France’s Peterhansel, ‘Mr Dakar’, wins Rally for 14th time
AFP | Riyadh
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
France’s Stephane Peterhansel yesterday won the Dakar Rally for the 14th time, 30 years after his initial success in the most gruelling event on motorsport’s calendar.
Peterhansel, nicknamed ‘Mr Dakar’, has now won the car category eight times, having also won the motorbike category six times. The 55-year-old Mini driver, aided by co-pilot Edouard Boulanger, finished 14min 51sec ahead of Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah (Toyota), with Spain’s Carlos Sainz -- winner of yesterday’s 12th and final stage from Yanbu to Jeddah -- rounding out the podium in another Mini. Peterhansel’s victory came shortly after news that French motorcyclist Pierre Cherpin had died from injuries sustained in a crash on the seventh stage, becoming the race’s first fatality this year.
Cherpin’s death takes to 27, including 22 motorcyclists, the number of competitors who have lost their lives since the inaugural Dakar Rally in 1979. Peterhansel said he still had the “same emotion” as he did after his first victory back in 1991.
“To win the Dakar is always really complicated,” he said. “There are no easy victories on the Dakar.
This one from the outside may be looked easy, but it was not easy every day to manage the small gap over Nasser.