Week 2, and the close of the 43rd Dakar.
Stéphane Peterhansel, X Raid Mini celebrates his 14th victory, 30 years after his first win in 1991 on the motorcycles, with BFGoodrich and we celebrate our 17th victory.
We have concluded with success at all 3 levels of the Podium with Nasser Al Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo) second and Carlos Sainz (X Raid Mini) in the 3rd position. In the light vehicles (SSV) category we are happy to celebrate the 1st position of Cristina Gutierrez at stage 1, and the 2 stage wins for Seth Quintero, both from our Red Bull Off-road Junior Team. Our partners at Polaris Factory Team also had a successful Dakar with both Wayne and Kristin finishing the race with their Polaris RZR’s.
The Dakar Service Center provided support to all competitors, including 2 wheels, changing over 3,800 tires throughout the event.
As we bring the 43rd Dakar to a close, we are reminded that coming to the third chapter of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia continues to challenge the competitors and suppliers. 2020 was a challenge for many with Covid restrictions closing many manufacturing and production facilities around the globe. We can say how amazing and grateful we are to the organization, competitors, and support teams for Dakar having produced a fantastic race, in a beautiful and evolving country.
Highlights from the week Jan 10-15th
After already having covered 4,391km, we are now over the hump and entering the last week of racing following the rest day, we began with 231 vehicles, having 55 that retired. The week held the marathon stage, as well the longest, making it a grueling week for the competitors, all in all completing nearly 5000km’s to the finish. By the end, Moto, Lightweight SSV, and T1 categories were all within 15 minutes from 2nd to first, presenting a competition to the end.
The KDR2+ performed well for those competitors that took great care of their tires, but many at the top who were pushing hard struggled with punctures form the severity of the course.
Stage 7 Marathon Stage, Ha’il to Sakaka – 742km total heading North out of Ha’il, the teams arrived in Sakaka to no bivouac or mechanical support, they are required to work on their own equipment and sleep overnight with no special bivouac set up.
Stage 8 Sakaka to Ne’om – 709km total, with another split between soil and sand, and some tarmac.
Concluding the marathon stage, the teams had generally a trouble-free stage ending up in beautiful Ne’om along the Red Sea cost in North Western Saudi Arabia.
Stage 9 - 579km total, the stage looped from Ne’om along the Red Sea Coast, through the rocky dusty desert and mountains back to Ne’om. It was a very tough day for the vehicles mechanically speaking as well a challenge for the tires, specifically the 4x4’s were now adding up their puncture and sidewall issues, causing the drivers to slow their pace to protect their tires. The routes in Saudi have proven to be pushing the limits of man/woman and machine.
Stage 10 – 583km Ne’om to AlUla – Deemed one of the most beautiful stages of the event, where AlUla has beautiful red rock formations with sandy desert soil in between. Stephen retained his lead by 17 minutes ahead of Nasser.
Stage 11 – 557km AlUla to Yanbu is the longest special in the rally at nearly 600km, the longest single stage of the race. Many suggested this was tougher than the marathon stage for them.
Stage 12 –447km, Yanbu to Jeddah – the competitors will conclude the 43rd Dakar here in 2021. After a long arduous 2 weeks, teams are ready for rest, and all support staff are simply exhausted.
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Discover more about Sebastien Loeb
You've competed with BFGoodrich tires in WRC competitions and at the Dakar you were also able to test BFGoodrich 4X4 tires, could you tell us about it?
I found the tyres to be very efficient on all terrains! In the Dakar, we drive on sand, gravel in places with big stones and overall it's quite impressive to see where we can go with them and see their resistance to punctures. Even if sometimes we have bad luck and drive over very sharp stones. If this ever happens we have to be efficient with Daniel to change our wheels as quickly as possible so we don't lose too much time.
Can you explain to us what drives you to keep going & not give up when you are faced with challenges, for example a mechanical problem, etc.?
The key is motivation!
We know from the start that the Dakar is a long race and that a small mechanical problem can be part of the game, but if we manage to solve it, we can still be in the race for the podium.
For example in 2019, we had several technical and electrical problems and we lost a lot of time but in the end we still finished on the podium so it's a race where fighting and finding solutions can pay off!
Afterwards, honestly, when you have a big problem without being able to solve it and you have lost a lot of time, it's sometimes hard to keep the motivation...
Are you still in good spirits and do you still feel like it?
Yes of course! It's my passion, I love to ride and I love competition.
The last edition, I saw that I was able to fight in front, we couldn't stay in the lead until the end but we saw that we had the potential to do it and it's an adventure race that's very nice to live!
Otherwise what is your favourite terrain on the Dakar? Can you tell us why?
