DAKAR RALLY

THE DESERT CHALLENGES KEEP ON COMING AT THE 2019 DAKAR RALLY

The first loop stage of the 2019 Dakar Rally had plenty of competitors going around in circles as they tried to find their way back to the bivouac in San Juan de Marcona. With over 300 kilometres of desert racing against the clock there were further fluctuations in the leaderboards by the time the dust had settled.

Getting the job done on stage seven was 13-time Dakar champion Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and his co-driver David Castera (FRA). Peterhansel went into today’s stage trailing race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) by over 40 minutes – there was no option but attack. A stage win, clawing back close to 12 minutes on Al-Attiyah and moving to second overall represents a good day at the office for Peterhansel.

Stephane Peterhansel
Rally Dakar, 2019, Peru, South America

“We got a bit closer to Nasser, but it’ll be very hard to wrestle the lead from him.” – Stéphane Peterhansel

It was also one of the better days at the 2019 Dakar for Peterhansel’s companions in the X-raid MINI JCW Team. Carlos Sainz (ESP) collected his second consecutive third place on the stage while Cyril Despres (FRA) was in the Top 5 once again.

“We were able to push a bit towards the end of the stage and we arrived behind Stéphane (Peterhansel). That was the plan.” – Carlos Sainz

Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA) are now just three stages away from Lima and giving Toyota Gazoo Racing their first Dakar title. They are benefitting from the support of team-mate Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) who is staying as close as possible to Al-Attiyah’s Hilux in case he can offer assistance on the stage.

Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) of Toyota Gazoo Racing SAraces during stage 7 of Rally Dakar 2019 from San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona , Peru on January 14, 2019.

“We got a puncture on the way home and had a battle finding a few waypoints. But all in all, not too bad. A nice run today.” – Giniel de Villiers

It was a tough stage for Sébastien Loeb (FRA) who was hunting a fourth stage win of this Dakar. The Frenchman lost 40 minutes due to an electrical issue in the first few kilometres. However, when Loeb got going again he was able to show his customary speed and eventually conceded less than half an hour to Peterhansel.

“It’s quite demoralising, we’ll see what we can do and what we can fight for in the coming days.” – Sébastien Loeb

FORMULA E

D’AMBROSIO WINS IN MARRAKESH WITH DRAMATIC LAST LAP DASH AS BMW PAIR COLLIDE

– Da Costa and Sims crash out of leading position for BMW i Andretti Motorsport
– D’Ambrosio makes moves for MAHINDRA RACING from 10th on the grid
– Envision Virgin Racing earn double-podium with Vergne spinning in first-corner clash

RACE RE-CAP

Jerome D’Ambrosio sprinted to victory in a dramatic last lap dash to the finish in Marrakesh, after a late safety car bunched-up the pack following a collision between BMW i Andretti Motorsport pairing Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims.
Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.18
Despite picking-up his third victory in Formula E, it’s the first time D’Ambrosio has actually stood on the top step of the podium – having benefitted from a post-race disqualification on both previous occasions.
The win marks his first win since the Mexico City E-Prix in 2016 – and his first in MAHINDRA RACING colours. D’Ambrosio started down the field in 10th, but steadily progressed up the ranks to find himself sat behind the leading BMW duo.
With less than 10-minutes left on the countdown clock, Da Costa and Sims looked set to bring home a one-two for the team – topping off a perfect start to the season after a win last time out in Ad Diriyah.
However, it wasn’t to be – as a moment of madness cost the team a large points haul. Sims – who was on the tail of his team-mate for the duration of the race – pulled alongside Da Costa into the braking zone of Turn 7 in an attempt to snatch the lead.
Both drivers locked-up and touched with neither making the corner. The coming together and slow recovery back to the racing line dropped Sims to fourth. But Da Costa came off worse with his race ending parked-up in the run-off area after contact with the barrier.
With the cars lined-up in close formation, the safety car pulled in as the clock hit zero – leaving one lap to the chequered flag. Running wide over the kerb in the final corner – D’Ambrosio gave the fans a grandstand finish with Robin Frijns chasing him to the line.
Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.18, leads Alexander Sims (GBR) BMW I Andretti Motorsports, BMW iFE.18
Frijns was joined on the podium by Envision Virgin Racing team-mate Sam Bird, who started on Julius Baer pole position and tangled with reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne on the run down to Turn 1.
Vergne lined-up on the front row alongside Bird and made an ambitious dive up the inside through the long left-hander. The pair made contact and Vergne was sent spinning ahead of a flurry of oncoming traffic. From last, Vergne valiantly fought back to fifth.
Adrenaline still flowing after an exhilarating race, there’s not long to wait for another episode of electric street racing with the Antofagasta Minerals Santiago E-Prix on January 26 – round three of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

WRC

CITROËN TOTAL WRT LAUNCHES ITS 2019 SEASON!

