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Final thoughts and thanks DAKAR 2017

kaw500

Well-Known Member
I'll start it. DAKAR 2017 was epic!
My year stated very strange, bad flu in my home week . Week 2 my wife fainted in the shower 3 times and broke her ankle (scary stuff) Casey passed away, the Chargers moved on, and my business partner's mother passed on. BUT I had 2 weeks of DAKAR to interrupt all the drama.

Pugs dominate, KTM sweeps and KAMAZ is king. Hoped for a stronger showing by GDV and Honda.
So many sub plots, crashes, injuries, breakdowns, floods , landslides but so many stories of individual and team triumphs.

This is how I start of each year here on RDC and I look forward to 2018. Thank you Short Bus, Chase II, SteveRacer, Ferrari333SP, Chris Tobin, Bajaxp, Dirty Harry, mattj112, randy s, E. Araiza, spalind, Bricoop and everyone else who posted updates, thoughts, video and opinions.

I look forward to spending a couple of weeks next year with my RDC family and hope to see a few more Americans competing. RG, BM, RB BRING IT ON.
 

JPBart

Well-Known Member
Interesting year as always but I had a hard time getting into it this year. Pugs in the lead the whole way. To me the negative is domination by one team for years.
 

mattj112

Well-Known Member
If are one wants to watch the finish podium in Buenos Aires it's live on Dakar facebook Page right now. Always here to help new and old people into Dakar. Here to another year of Dakar I hope every has safety year in any form of motorsport.
 

Spark

Well-Known Member
Regardless of interesting by itself Dakar this year I can say that I really disappointed of how much less interest, attention and therefore forum discussions it bring without RG participation on this forum.
Its also that RDC crew wasn't there this year too of course but I think the first factor made more impact.
I've been following Dakar here for 4 or 5 years and this year it's highly on contrast in terms of forum members activity.
Been an avarage Joe in off road racing for me it's very interesting to read opinions and suggestions of people who have the first hand experience. And I really missing the great contribution of deep insight discussions that were here in previous years.
Just my 2 kopeek =) anyway thanks for all who follow and share!
 

E. Araiza

Well-Known Member
Even with less people in the forum, it was a blast to chase Dakar thru here, thank you all!

Next year if Robby and Bryce are going, it might get even more fun! :D

...but calling it from now, Loeb for the win next year.
 

bajaherbie

Well-Known Member
Great rally and coverage here! Thank you for everyone's hard work with the updates and the videos to watch! Was hoping Bryce would do good but looks like we will have to wait. Glad to see Ricky Brabec win! Hopefully RG returns, would like to see him in a Peugeot but I know that will never happen.

I also enjoyed the coverage on NBC Sport! But the female host on the Eurosport Dakar tv show has a great sexy voice! Much better than Leigh Diffey !

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blue dog

Well-Known Member
2 things upset me this year.

1. Nasser got a ride in a Toyota next to GDV. We all know he is not a team player and is out for himself only. Go break some other manufacturers effort.

2. The decision not to run the hilux Evo cars at the last minute.

The thing I am most happy about, is that Both the Coronel brothers finished the Dakar in the odd little buggies.

Till next year gentleman.
 

Hayward Racing

Well-Known Member
To beat the best you need to have the best equipment and drivers.. IMO Nasser is the best wheel man at Dakar hands down if you put him in a PUG he walks away with it. He just won 2 years ago in a Mini and put that car through the ringer as well. I'd almost guarantee Nasser will get you data most other drivers can't achieve to make the car better/stronger/faster. Does he come back in a Hilux next year?!? I hope so and better yet hope it's the EVO
 

Hayward Racing

Well-Known Member
Here is what I did not like about the race this year in no particular order after #2

1. No RG or Menzies
2. Brabec DNF
3. Nasser DNF
4. Sainz DNF
5. All Pug Podium
6. Too much rain
7. I wasn't there
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
To beat the best you need to have the best equipment and drivers.. IMO Nasser is the best wheel man at Dakar hands down if you put him in a PUG he walks away with it.
Loeb is the best driver there, but Peterhansel/Cottret are the best/smartest team at Dakar.

Nasser and Peterhansel have never been in the same vehicle on the same year though. One of them has always had the advantage (and won). Would be interesting to see which of us is correct with these two titans driving the same machines.


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Hayward Racing

Well-Known Member
Loeb is the best driver there, but Peterhansel/Cottret are the best/smartest team at Dakar.

Nasser and Peterhansel have never been in the same vehicle on the same year though. One of them has always had the advantage (and won). Would be interesting to see which of us is correct with these two titans driving the same machines.


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You are right Loeb is the best all around driver in the world. I should have been more specific as I was referring to Dakar only.. I just think Nasser is on another level in terms of speed but that comes with a cost obviously..


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vegasloki

Well-Known Member
The people that didn't watch because Gordon wasn't there aren't Dakar fans as much as they are Gordon fans. Nothing wrong with that but I wouldn't gauge it as a metric of popularity of the Dakar.
 

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
Loeb is the best driver there, but Peterhansel/Cottret are the best/smartest team at Dakar.

Nasser and Peterhansel have never been in the same vehicle on the same year though. One of them has always had the advantage (and won). Would be interesting to see which of us is correct with these two titans driving the same machines.

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In 2014, the infamous Nani Roma team orders win year, both Nasser and SPH were in X Raid Minis. They finished 2-3. Peterhansel had 50 minutes on Nasser. Peterhansel was laying back following team orders.

