[Auto House Race] The 34th Dakar Rally will kick off on January 1, 2012. The drivers will start from the Argentine coastal city of Mar del Plata, and then head north, after 14 days of arduous races, and finally Arrived in Lima, the capital of Peru. The total mileage of the competition is more than 8,300 kilometers, of which the timed stage exceeds 4,100 kilometers. The annual peak showdown is about to begin. This year's Dakar Rally will have 456 cars competing for the championship in four categories: cars, motorcycles, quad bikes and trucks. The new game route will bring great challenges to the warriors against nature. What are the highlights of this year's game? Who will be the favorites in each category? Below, let us find out.


*The first two pages of this article mainly introduce the [stage settings] and [race highlights] of the 2012 Dakar; if you want to know the [cars] and [drivers] of each group directly, please click directly below Links, the content is equally exciting!


1. 2012 Dakar New Route and New Challenge

2012 will be the fourth time that the Dakar Rally will be held in South America. In addition to the previous three stages in Argentina and Chile, the competition will also include four new stages in Peru. Unlike the previous circular route (both starting and ending in Buenos Aires), the Dakar route will stretch from south to north, from the Atlantic coast across South America to the Pacific coast.

* Legend Link Stage: mileage of driving section (not counting score); SS: mileage of special section (calculating score); Total: total mileage

Judging from the entire schedule, the current Dakar Rally starts on January 1 and ends on January 15. The competition has 14 stages and 1 rest day. Among them, there are 5 stages in Argentina, 5 stages in Chile, and 4 stages in Peru. The warriors not only have to cross the vast Pampas grasslands, the towering Andes mountains and the continuous sand dunes of the Acatama Desert. The changeable sand dune terrain in Peru, which is newly added this year, will bring more difficulties to the riders.

Second, the highlights of each stage of the 2012 Dakar

◆The first stage on January 1st, Mar del Plata-Santa Rosa

The Dakar Warriors will embark on the race journey on the first day of the new year. Starting from the beautiful beaches of Mar del Plata, the riders will usher in a 57-kilometer timed period. This “warm-up” process will allow everyone to gradually find their shape. In the short race, the Warriors have to face the test of flying dust, and the results of the first stage will also determine the starting order of the next day. After that, the riders will continue to travel 763 kilometers to reach Santa Rosa.

◆The second stage, January 2nd, Santa Rosa-San Rafael

On this day, the drivers have to drive 478 kilometers to reach the start of the second time period. The length of this stage is close to 300 kilometers. The first half is hard soil road. Drivers can drive at a faster speed. The rhythm of the second half of the race will be better. Significantly slowed down because sand dunes and volcanic ash will appear here.

◆The third stage, January 3, San Rafael-San Juan

On the third day, the race will enter the Andes Mountains. The track full of dark pits and rocks is a huge test for the drivers. Drivers are also easy to lose their way in complex terrain. There are a lot of steep slopes with big ups and downs in this stage, and there are high requirements for the engine. Basically, the motorcycle can only use the first gear to maintain high torque.

◆The fourth stage, January 4th, San Juan-Chilesito

When passing through the gorge, the experienced drivers will be able to perform well, but they must be especially careful of the fans who are watching. There are many forks in this stage, and it will be more difficult to maintain a stable speed. After this stage, some drivers may start to fall behind.

◆The fifth stage, January 5, Chilesito-Fiambara

The white sand dust will be the biggest difficulty of this stage, and many drivers have fallen here in the past races. The race route of each group is different. The car group and the truck group will go deep into the desert. The motorcycle group will first follow the trail next to the mountain. After entering the desert, the focus will be to find the right direction.

◆The sixth stage on January 6th, Fiambala-Copiapo

After crossing the Andes at an altitude of 4,700 meters, the drivers will bid farewell to Argentina and enter Chile. The Atacama Desert in front of us is a truly harsh test. Drivers are no longer considering increasing the speed of the car. It will be a top priority to rely on driving skills to control the car not to fall into various bunkers.

◆The seventh stage January 7th Copiapo-Copiapo

The start and finish points of the stage are both located in Copiapo, but the 419-kilometer timed stage is definitely the toughest test since the start of the race. The drivers will continue to walk through the sandy mountains. Since the next day is a rest day, the closing time for the end of the stage is set at 6 pm on the rest day.

◆No competition on January 8th

◆The eighth stage, January 9th Copiapo-Antofagasta

The race has passed halfway, and the number of drivers in each group will be reduced to a certain extent. The drivers who can persist until now are all warriors. In the first stage after the rest day, the drivers have to face a long distance of 477 kilometers. The road to Antofagasta is covered with large and small rocks.

◆The ninth stage, January 10th Antofagasta-Iquique

The race continues to advance north. The first half of this stage is to cross the canyon. The drivers will experience the most difficult fesh-fesh (dust) road in the Karr Rally. The second half mainly tests the ability of drivers and navigators to distinguish directions. Here The timing point is set more concealed.

