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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Dakar 2008: The big battle of the Dakar brands

The car, bike and truck manufacturers entered in the Dakar Rally are well aware of the important battle of image to be won by victory on the classic endurance event.

Without promising its clients the thrills experienced by drivers like Luc Alphand, Ari Vatanen or Jutta Kleinschmidt, a manufacturer who wins the Dakar Rally at least guarantees a tremendous reliability to the future buyers of its vehicles. The series model that an off-road amateur might buy will only vaguely resemble the one that faces the Mauritanian dunes, however the notoriety gained thanks to the performances in the desert remains a key image stake.

In the car class, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and BMW invest in these ambitious research programs in order to see their technologies progress, and some of them are later used for their normal models. Ever since its involvement in the Dakar, Japanese firm Mitsubishi has had a serious advantage over its main competitors, at least in terms of victories. This year Stéphane Peterhansel gave the brand its 12th victory. On the race course, the gap has however dropped down during the 2007 Dakar. German brand Volkswagen, eager to accomplish its challenge of seeing a diesel vehicle triumph overall, has never been so close to beating Mitsubishi as it was this year.

Number of Car Victories by Brand:

Mitsubishi: 12 ('85-'92-'93-'97-'98-'01-'02-'03-'04-'05-'06-'07)
Citroen: 4 ('91-'94-'95-'96)
Peugeot: 4 ('87-'88-'89-'90)
Porsche: 2 ('84-'86)
Land Rover: 2 ('79-'81)
Schlesser: 2 ('99-'00)
Mercedes Benz: 1 ('83)
Renault: 1 ('82)
Volkswagen: 1 ('80)

Regarding the bikes, Austrian firm KTM has been dominant for several years, with a seventh consecutive victory this year thanks to Cyril Despres. Despite having overtaken BMW in the historical hierarchy, KTM still hasn’t yet managed to catch up with Yamaha whose success has a lot to do with Stephane Peterhansel’s impressive series of wins. The recent performances of the 450 cc bikes promises fierce confrontations between the riders of both brands in the future Dakar Rallies.

Number of Bike Victories by Brand:

Yamaha: 9
KTM: 7
BMW: 6
Honda: 5
Cagiva: 2

In the truck class, the 2007 race was the scene of some drama with the domination of the Kamaz trucks, troubled by Hans Stacey in his MAN vehicle who entered the winners list of the Dakar. In this class as well, rivals in the shadow of the Russian constructor and its five consecutive successes have hit back in 2007.

Number of Truck Victories by Brand:

Kamaz: 7 ('96-'00-'02-'03-'04-'05-'06)
Tatra: 6 ('88-'94-'95-'98-'99-'01)
Mercedes Benz: 5 ('82-'83-'84-'85-'86)
Perlini: 4 ('90-'91-'92-'93)
Sonacone: 1 ('80)
Hino: 1 ('97)
ALM/Acmat: 1 ('81)
DAF: 1 ('87)
MAN: 1 ('07)

2007/12/23 | 17:29 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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