Citroën Total World Rally Team today unveils the new colours of its C3 WRCs, driven this year by Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm, as the 2019 WRC season is officially launched at the Autosport International show in the NEC Birmingham. A brand new livery, designed to celebrate the brand’s centenary, as Red Bull returns alongside long-standing partners Total and Michelin.

A hundred years ago, French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën founded the Citroën brand. It has since become a major global manufacturer, one where motorsport has always been of vital importance. To celebrate its centenary, the C3 WRC is this year adorned with the double chevrons of the brand’s original logo and features a symbolic reference to 1919, the year in which the brand was founded, equally confirming its commitment to racing.

The C3 WRC’s livery still features its long-standing partner Total. In fact, 2019 sees Citroën and the French oil company enter the fifty-first year of their technical and sporting partnership. Equally strong ties have been forged with Michelin over the years, which is why the world famous French tyre manufacturer will also be supporting the team this year, whilst Red Bull, the famous energy drink that previously sponsored Citroën in the WRC between 2008 and the end of 2012, will feature on the Satory-based team’s official clothing and cars.

Following the media launch at Autosport International, the real action will get underway on the tricky roads of the forthcoming Rallye Monte-Carlo (22-27 January) for Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm. The opening round will be followed by another thirteen, equally demanding events, with the season set to conclude once again in Australia (14-17 November). Citroën Total WRT, which already has claimed some 99 WRC victories since 1999, will be attacking the new season determined to pass the hundred mark in World Rally Championship wins and fight for the world title.

F1Weekly podcast # 779

THE HOST SENDS NASIR TO THE ROAR BEFORE THE 24 AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY AND BINGO ANOTHER COUP FOR THE F1WEEKLY FAMILIA! THIS WEEKS INTERVIEW…PASTOR MADONADO!!

Maldonado began the 2012 season alongside Brazil’s Bruno Senna, for Williams. He started the season with promising pace, qualifying eighth for the Australian Grand Prix. In the race, he was running strongly until he crashed out on the final lap, fighting with Fernando Alonso for fifth position. In the Malaysian Grand Prix, Maldonado retired in the closing stages of the race while running in the points.

He scored his first points of the season by finishing eighth in China. A puncture ended his race in Bahrain, after he qualified in seventeenth position. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Maldonado qualified second, next to Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid after strong pace from his Williams car during the race weekend. Maldonado was later promoted to his first pole position in his Formula One career after Hamilton was excluded from the results of qualifying, due to having insufficient fuel in his car.

Maldonado was beaten to the first corner by Fernando Alonso, but regained the lead after the second round of pit stops. Maldonado held his lead after the third pit-stop phase, and held off Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen to win, becoming the first Venezuelan driver to finish on a Grand Prix podium in the process. He remains the most recent Williams driver to win a race as of today!

Play Podcast: 01-08-19f1weekly779.mp3

DAKAR RALLY

THE GLORIOUS DAY THAT ALL DESERT RACERS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FINALLY ARRIVED AS THE 2019 DAKAR RALLY GOT STARTED TODAY. ALL THE MONTHS OF PREPARATION WERE PUT INTO PRACTICE ON THE DUNES AROUND PISCO AS STAGE ONE AS THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST RALLY GOT UNDERWAY.

Sebastien Loeb (FRA) of PH Sport races during stage 02 of Rally Dakar 2019 from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona on January 08, 2019

The opening special stage took place after a 247-kilometre liaison route brought the Dakar convoy from Lima to Pisco – then it was 84 kilometres against the clock in the dunes. The journey south along Peru’s Pacific Ocean coastline was clearly enough to bring the best out of the rally’s serious competitors.

Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) wasted no time reminding everyone about his sand racing credentials as his Toyota Hilux flew out of the traps in Pisco. The two-time Dakar winner and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA) were two minutes quicker over the dunes compared with the second placed crew of Carlos Sainz (ESP) and co-driver Lucas Cruz (ESP) in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.