I like the variety but particularly the technical track because it is my strong point especially this year with our new car which is a 4 X4. This is the track on which the car should also be best.
I also think that in relation to my WRC experience and my rally-type driving, it is the technical track that allows me to be the most at ease.
What is your best memory of the 3 Dakars you have already done? & then the worst 😉
My best memory is on the last Dakar when we crossed the finish line of the special stage without knowing we were in front! We had started 3rd or 4th of the special stage, we passed another car but we didn't see the other cars in front and we didn't realise it. There weren't any more tracks in front of us, so we did a complete stage from start to finish. At the finish, I asked if the cars in front of me had arrived and I was told that I was first! I did all my interviews for about 20 minutes, nobody arrived and in the end we had done the scratch with 20 minutes of advance! It's a memory that remains 😊
There were some complicated moments, especially on the last Dakar when we had done a great race and we found ourselves stopped in the middle of the sand trying to change a cardan shaft, we couldn't do it, it took us a long time, we couldn't get out of it! We could see the minutes and hours passing by...
When you've been at full speed for a fortnight, fighting and you see that you're hanging there because of a clip, it's raging!
And then we'd like to know why you chose BFGoodrich rally-raid tyres?
Because they are undoubtedly the best in this field!
Tea or Coffee Quizz with Sebastien Loeb
- Tea or coffee? Coffee!
- Bicycle or motorbike? Motorbike !
- Ocean or Mediterranean? Mediterranean
- Sea or mountain? Both!
- Trail or seaside run? Neither of the two
- Cardio or weight training? Bodybuilding!
- Reading or cinema? Cinema!
- WRC or Dakar? Dakar, now
- Meat or Fish? Meat
- Wine or Beer? Wine!
- Carlos or Nasser? Carlos!
- Beach or Pool? Pool
- Flip-flops or trainers? Trainers
- SMS or call? Call
- Porsche or Jeep? Porsche
- Rap or Rock? None
- Meditation or video games? Video games!
- Stressed out or Serene? Serene
- Latin America or Africa? Latin America!
- Dog or cat? Both".
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Dakar 2021: End of Week 1
Landmark performances to celebrate in the T3 category (light vehicles) and everything to play for in T1 where the top three are split by just 40 minutes!
6 / 4,380 / 22 / 1,500 / 346
In the five days since the rally’s send-off in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on January 3, competitors on this year’s Dakar have already completed 4,380 kilometers and six stages.
Some of the participants – like the provisional T1 leader Stéphane Peterhansel (X Raid Mini #302) – have spent 22 hours fighting against the clock, but others have spent more than 50 hours on the trail!
Although navigational skills have been put to the test, notably on the last three tests, the going has been faster elsewhere, putting the emphasis on driver skill – especially on Stage 3 – and everyone has had their fair share of tails to tell at the overnight bivouacs.
BFGoodrich® runners currently monopolize the podium in T1, with Peterhansel shadowed by Nasser Al Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo, #301) and Carlos Sainz (X Raid Mini, #300).
Meanwhile, a number of nice firsts have been reported, including the performance of T3 entrant Cristina Gutierrez (#387, RedBull Off Road Team) who became the first lady driver to win a Dakar stage since 2005, while 18-year old Seth Quintero (#383, RedBull Off Road Team) became the youngest person to post a fastest time on the Dakar when he topped the order on Stage 6.
The Dakar 2021 has had to contend with a wide variety of terrains and each day has thrown up its own specific challenge. Stage 1, for example, was made up of 49 percent rocks, 48 percent sand and 3 percent dirt, whereas the following test was essentially sandy (82%), along with some dirt portions (5%) and a number of dunes (13%).
The unrelenting pace has claimed several victims already, with Mathieu Serradori (#308, SRT Racing), for example, suffering a damper failure and broken wheel rim on Stage 6 after losing four hours with an issue the previous day.
The service crews and support teams have had plenty to keep them busy, including those working out of the BFGoodrich Service Center which participants can rely on to have their tires changed. In the course of the first week, its 14-strong staff and 11 fitters have removed and fitted some 1,984 covers.
This year’s Dakar has broken new ground with the addition of a new Classic category for vehicles made before 2000. The 24 entries in this class face a less-punishing route and shorter stages. Their adventure is just as taxing, however, but they know they can count on the trusty backing of the 150-year old tire brand BFGoodrich®.
The oldest car taking part in this class is a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle (#204) which has been showcasing the mettle of its BFGoodrich All Terrain KO2s.
Third in the Classic standings at this point is the #213 Sunhill Buggy whose owner – a huge historic motorsport fan – is delighted with his tires. “I have always run on BFGoodrich®’s,” he told us.
