, 01 2021
 
21 2004 - 22:53
2004 -
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Peterhansel and Roma are the winners (Dakar 2004 - Finish)

They almost made it last year but this time Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret reached the finish line and took the victory in the 2004 edition of the Dakar.

Peterhansel took six victories as a Yamaha motorcycle rider but this first win in a car has a particular significance since only Hubert Auriol was able to win in both categories before him.

His teammate Hiroshi Masuoka finished in second position, almost 50 minutes behind him.

Jean-Louis Schlesser takes a rewarding third place, followed by Luc Alphand, Andrea Mayer and Bruno Saby. Nissan barely missed the top six, their highest placed driver Giniel De Villiers finishing in seventh position.

After his ninth attempt, Nani Roma takes his first win in the Dakar. The KTM rider gets a well-deserved victory after many years of frustrating results.

Roma is the first Spaniard to win the Dakar. "I tried so many times and finally I saw the finish line and I stand on the highest podium step. It's like a dream. This victory is so important for me and for Spain."

On the podium, Roma is surrounded by Frenchmen Richard Sainct and Cyril Despres. The winner was congratulated by Stephane Peterhansel and 2001 - 2002 winner Fabrizio Meoni, who finished in sixth place this year.

Hugo GIGUERE
CAPSIS International [18/01/04 - 13:40]

***

Kleinschmidt wins the penultimate stage of the race (Dakar 2004 : Leg 16)

Jutta Kleinschmidt won today's 192 km stage. The Volkswagen driver was near the top of the standings in most of the last few stages but could not get a win... until now!

It was a close-fought battle since Luc Alphand (BMW X5) took second position, only 59 seconds behind the leading Race-Touareg.

Hiroshi Masuoka is third and gains an additional four minutes over his teammate Stephane Peterhansel, who is still dominating the race. Even if he has a very comfortable lead, "Peter" must be quite nervous, knowing how unlucky the Mitsubishi driver has been in the past...

Gregoire De Mevius rolled over his BMW X5 and finished the stage pulled by their assistance vehicle. The crews Metge / Chevalier (Nissan) and Strugo / Larroque (Mercedes) retired with mechanical problems.

The battle is fierce in the motorcycle category. Richard Sainct won the stage and is now only five minutes behind race leader Nani Roma. It will be very difficult for Sainct to catch Roma with only one more leg to go but who knows what can happen...

The battle for third place is even closer. Only three minutes separating Despres and Cox in the general standings... what a race !

Hugo GIGUERE
CAPSIS International [17/01/04 - 17:02]

***

Peterhansel takes crushing debut Dakar Rally victory (Dakar 2004 : Mitsubishi Motors Team - Finish)

Mitsubishi Motors Motor Sports (MMSP) team driver Stephane Peterhansel and co- driver Jean-Paul Cottret clinched victory in the 2004 Telefonica Dakar Rally today (Sunday).

The 38-year-old Frenchman's triumph at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution marked a fourth successive win for the Japanese manufacturer and a record-breaking ninth overall victory for the Pont-de-Vaux-based MMSP factory team.

Peterhansel also became only the second individual in Dakar history to win the world's most famous endurance rally on a bike and in a car (Hubert Auriol won two bike titles and the 1992 Paris to Cape Town Rally for the Mitsubishi team).

Stephane's success came 12 months after the six-times motorcycle winner's victory aspirations had ended in bitter disappointment when he threw away a potential win on the penultimate stage and was forced to settle for third overall.

"On the liaison section this morning I couldn't help but think about last year", said a delighted Peterhansel. "It has been a long time to wait one year for this victory. There were many times when it was easy to make a mistake. I spoke with Jean-Paul when we crossed the finish line of the special today and thanked him for a great job. I am happy for him. It's his first Dakar win.

For the first win with the bike I had to wait four years. For the first win with the car it took me six. It is a completely different feeling. Hiroshi drove a perfect race as well, but it was my turn this time!"

Defending champion and team mate Hiroshi Masuoka, partnered by Gilles Picard, finished runner-up in the second of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolutions, 49m 24s behind Peterhansel. The Japanese former leader had shadowed his team mate since losing more than an hour with a transmission problem on the Atar to Tidjikja stage in Mauritania last week.

"I am very pleased for Stephane and for Mitsubishi", said Masuoka. "I drove a good race. It was not easy. Mauritania was difficult. Next year I will push for the third win."

Co-driver Gilles Picard was delighted with his second position. "I am happy to be here" said Picard. "It has been a great team performance. I just wish sometimes that the media would not just highlight the role of the co-driver when we make a small mistake. I know that we are here to be in the shadow of the driver, but it is never easy to finish the Dakar."