◆The tenth stage, January 11, Iquique-Arica

This stage is dominated by desert roads, and the drivers will enter a vast and undulating desert. Riders who are good at climbing over sandy hills will have the advantage, and the floating dirt road at the end of the stage will increase the difficulty of the whole stage. Drivers will have to face the fesh-fesh (dust) road again.

◆The eleventh stage, January 12, Arica-Arequipa

The race enters Peru. In this stage, drivers will frequently encounter rivers, and some sections are specially set up for motorcycles. On this day, the riders will usher in a special camp, and logistics support vehicles are not allowed to enter, which means that the riders of the motorcycle group have to repair the cars themselves.

◆The twelfth stage, January 13, Arequipa-Nazca

The extremely legendary Nazca line (similar to the crop circle) has a history of more than 2,000 years, and the Dakar race route is also like a Nazca line, but its shape is more like a dragon. The difficulty here is not great, there is no soft sand, and the direction is not difficult to distinguish, but the dust that stretches for 20 kilometers for a long time will definitely leave a deep impression on the rider.

◆The thirteenth stage January 14th Nazca-Pisco

The competition has become fierce. This stage is a great challenge to the physical fitness of the drivers. The intricate mountains and sand dunes are not easy to deal with, so patience is particularly important. Leading drivers must not be careless to prevent the boat from overturning in the gutter, and drivers with the goal of finishing the race have no reason to take risks anymore.

◆The fourteenth stage, January 15, Pisco-Lima

Although the overall situation has been set, the last 29km timed period will not have much impact on the ranking, but the Xiaoshashan in this stage should not be taken lightly. The closing ceremony will be held in Lima, the capital of Peru. The warriors who have experienced many hardships will celebrate the finish and victory with champagne on the closing platform.

3. The strength of each group in Dakar 2012

Car group: Al-Attia, De Villiers, Peterhansel

In 2011, Al Atiyah won the Dakar Rally car championship in a Volkswagen Touareg 3 car, but after Volkswagen withdrew from Dakar, he switched to the Speed team using Hummer H3 cars to prepare for the 2012 Dakar. Rally.

The 42-year-old Qatari driver Al-Atiyah has six Dakar Rally car racing experience. When driving a BMW car as an X-raid team driver, his performance was unstable and he retired three times. The best result was the 6th place in 2007. But in 2010, Al Atiyah joined the more powerful Volkswagen team and won the runner-up in the overall results of the year. In 2011, he went further and won the championship.

*Note: The number of the Dakar car group starts from 300, and the number 300 is usually the defending champion car

Al Atiyah’s current Hummer team was formed by American driver Gordon in 2006. The team has the support of American Hummer manufacturers, and Speed Beverage is its title sponsor this year. The best result of the Hummer team in the Dakar race was the third place won by Gordon in 2009. In this Dakar, Al-Attia is No. 300 and Gordon is No. 303. They will both drive the rear-mounted Baja American off-road-style Hummer H3.

Although Al-Attia has a wealth of Dakar experience, it still needs a process of adaptation to the new car. At the same time, the Hummer H3 car can play its strengths in the desert off-road, but the flexibility problem will limit its performance in the early rally stage of the race. Therefore, the road to defending Al-Attia may not be easy.


The 2009 Dakar Rally car champion, the 39-year-old former Volkswagen team South African driver De Villiers switched to the IMPERIAL team. This South African team has won the support of Toyota manufacturers and will use Toyota pickup HILUX to participate in the 2012 Dakar Rally. De Villiers’ teammate is Argentine Transnova.

De Villiers is also an experienced Dakar driver. He has participated in 7 car races and 1 motorcycle race. De Villiers’ best record was fourth in the race on behalf of the Nissan team. Since 2006, he has won 1 championship and two runner-ups in the Volkswagen team. In 2012, De Villiers, who drove the No. 301 car, set his goal to enter the top three.


Peterhansel is the most famous name in Dakar. The 46-year-old Frenchman has won the Dakar Rally 9 times in total, including 3 car championships (2004, 2005, 2007) and 6 motorcycles. Group (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998) champion. In 2012, Peterhansel will drive the X-Raid team's MINI All4 car to compete. The X-Raid team, supported by BMW manufacturers, will send a super lineup of 5 MINI All4s and 3 X3 CCs to compete.

The X-raid team started participating in the Dakar Rally in 2002, but the German team has yet to win the championship. As Volkswagen withdrew from Dakar, the X-raid team's chances of winning the championship doubled, and competition within the team was unprecedentedly fierce. Peter Hansel, the ninth winner in the green MINI All4 car No. 302, Horowitz, the 2011 Silk Road Rally champion in the orange MINI All4 car No. 304, and Rome, the motorcycle champion of the yellow MINI All4 car No. 305, are both The favorites to win in 2012.


