position. Robby Gordon continues to have a bad Dakar with more bad luck striking him. Get the full story here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-8-salta-argentina-to-calama-chile/
Stage 7 Update:
The adventure of the longest off-road race in the world continues as Carlos Sainz grabs another win. Robby Gordon's bad luck continues as a wheel flies off the Gordini causing damage. BJ Baldwin dukes it out with another racer (literally) and the race enters Chile for the first time. With seven stages down, there are still six more to go! See the full story here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-7-salta-to-salta-argentina/
Stage 6 Update:
The route was easier today and more like a WRC rally with both very fast and tight turns. It definitely favored the more nimble and better handling cars as the MINI team continues to dominate. Team America fell back in the rankings, but tomorrow is rest day giving them the time to hopefully fix any problems. Almost half of the rally is over, but the treacherous dunes of Chile still wait for the drivers. See the full story here http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-6-tucuman-to-salta-argentina/
Stage 5 Update:
Robby Gordon flies into a third place stage finish on one of the roughest stages in South American Dakar history. Carlos Sainz has over an hour of downtime and his dreams of a Dakar win are dashed. Dust, sand and brutality are all part of todays epic stage along with brutal heat and humidity. Click over to Dirt Sports to get the full story: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-5-chilecito-to-tucuman-argentina/
Stage 4 Update:
El Matador Carlos Sainz returns to the top of the order in the world's longest off-road race. Robby Gordon slides back a bit, but has a mostly trouble free run. BJ Baldwin has a solid run and improves his starting order for Stage Five. After running just under 2,500 miles, there are still 9 more stages to go! Click below to follow along as our friends at Dirt Sports brings you the action direct from Dakar. http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-4-san-juan-to-chilecito-argentina/
Stage 3 Update:
The Gordini lives! Robby Gordon stormed back to the front of the pack with a 6th place finish for Stage 3. BJ Baldwin also had a better day. He reportedly passed 40 or so cars before being slowed down by radiator issues. Sadly, Peter Hajas was forced to retire after not making today's start. Today’s stage win went to Nani Roma in another MINI. Overall, things are beginning to look up for Team America at the longest off-road race in the world.
Check out the full Stage 3 Coverage here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-3-san-rafael-to-san-juan/
Robby's recap of Stage 3 from Planet Robby:
Stage 2 Update:
Stage 2 of Dakar heads from San Luis To San Rafael. The fuel problems for Team America continue with Robby Gordon and BJ Baldwin all encountering problems on the second day of the Dakar Rally. Both vow to fight on and do their best to battle the Europeans. With 11 stages left and thousands of miles still to go, the Dakar Rally is still anyone’s game. Our friends at Dirt Sports report on Stage 2 from deep inside Argentina. Check out the full coverage and update video Here: http://www.dirtsportsnation.com/features/news/stage-2-san-luis-to-san-rafael/
Check out the latest update from Planet Robby:
Staging and Day One Racing Update
Only one day in to Dakar 2014 and it's looking like every one of the american entries are out of the running for an overall Victory. For this first leg of 502 miles, Robby got off the start line 17 minutes late, had some mechanical problems, and had the rear section of the body fly off! BJ Baldwin reportedly had problems with fuel (or lack thereof), and Peter Hajas rolled into the pits a full five hours after the stage winner and early favorite, Carlos Sousa. Click below to get the full story and check back right here for daily updates!
The Dakar rally is not exactly a household name here in the United States, and was once almost exclusively the domain of European racers. If we were lucky, the beauty and challenge of racing deep in the heart of Africa might be glimpsed late at night on some odd channel here in the States. Only a few very select Americans attempted it, and for good reason. Just getting a race vehicle, equipment and a crew to Africa from the U.S. was a challenge involving lots of costs and logistics. For European teams, it was a much easier task and many even tested in Africa to prepare for the race. It was little wonder that Europeans absolutely dominated the Dakar.
After the Dakar moved to South America in 2009, the playing field became more level. Nobody was intimately familiar with the terrain, and everyone had to ship vehicles. No longer was there a “home court” advantage and Americans increasingly began to take interest in the epic marathon rally. Not only were more Americans showing up to Dakar, they were increasingly making their mark on it. After becoming the first American to win a Dakar stage in 2005, Robby Gordon showed up with his own team and ran with the top competitors. RG is back for 2014 with a brand new vehicle based on his Super Stadium Trucks, and along with the BJ Baldwin and Brenthel Industries entries, is sure to create a fierce American presence and give the X-Raid Mini team, with eleven entries and a roster that reads like the who's who of Dakar, a run for their money.
The 2014 Dakar rally spreads itself out over 13 days of competition (with an additional rest day mercifully thrown in the middle) and usually runs over 5,000 miles over some of the toughest terrain in the world. Its huge distances grind both men and machine down, breaking even the toughest of competitors both physically and mentally. Unlike desert racing in the USA, luxuries such as GPS, radio communication, chase trucks and air support are banned, only adding to the difficulty of an already extremely difficult race. Just finishing it is a feat, with winning it an entirely different matter.
As if this wasn’t enough, this year’s running of the Dakar will be the longest ever attempted since the rally was moved to South America. Starting on January 5th in Rosario, Argentina, the course will wind its way north through the extreme mountain passes of Bolivia and then back down along the length of the coast of Chile. Finally, 13 days after it all started, the Dakar finishes in Valparaiso, Chile. The total distance of the rally is almost 6,000 miles, with over 3,000 of those being special stages. That route will also cross over the Andes and into Bolivia, setting a high-altitude record for the competitors as well. The specials are also rumored to be some of the most difficult ever, making for a Dakar that is longer, harder and even higher than before.
With all of this, it goes without saying that the 2014 running of the Dakar will indeed be an epic one and something you should take part in. If you can’t physically be at the race, the best way to watch it is the daily coverage that will start on the NBC Sports Network starting on January 5th. Make sure to check your local listings for the right time. Our sister publication, Dirt Sports, will also be live at the Dakar to bring us daily updates with videos and photos right here on the Fourwheeler Network as well as www.dirtsportsnation.com so make sure to check it out for the latest on Dakar 2014.