The 346 survivors now face another six stages before the event concludes on January 15.
BFGoodrich® wishes them all the best of luck as they prepare to spend another week driving on the limit and will continue to service their daily needs all the way to the finish. May the best man or woman win!
For Dust, for Passion, for Victory.
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BFGoodrich® at Dakar 2021; to start with, some key figures - 11, 555, 43, 17, 7646.
On January 2, 2021, in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), the prologue to the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally began.
11 km of racecourse just 30 km outside of the city where the starting podium will take place this evening (exceptionally behind closed doors due to the current COVID context), celebrating the official departure of 555 competitors, ready to embark on this new mythical adventure.
124 Cars and SSV vehicles will be part of the start, to cover a total of 7,646 km on a journey of 12 stages and ending on January 15, 2021.
And BFGoodrich® in all of this? The official supplier of tires, equipping nearly 85% of the fleet of Cars and SSV vehicles, intends to stake its title of champion, and go for its 17th Dakar Victory.
For the second consecutive year in the Middle East, the competitors will go beyond their limits, and draw from themselves and their car mechanics the necessary resources to test themselves on the most challenging and aggressive terrain of off-road competition.
It is also these same challenges, in the service of performance, that the tire manufacturer BFGoodrich® is seeking, in its own spirit of adventure and passion.
With 45 years of experience in the world of competition, the American brand of tires is reminiscent of its 150 years of history and renews its pioneering spirit with ranges of tires such as the BFGoodrich® All Terrain KDR2 + (competition tire present among official teams such as Mini X Raid or Toyota Gazoo for example), or the BFGoodrich® Mud Terrain T/A KM3 SSV and the BFGoodrich® BAJA T/A KR2 (for the T3 and T4 category of light vehicles).
We put our experience and our innovation at the service of performance, to be tested in the most demanding conditions, and thus allow everyday consumers to benefit from them for the ranges sold by traditional distribution.
As usual, the BFGoodrich Service Center will accompany the competitors, every day, to fit and dismantle nearly 2,500 tires over the entire race, also providing advice and support to all those who wish it (including for the 2 Wheels).
Let’s kick off this celebration of surpassing oneself and endurance and wish good luck to all the competitors who will ride on the rocky tracks or the sand dunes of a course where navigation will still be a central concern. And we are counting on BFGoodrich® tires to support the teams on each of the 12 stages.
For Dust, for Passion, for Victory!
Sebastien Loeb will ride in BFGoodrich!
For his first participation in the Dakar in Saudi Arabia, the multiple champion has once again chosen BFGoodrich tires to accompany him on the world's most extreme rally. Equipped with KDR2+, Sebastien Loeb will challenge the Saudi Arabian soil, which is known to be among the most difficult for tires. Perhaps one more victory to add to his record of achievements? If you want to know more about Sebastien Loeb's Dakar adventure with BFGoodrich, stay connected on our social networks! Sebastien Loeb might answer your questions 😉.
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2nd news min
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Win the real Dakar supporter kit with BFGoodrich!
Join us on our social networks to try and win the perfect Dakar fan kit and be ready to follow the competition in BFGoodrich's colors! A beautiful sweatshirt, a travel bag to take everywhere, a mug and many other gifts are waiting for you!
Do you remember the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, made up of young American drivers coached by Cyril Despres?
Mitche Guthrie will be back at the start of the Dakar on January 3rd! Seth Quintero, who was unable to participate last year, will race his first Dakar in 2021! A new edition that is likely to be a real eye-opener...
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4th news min
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A 43rd edition that promises to be full of surprises!
The big teams will once again compete for victory on this 43rd Dakar. If Carlos Sainz had won last year, the competition promises to be tough this year! So are you Carlos Sainz, Nasser Al-Attiyah or Stéphane Peterhansel?
Isidre Esteve is back on the road to the Dakar in a Toyota Hilux with BFGoodrich
The Spanish driver is leaving this year to challenge the Saudi soils equipped with BFGoodrich. This regular of the Dakar in motorcycle then car will be at the wheel of a toyota Hilux to try to go up on the podium.
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After winning the T2 category in 2020, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Pierre Garcin are now tackling the T1 category.
The 100% French pair with the number #326 will compete this year in the T1 category. It is in the Normandy MD Rally Team that the crew found one of the last Optimus of Antoine Morel's range: an Evo 4.
Matthieu Serradori, the pilot who plays in the big league!
We remember him for his victory on the 8th stage of the Dakar! Matthieu Serradori and his co-driver Fabian Lurquin are back on the Dakar this year and intend to do even better than last year! Already 8th in 2020, what do they have in store for us this year?
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