◆Motorcycle group: Koma, Depre

In the past 6 years, Koma and De Pree have swept all the Dakar motorcycle championships, and they have won the championship alternately, each holding three championship trophies. The KTM team they belong to is even more desperate, and the competition mainly comes from within the team. ktm is an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer that first participated in the Dakar Rally in 1998.

There are many teams supported by ktm. In 2012, 73 ktm motorcycles participated in the Dakar Rally. Both Koma and De Pres are drivers of the ktm manufacturer team. They will drive KTM 450 cars alongside teammates Faria and Pedrero, and Rodríguez of Yamaha team is also one of the most impactful drivers for the championship.


◆Truck Group: A group of heroes compete

In the past 10 years, the Dakar Rally’s truck team was only dominated by the Kamaz team. The two drivers Chakin and Kabyrov had almost all the championships in their pockets, leaving no chance for their opponents. However, these two champion drivers have retired this year, and we are bound to usher in a new truck championship in 2012.

The task of defending the Kamaz team fell on the two young drivers Nikolaev and Mardeev. In terms of other teams, Echter driving the Man truck, Stacey, the 2007 Dakar truck championship driver of the Iveco team, and Loprais, the champion of the Tatra team Silk Road Rally, will have a strong impact on the championship trophy.


◆Quad bike group: Brothers Patnelli

In the quad bike group, the Patnelli brothers Marcos and Alejandro from Argentina won the 2010 and 2011 Dakar championships. However, in the 2012 new rules, the engine displacement is limited to 750cc and is two-wheel drive, so they can only bid farewell to the previous Yamaha 900cc racing car.

During the race, the Patnelli brothers not only had to face the challenge from the 2009 Dakar quad bike championship, the Czech driver Machacek, but the strength of the two Polish drivers Laskawiec and Sonik should not be underestimated.

After getting to know the strength of the drivers and teams that participated in the Dakar in 2012, let's take a look at the cars they used to hit the championship.

Four, 2012 Dakar each category of racing directly hits

◆Car Group Speed Hummer H3

In terms of the car group, let’s first look at the Hummer H3 car used by the Speed team that the key driver Attia joined last year. Unlike the Hummer that has evolved from a military vehicle to civilian use as we know it, the Hummer H3 used by the Speed team is a typical American BAJA racing car.

The so-called BAJA, as used here, is the abbreviation of Baja California, which refers to the state of Baja California in Mexico. It is also a synonym for extreme desert off-road in the minds of American off-road enthusiasts. The biggest modification feature of this game is the rear drive, so this Hummer naturally also adopts the rear drive form.

In order to participate in the Dakar event, Gordon and his team, the owner of the Speed team, used to process racing vehicles around the clock in Anaheim, California. Technical support from General Motors GM and TOYO TIRES accelerated the progress of the project. .

This Hummer H3 for Dakar weighs more than two tons, uses a tubular chassis and carbon fiber materials, four-wheel independent large-travel suspension, and wheel travel reaches 24 inches. The power system is a GM V8 engine with approximately 350 horsepower, which is close to the LS7 racing engine used by GM in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Even though the design and manufacture of this car has taken into account the most difficult conditions, it cannot escape the Americans’ understanding of BAJA extreme off-road. This unique rear-mounted Hummer H3 is completely in accordance with the American’s “heavy taste” of extreme off-road. Modified as you like.

The rear-mounted rear-wheel drive setting is undoubtedly not a very favorable factor in Dakar, and the body weighing more than two tons will not take too much advantage in the desert section, so its results are raced in Dakar. China is not ideal (even withdrawing from the race due to damage to the water tank due to a collision with camelgrass). At least the characteristics of the Volkswagen Touareg are far from being the best choice for the champion driver Attia.


◆Car group X-Raid MINI ALL4 and X3 CC

Peter Hansel, the 9th best-named Dakar champion, joined the X-Raid team supported by BMW manufacturers and will drive the MINI All4 Dakar racing car this year.

The MINI ALL4 Dakar race car is based on the MINI COUNTRYMAN model, but after heavy modification, the performance is even more sturdy. MINI ALL4 is a diesel racing car equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine, with a maximum power of 315 horsepower (4000 rpm) and a speed of 1900 rpm, which can output a peak torque of 700 Nm. The low-torque performance of the car contributes to the development of off-road capabilities. The car's top speed can reach 181 km/h.

In terms of transmission system, the MINI ALL4 Dakar racing car is equipped with a Sadev 6-speed gearbox, AP racing clutch, a differential produced by Xtrac and 320 mm AP ventilated brake discs. The car is equipped with 245/80 R16 tires provided by BD.