I would argue that rally raid requires a somewhat different skill set than pure rally. Off road requires racing line decision-making on the fly whereas in rally they know the corners and only really need to focus on driving the corner. Loeb is unbeatable at that driving part. Nasser is good at reading the course.

It seems that not only did we lose the The fans this year, but I missed some of the regulars from around the world. I was a bit disappointed by the reduced interest, but still enjoyed hanging out with the "hardcore" regulars.

I thought this year's course turned out to be decently interesting. I liked the areas they raced with river beds with a lot of ersional features and the generally rugged, undulating terrain. The big dunes fields of Chile and Peru are missed, but there are also areas on the west coast of SA that are pretty flat and wide open and not really all that interesting. That said, I hope they can convince Peru to host a couple stages at least.
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
In 2014, the infamous Nani Roma team orders win year, both Nasser and SPH were in X Raid Minis. They finished 2-3. Peterhansel had 50 minutes on Nasser. Peterhansel was laying back following team orders.
Thanks for the correct, I thought that he was still in the Jeffries' buggy that year. I guess we know who is the best then. ;)

I would argue that rally raid requires a somewhat different skill set than pure rally. Off road requires racing line decision-making on the fly whereas in rally they know the corners and only really need to focus on driving the corner. Loeb is unbeatable at that driving part. Nasser is good at reading the course.
I agree that the skill sets overlap but are not identical. Carlos Sainz and Mikko Hirvonen have been fast from the get go, relying on their rally backgrounds. Neither was as quick of a study as Loeb though.

As for Nasser reading the course, this year's results seem to suggest that Loeb is better at reading terrain that Nasser is...
 

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
As for Nasser reading the course, this year's results seem to suggest that Loeb is better at reading terrain that Nasser is...
Yeah, that didnt work out so well for him this year. But in WRC, Nasser was really an also-ran. In raid, he has something that makes him a standout. This year I think the Gazoo strategy was to have Nasser push the pace really hard from the beginning to build a lead before the altitude kicked in. I think they also hoped to maybe lure the Pugs to also push and maybe make a mistake. So I don't fault Nasser too much for wadding it up.
 

blue dog

Well-Known Member
I do not think Nasser knows how to run without pushing too hard. He seems to not know the limits of his equipment
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, which I know doesn't account for much, Nasser is an excellent driver and he has a great navigator. The two of them put together allow them to run at an incredible speed. However, this is also his down fall. He over drives the course or vehicle at times. He is fast, but not smooth.

SPH has not won 13 Dakar races by not having the perfect combination of speed, smoothness, and navigation worked out. He is like a well oiled machine. Like he said after one of the stages this year, "It is better to be a couple of minutes down today rather than be in the back broken" (I paraphrase) He knows when to push and when to back off. He can read the terrain perfectly most of the time. I know that he makes mistakes too, everyone does, but when he has a bad day he doesn't seem to go out gunning for the win the next day and wad up his race car. He continues to run his race knowing that to win you must first finish.

When Loeb and navigator completely get a handle on the navigation and terrain reading, they will be winning a lot. He is an incredible driver. On the WRC style roads he shows his ability to control his race car perfectly. He seems to lack in the "off piste" style tracks, but definitely did better this year. I would suggest that the race would have been even closer had several stages not been shortened or cancelled. From what I see those stages fit his driving style and experience pretty good. Loeb still had a chance to win up til the second to last day, but a flat cost him several minutes.

You don't win Dakar on any given day, but you can lose the race any day if you make a big mistake like Nasser or Sainz did this year. There is a fine line between going fast and going too fast. SPH seems to know exactly where that "line" is.

The last few years in North American desert racing we have seen much closer finishing times. Mistakes cannot be made. One flat can lose the race for you. I believe we are seeing the same with Dakar. So the days of holding back and conserving your equipment are pretty much gone, but you better not destroy your equipment either.
 

bajaxp

Baja Bobsled Team
Yes, the hardcore Dakar fans still showed up here on RDC despite no RG, no Jonah, no Bryce, no Campbell, no BJ, etc.

Like most of you, I am disappointed with the courses that they have chosen over the last couple of years. Too many farm roads and rally roads and not enough off piste driving and navigating. I don't mind Argentina or crossing the Andes but I really think the rally would be improved by doing more of it on the west coast of the continent and perhaps making it a point to point instead of a loop. I am very happy that UTV's finally got their own class, but disappointed that ATV's still get more coverage despite being vastly overshadowed in the last five years by UTV's (measured by sales growth, total sales, aftermarket, racing, etc). The UTV class will grow and the OEMs are interested.

I am hoping that we get another OEM involved at the top level to give Pug a run. Despite being 'overly French,' I have nothing against the Pugs or their drivers. But if you added some Minis, Fords, Gordini's, Americans (haha), Toyotas, and another OEM or two to the 'Dakar soup' to mix up the top five or better yet mix up the podium, it would make things WAY more interesting.

The coverage on NBCSN was decent this year, just would like an hour show like they used to have in the past. Leigh Diffey does a great job announcing and keeps the coverage interesting. I only wish they would spend more time explaining the stage at the beginning of the segment and the challenges that it poses and then letting the coverage tell how the drivers/riders overcame those aforementioned challenges. They could also do more segments explaining how the navigation works by not only showing the road books, but also the in-car/bike GPS and how it works and interviewing navigators on how they work with their drivers. They could also do segments on the support trucks, nightly rebuilds, marathon stage prep and execution, etc.

Anyway, looking forward to next year already!
 
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