MMSP's German support crew Andrea Mayer and Andreas Schulz completed the 11,052 kms route in an excellent fifth overall in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero. The success was Mayer's first Dakar as a member of the full Mitsubishi factory team acting as a support driver for Peterhansel, Masuoka and Italian Miki Biasion.

"It is a different feeling to finish this race as a member of an official team", said Mayer. "On a bike you are alone. When I crossed the finish line today I knew it had been a great team effort. Andreas has been fantastic. I know he is used to challenging for the win, but he has been crucial to my result. I know I still have things to learn, but Andy, the mechanics and all the team have supported me to Dakar and I thank them with this fifth place."

Peterhansel and Masuoka had dominated the Dakar Rally since the event entered Morocco and the traditional African special stages. Peterhansel eventually finished 3h 00m 33s ahead of Jean-Louis Schlesser's third-placed Buggy, his nearest non-Mitsubishi rival. Stephane won two of the timed competitive sections, Masuoka won four.

The Italian duo of Miki Biasion and Tiziano Siviero were forced to retire the team's fourth car after rolling on the Ouarzazate to Tan-Tan stage in Morocco.

"It was a great victory and the whole team worked very hard for it", said MMSP's Head of Motorsport Sven Quandt. "I am happy that we made it one, two and five. I think it was fair for Stephane to win this time. He deserves to be very happy and proud of himself today. Andrea had a very good result, perhaps better than we expected. She drove in a very professional manner. It was one of the toughest Dakars that I have seen, which is good for Mitsubishi because we have shown that we can win the hardest of all the rallies."

"My feeling is strange", said MMSP's Team Director Dominique Serieys. "Everybody in the team has done a good job. We could not win this rally if the tip of the iceberg was not functioning and the mechanics and drivers of the trucks can be proud of themselves. It may have looked easy from the outside, but we had our fair share of problems to overcome.

This is a great win for Mitsubishi, but it is also a human win - a great day for Stephane. It was the same when Hiroshi lost in 2001 and he won the following year. It has been a long 12 months for Stephane. I feel really emotional as well for Jean-Paul and Andrea. She drove a great rally. She was always smiling and never complaining." Latest 15 stories, here...Peterhansel takes victory for...The two X-Raid team BMWs at...Despres clinches last stage...Successful debut of...Al Attiyan leads Ralliart...Peterhansel takes crushing...Peterhansel and Roma are the...De Lavergne and Patissier...Nissan still leads the...Kleinschmidt records first...A third ''virtual '' victory...Sainct and Despres nearing the...Al-Attiyah regains top spot...Peterhansel within sight of...Kleinschmidt celebrate...

Press Release
Mitsubishi Motors Team [18/01/04 - 13:45]

***

Nasser Saleh Al Attiyan leads Ralliart Teams (Dakar 2004 : Mitsubishi Ralliart - Finish)

Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyan finished his first Dakar Rally in 10th place overall and led home the six surviving Mitsubishi Ralliart customer teams in his Pajero/Montero.

Partnered by Belgian Marc Bartholome, the Qatari lost over five hours after an accident in Mauritania, but clawed his way back into the top 10 over the last two days of the event. He finished today's stage in third position overall.

"I feel great", said Al Attiyan. "It was a very nice event and I am here in Dakar. I feel like I have won this rally. I tried to push a little today and finished third on the stage. I will be back again next year."

Brazilians Klever Kolberg and Roldan Lourival lost time over the later sections with clutch problems and delays with a faulty jack, but reached the finish in 11th position and fourth in the diesel class. "It's a great feeling to be here in Dakar", said Kolberg.

Dominique Housieaux and Loic Fagot had been as high as eighth overall before transmission trouble pushed them back to 13th at the finish.

"It was a superb Dakar for me" said Housieaux. "I felt fantastic to race along the beach today and to cross that finish line. I had some problems, but the team have worked very hard and I owe this win to my mechanics, my co-driver and my sponsors."

Poland's Lukasz Komornicki and Rafal Marton overcame several time-consuming delays to record a finish in 14th position in the Team Orlen Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero.

"We are happy to be here", said Komornicki. "We lost about 10 hours early in the race, but after Burkina Faso we decided to attack. This was our third Dakar, but we are not finished yet. We will be back again in 2005. I think there would only have been about 15 cars at the finish if the organisers had not cancelled two stages."

Thailand's Siriwat Pornsawan and French co-driver Phillipe Bocande were classified 15th in the sole Mitsubishi L200 Strada and fifth overall in the diesel category. "I feel so happy to be here", said Pornsawan. "It was a difficult race. There were some sections where I struggled in the soft sand, but we made it!"

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart China's Luo Ding finished the Dakar for the first time at his second attempt, despite late gearbox problems and arriving very late into Dakar on Saturday evening. He was classified in 48th position with French co-driver Serge Henninot.

Press Release
Mitsubishi Motors Team [18/01/04 - 13:52]


 

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