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Sealine Rally Qatar: Competitors from 18 countries to start in Qatar Monday. | 20.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014


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Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


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Dakar Rally 2014: Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in fast finish in the Dakar.



The SMG Rally Team duo were among the first brave contestants to cross the finish line at the hardest edition of the Dakar to be staged in South America. Ronan Chabot and co-driver Gilles Pillot had one final stage standing between themselves and the finish line of the 2014 Dakar Rally Saturday morning. More than 150 km of fast, gravel track had to be completed before the Frenchmen could enjoy the final podium celebrations in Valparaiso.

Plenty of standing water and rainfall made the last test of this ultra-challenging rally-raid another day that required complete focus. Chabot and Pillot needed to demonstrate all the skill and control that has seen the buggy shoot up the rankings in the second week of the race.

Although the experienced pair were unable to add to their sequence of three top 10 stage finishes on the final day they were able to once again taste the sweet satisfaction of completing the world’s toughest rally-raid. A 25th place finish on stage 13 drove the SMG Rally Team duo into 18th position in the final overall rankings.

This result delivers Ronan and Gilles’ 5th top 20 finish at the Dakar as their reputation as consistent performers at the desert classic continues to increase. Although this edition of the rally ended early for their team-mates Carlos Sainz and Timo Gottschalk, the two stage wins they achieved has added to the positive feeling the crew take away from the race.

"There was lots of water on Saturday’s stage in mountains that made it quite tough for our two-wheel drive Buggy. We had problems with our wipers so visibility was a bit of problem for us with all the spray on the stage," Chabot told after the stage.

"This was the last stage of a long rally so we told each other that the most important job today was to reach the finish line. Our overall ranking of 18th is not as good as we wanted for this year so we will come back next year to improve on this. We had a good second week so that shows us that there is plenty of potential to build upon. If I could have one wish for the next Dakar is that there will be more dunes because that’s when we had the most fun this time."

Navigator Gilles Pillot added: "Saturday's stage was a very tricky one! Always at the top of a crest with many blind turns and above all very, very narrow. It was definitely not the ideal terrain for our buggy so we concentrated on driving over these last 150 km to finish the Dakar. We are going to came back next year with an even better car!"

The SMG Buggy has not only proved it can finish the Dakar but also that it has the pace and power to win stages at the race. This sense of accomplishment gives the team plenty of motivation to work on bringing an even better machine back to the contest next year.

"We are taking many positives away from this visit to the Dakar Rally that will increase our motivation to work on this project throughout the year," quoted team manager Gache.

"Ronan and Gilles have been brilliant in the second week. Things did not go their way in the first week but they showed real personality to show their true level in the second week. We will also not forget the two stage wins that Carlos and Timo achieved. Carlos did an incredible job during this Dakar and it was clear to see his passion for the race. He added a great energy to the team with the way he pushed everyday. This gave us all a lift and has really helped to move this team forward."

2014/01/19 | 21:11 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SMG











Dakar Rally 2014: Nani Roma und Michel Périn win the legendary desert rally. | 20.01.2014 20:07 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Xavier Foj and Toyota achieves third place in T2 cars class. | 20.01.2014 19:56 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Honda Team HRC satisfied with 2014, begins work for 2015. | 20.01.2014 19:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: GWM/Haval achieves another Top 10 position in Dakar 2014. | 20.01.2014 19:38 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Solid finish for Lucio Alvarez and new Ford Racing team. | 20.01.2014 19:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: De Villiers and Dabrowski as 4th and 7th best Toyotas. | 19.01.2014 21:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: 2013 winner Cyril Despres finishing fourth after tough race. | 19.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in fast finish in the Dakar. | 19.01.2014 21:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team El Martillo Racing finished in their first Dakar Rally. | 19.01.2014 20:15 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Riwald Dakar Team crosses the finish line in Valparaiso. | 19.01.2014 20:01 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:45 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:43 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS12 on Friday | 18.01.2014 00:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Orlando Terranova celebrates his first stage win in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:51 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Strong show from Argentine Alvarez in arid Atacama in SS11. | 17.01.2014 02:21 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team HRC riders overcome long stage and maintain posis. | 17.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Third stage victory for overall bikes leader Marc Coma. | 17.01.2014 01:47 |




Dakar Rally 2014: No surprises for Speedbrain team in Atacama stage 11. | 17.01.2014 01:41 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 01:36 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 17.01.2014 00:31 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS11 on Thursday | 16.01.2014 23:25 |




Dakar Rally 2014: The tenth stage brought gold - Stagewin for Czech Loprais. | 16.01.2014 22:48 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Team Dessoude with the last two cars reached the finish SS10. | 16.01.2014 22:46 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Ford´s Alvarez - "We handled it well and did a good job". | 16.01.2014 22:42 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Carlos Sainz "I'm really disappointed to be out of the race". | 16.01.2014 21:17 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Robby Gordon and his HST Gordini 22nd after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:32 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Great Wall Haval and Lavieille moves up after Stage 10. | 16.01.2014 20:27 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Iveco-pilot Gerard de Rooy still on the lead after SS10. | 16.01.2014 20:00 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Mini´s are leading 1-2-3, second stagewin for Al Attiyah. | 16.01.2014 01:55 |




Dakar Rally 2014 BLOG: Dongfeng Challenge heading forward to Antofagasta. | 16.01.2014 01:54 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS10 Wednesday | 16.01.2014 00:29 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Spectacular double for Honda - Barreda still second overall. | 15.01.2014 23:40 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Bad luck for Speedbrain - Israel Esquerre out after crash. | 15.01.2014 23:37 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Coma continues to lead the Dakar after SS10 Antofagasta. | 15.01.2014 22:26 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:52 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS10 on Wednesday | 15.01.2014 21:23 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: TRUCKS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 15.01.2014 01:16 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: CARS daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 23:14 |




Dakar Rally 2014 RESULTS: BIKES daily and overall after SS09 on Tuesday | 14.01.2014 22:33 |




Dakar Rally 2014: Gerard De Rooy 2nd in SS08 with only a little loss of time. | 14.01.2014 22:31 |




















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