The chassis of the MINI ALL4 Dakar was built by Heggemann. The body size of length × width × height is 4333 × 1998 × 1966 (mm), which is a full circle larger than the production version of MINI COUNTRYMAN 4110 × 1789 × 1561 (mm). , The wheelbase was increased from 2595 mm to 2906 mm, the fuel tank volume was changed from 47 liters to 420 liters, and the vehicle weight reached 1900 kg.

In addition to the 5 MINI ALL4 cars, the X-raid team still used 3 BMW X3 CCs to participate in the competition. The CC in the BMW X3 CC refers to the cross country. This car uses similar technology to the MINI ALL4. The output power is also 315 horsepower.

In the previous Dakar races, the BMW X3 CC racing car has already begun its journey to Dakar. Although the results in the previous races are relatively high, it has never been able to reach the highest podium. The withdrawal of the Volkswagen factory team this time may be an opportunity for BMW X3 CC to shine.


◆Motorcycle set KTM 450

In terms of motorcycles, the KTM 450 Rally, which was driven by the champion riders, was highly praised by fans in the award, under the situation where the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM was completely overwhelmed. This KTM 450 Rally, which was launched in accordance with Dakar's 2009 450cc displacement limit new rules, will help Depre and Koma continue to initiate a PK for the championship.

After Deprey and Koma drove the KTM 690 Rally to win three championships, the KTM 450 Rally, born under the new 450cc displacement regulations, began to enter its own era. In the 2011 Dakar race, this The car helped Koma win the championship. This motorcycle uses a single-cylinder, 4-stroke engine with a displacement of 449.3cc and is matched with a 5-speed transmission. Its weight of 145 kg of empty oil, 300 mm front and 240 mm rear brake discs complete the performance of the KTM rally motorcycle. Play.


◆Quad bike Yamaha Raptor 700R

The quad bike group was divided into a separate group after Dakar came to South America in 2009. You may be relatively unfamiliar with the racing cars in this group. The current car that dominates this category is the Yamaha Raptor 700R, which will be its latest model in 2012.

The Yamaha Raptor 700R has a long travel suspension of 9.1 inches in the front and 10.1 inches in the rear, which brings excellent passing performance. Therefore, this type of four-wheeled motorcycle is often called an all-terrain vehicle (or ATV, ATV in English). In terms of power, this car is equipped with a 686cc displacement direct-injection engine, which is said to be the most powerful of all Yamaha ATVs, but its specific power parameters are not yet known. In 2012, this car is expected to once again win the championship in the quad bike group.


◆Truck group Kamaz 4911

The model that must be introduced in the Dakar truck group is the Kamaz 4911 truck of the Russian Kamaz fleet. This Kamaz team, which competed 15 years ago to showcase the company's products, quickly became the most outstanding team in all cross-country rally races in Russia. This Kamaz 4911 car helped the Kamaz team dominate the Dakar Rally truck group and has won 10 constructors’ championships. In the 2011 race, the Kamaz 4911 truck won the top four in the truck group with 13 stages. An overwhelming advantage of 12 division champions won.

This 4911 is a special four-wheel drive vehicle designed to enter areas that are difficult for cargo trucks to enter. This vehicle can effectively operate for a wide range of transportation tasks for special purposes. Kamaz 4911 can be used in any place, in any environment, under any climatic conditions, and can operate normally from a low temperature of -30 degrees to a high temperature of +50 degrees. It is reliable and powerful, and is very suitable for extreme environments. Therefore, it is only natural that the Dakar car improved from the 4911 can achieve such excellent results.


◆Other racing cars

In addition to the above-mentioned participating vehicles, there are many models worthy of attention in the 2012 competition. Although they may not be regarded as the most powerful models due to lack of Dakar racing experience, they still have their shining points. For example, the Land Rover Aurora, a popular mass-produced car, will “make its debut” in Dakar in 2012.

In addition, a team from Latvia that uses pure electric vehicles to compete is also very worthy of attention. It is said that its battery can reach a maximum endurance of 800Km and a maximum speed of 150Km/h. Regardless of its performance, this electric racing car dared to be the first new energy vehicle to challenge the world's most difficult races. Its fate in Dakar is worth paying attention to. Perhaps in the next few years or decades, it will be on the Dakar stadium. The protagonist will be replaced by these electric vehicles.

summary

The warriors of Dakar are about to go! This time the South American adventure has a different route from the past, and the riders will also meet new challenges. Regardless of racers, motorcyclists or truck drivers, they all share the same passion and beliefs. Participants explored in the desert and bravely challenged the limit, which is the best performance.

At the same time, Chinese power has become an indispensable part of Dakar. In 2012, there will be 9 Chinese drivers and pilots participating in the race. In tomorrow's article, we will bring a detailed introduction to the Chinese elements of Dakar, so stay tuned.