2018 Dakar Rally - 40th edition of the world's toughest race
The 2018 Dakar Rally would be the 40th edition of the world’s toughest cross-country race. The race will again take part in South America, for the tenth year in a row, but the route has been changed compared to previous years.
From January 6 to January 20, competitors will have to pass about 9000 kilometers over fourteen competitive stages in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Peru is included for the first time since 2013 when the race started in that South American Pacific coast country.
Fourteen stages over Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
The 40th edition of Dakar Rally will start on Saturday, January 6, in Peru’s capital Lima. The competitor will have six stages before Friday, January 12, as a rest day in Bolivia’s capital La Paz. After that, there will be eight more days of competitive racing until the finish in Cordoba on Saturday, January 20.
More than 520 competitors announced their participation with 337 vehicles: 190 motorbikes and quads, 105 cars (including 14 in the SxS class) and 42 trucks.
Stephane Peterhansel is looking for his 14th win
The entry list for 2018 Dakar Rally is full of motorsport legends in all of five categories. The greatest of all, the Monsieur Dakar Stephane Peterhansel, will lead the competitors of car category in the #301 Peugeot 3008 DKR. The 13-time winner will drive alongside his longstanding navigator Jean-Paul Cottret.
Nasser Al-Attiyah is leading the rest of the field
The two-time winner Nasser Al-Attiyah will drive the #302 Toyota Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa, with a help of navigator Matthieu Baumel. Nasser’s teammate would be one more former winner, South African Giniel de Villiers in the #304 Toyota Hilux. The team will also run the #309 car for Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke.
The German X-raid team is coming to South Africa with two cars, an updated Mini John Cooper Works Rally and brand-new two-wheel-drive Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. The team will run three Buggy cars and four Mini 4WD cars.
Seven-car attack of X-Raid team
The Buggy crews are Mikko Hirvonen/Andreas Schulz (#305), Bryce Menzies/Pete Mortensen (#310) and Yazeed-Al Rajhi/Timo Gottschalk (#314). The Mini John Cooper Works Rally cars will be driven by Nani Roma/Alex Haro (#302), Orlando Terranova/Ronnie Graue (#307), Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul (#312) and Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro (#317).
Outside three top teams, the first on the list is the Czech rally driver Martin Prokop who will drive the #311 Ford F-150 Evo for his own MP Sports team. The French racing legend Ronan Chabot will drive the #316 Overdrive Toyota Hilux. The famous rally driver from Peru Nicolas Fuchs will have Dakar Rally debut in the #313 Borgward BX7.
One more driver familiar from WRC stages is Khalid Al-Qassimi who will drive the#319 PH Sport Peugeot 308 DKR Maxi. The Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa will lead the Renault Duster Team in the #315 Renault Duster. His teammate in the #322 car would Argentinean driver Emiliano Spataro.
Coronel brothers together again
There will be Coronel twin-brothers again. In the previous edition of Dakar Rally, they competed in two solo buggies. Now, they would be back as a part of the same crew in the one car, called The Beast.
The 6.2-litre Chevrolet-powered car is a masterpiece of an American off-road specialist Damen Jefferies. Tim Coronel is listed as a driver of the #347 car and Tom Coronel as a navigator, but they will change their roles if needed.
Here’s the entry list for 2018 Dakar Rally.