“We just try to do our best every day. Today we won the stage and tomorrow we’ll try our best again.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah

Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) of Toyota Gazoo Racing SA races during stage 02 of Rally Dakar 2019 from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona on January 08, 2019

2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup winner Kuba Przygonski (POL) completed the stage one car race podium in third place. Further familiar names such as Giniel de Villiers (ZAF), Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and Cyril Despres (FRA) could also be found in the Top 10 on stage one. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) sits in 13th place overall after the first day of competition.

“We’re pleased that we were able to fight with the top guys.” – Kuba Przygonski

Get stuck into the dunes with our Dakar vlog right here.

The bikers were quick to open the throttle on the opening stage of the 41st Dakar Rally. Honda rider Joan Barreda (ESP) blasted his way over the dunes to collect the 17th stage win of his Dakar career. While Barreda holds the early lead, he was joined in the Top 10 by Red Bull KTM Factory Team riders Sam Sunderland (GBR), Toby Price (AUS) and Matthias Walkner (AUT).

“There’s always a lot of nerves and hype around the first stage.” – Sam Sunderland

A little further back, but still inside the bike race Top 20 after stage one we find; Luciano Benavides (ARG), Stefan Svitko (SLO), CS Santosh (IND) plus Daniel and Walter Nosiglia (BOL). Laia Sanz (ESP) is the top placed female rider in 31st place.

“We still have such a long distance in front of us, but today was an important step.” – Laia Sanz

Laia Sanz (ESP) of of Red Bull KTM Factory Team races during stage 1 of Rally Dakar 2019 from Lima to Pisco, Peru on January 7, 2019.

There were successful debuts in the SxS/UTV class for Chaleco Lopez (CHI) and Ignacio Casale (CHI). The Chilean pair both ran at the very front of the race on day one with Lopez finishing the stage with the second fastest time. Casale wasn’t too far behind as he finished fourth on stage one.

“The adventure has begun again and it feels great to be back racing at the Dakar Rally.” – Chaleco Lopez

It was a strong start to the latest Dakar for defending truck race champion Eduard Nikolaev (RUS). The Russian trucker is chasing his fourth Dakar truck win as a driver for Team Kamaz Master. Nikolaev’s stage win on the opening day of competition is the best possible start, but he’ll be wary that the Iveco trucks of Ton Van Genugten (NDL), Federico Villagra (ARG) and Gerard De Rooy (NDL) were all able to stay in touch.

“At times during the stage I could see some rival trucks in my rearview mirror, but they never came close enough to pass us.” – Eduard Nikolaev

F1Weekly podcast #778

CLARK AND NASIR CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH A LITTLE CHIT CHAT ON THE UPCOMING F1 SEASON AND ALL THE OTHER RACING ACTIVITIES AROUND THE GLOBE.
LOOSH ON THE LOOSE IS BACK WITH HIS OPINION! AND… GET READY FOR THE DAKAR RALLY BEGINNING ON JANUARY 6.

With the 2019 Dakar Rally now just three days away the excitement surrounding the event is screaming through the gears. As race crews arrive in Peru there’s plenty of speculation over who will walk away with the big prizes. The teams and drivers who have conquered the Dakar in previous years have plenty of expectation on them to get the better of the dunes once again.

Among the favourites in the car category are the trio of drivers in the X-raid MINI JCW Team. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA), Carlos Sainz (ESP) and Cyril Despres (FRA) have an incredible 20 Dakar victories between them and all have ambitions to park on the top step of the podium in 2019. With so much talent and experience within their ranks, could we see a MINI John Cooper Works Buggy take the chequered flag in Lima, Peru on January 17?

“The Dakar challenges you in every way both physically and mentally. It taxes all your strength and that of your team, so victory brings maximum satisfaction.” – Carlos Sainz, defending car race champion.

Sébastien Loeb (FRA) returns to the Dakar this year for his fourth attempt at the rally. The Frenchman is yet to win the desert classic, but has made his mark with a total of 10 stage victories and a second place finish in 2017. Loeb will set off from the Peruvian capital on January 7 behind the wheel of a Peugeot 3008DKR. The nine-time WRC winner has recently refamiliarised himself with the car he previously drove at the Dakar during an intense training session.

“Several teams will have a shot at winning and I hope we are one of them.” – Sébastien Loeb

Play Podcast: 01-04-19f1weekly778.mp3

The Premiere Motorsport Podcast