The tire brand BFGOODRICH claimed its 11th Dakar win today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The firm’s partner Volkswagen secured a hat-trick on this year’s event thanks to Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah (1st), the 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers (2nd) and last January’s victor Carlos Sainz (3rd). BFGOODRICH runners monopolised the top 15 places overall and also took the top prize in the event’s T2 and two-wheel drive classes.
The itinerary of the 33rd DAKAR took competitors across the vast plains of Argentina, along the rocky trails of the Andes Mountains and over the dunes of the Atacama – the world’s most arid desert – in northern Chile. But BFGOODRICH’s All-Terrain and All-Terrain+ tires took the gruelling, varied conditions in their stride to collect their third win on the trot.
Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-driver Timo Gottschalk completed the marathon of more than 9,000 kilometres – half of which were against the clock – to notch up their maiden Dakar success at the wheel of their Race Touareg 3 equipped with BFGOODRICH All-Terrain+ tires. The rally tipped in the VW pair’s favour for good when team-mate and early leader Carlos Sainz got stuck in sand and dropped ground at the beginning of the second week.
Nasser Al-Attiyah picked up just one puncture over the fortnight, an exploit which speaks volumes for the ability of BFGOODRICH’s products to shrug off the relentless punishment thrown at them by the event’s different terrains. And not only were the BFGOODRICH tires strong and versatile, but they were also extremely competitive, since they won every one of the 2011 Dakar’s 13 competitive sections with two different partners: Volkswagen and BMW X-Raid.
In addition to filling the top 15 places overall in the final standings, BFGOODRICH runners came out on top in the T2 Production and two-wheel drive classes, too, with Toyota and Buggy SMG respectively.
Once again, three-quarters of the starters contested the event on BFGOODRICH rubber which succeeded in claiming the world’s most uncompromising cross-country rally for the 11th time. Today’s result extends the current winning streak of the brand which has now gone unbeaten on the Dakar since 2002.
Nasser Al-Attiyah (1st, VW/BFGOODRICH): “The 2011 DAKAR turned out to be an exceptionally difficult event and we had a close fight on our hands practically all the way to the finish. The stages themselves were very hard, too, so I decided to drive cautiously initially in order to spare my Race Touareg and my BFGOODRICH tires over the rough early tests. I started to push harder when we reached the Atacama dunes which is where I feel the most comfortable. The versatility of our BFGOODRICH All-Terrain+ tires meant they were able to take the stony rios and towering dunes in their stride, despite the contrasting challenges they represent.”