It is hard to imagine, but after 10 stages and about 3,000 miles of the 2012 Dakar Rally the bike class is down to a 21 second interval between the leading two bikes! On Stage 10 Despres’ 2:28 lead after Stage 9 over fellow KTM rider, Coma, is now down to just 0:21, which in Dakar time is virtually a dead heat.
In a great ride Stage 10 was won by Barreda Port on a Husqvarna. Coma was second on the stage 1:32 behind Barreda Bort and Despres finished 3rd 3:39 behind the Husqvarna.
The Dakar Rally Bike Class is going to be a sprint to the finish. It is possible that this class will be decided by a matter of seconds!
|Results: Bikes Stage 10|
|Results: Overall Bikes After Stage 10|
The Car Class has taken a major turn of events. After the running of today’s Stage 10, Robby Gordon’s Hummer has been excluded or disqualified due to a disputed violation of the rules dealing with the air pressure managment system in his tires. Robby Gordon will continue to run the stages, as he has appealed the disqualification, but the appeal will not be finalized for three weeks. As a result, I have included Robby’s time in the Overall standings, but I am not sure that his times, from now on, will be published by the Dakar officials.
Robby Gordon Has Appealed His Exclusion From the Dakar Rally
While Stage 10 turned into a disaster for Robby Gordon, Stage 10 was a good day for the MINI team at Dakar 2012. MINIs finished 1-2 and Robby Gordon lost time to the Overall leader, Stephane Peterhansel. Roma won the stage with his MINI team mate, Peterhansel only 21 seconds back.
De Villiers finished third on Stage 10 with Robby Gordon in 4th position 14:14 behind Roma. This was quite a disappointing day for Robby as he fell back to 3rd place Overall and is now, unofficially, 19:51 behind the Overall leader Peterhansel. Gordon damaged his wheels hitting a rock, which caused considerable mechanical damage. Gordon’s service crew will be busy fixing his car for tomorrow’s stage as they are going to run the stage as the appeal on the air management system is underway.
The only bad news to spoil the MINI team’s day was that Holowczyc lost 9 hours due to a terminal failure of his power steering system.
|Results: Cars Stage 10|
|Results: Cars Overall After Stage 10|
I am disappointed that Robby Gordon has been excluded or disqualified from the 2012 Dakar Rally. I do not know enough about the details of the exclusion to comment on the merits of the exclusion, but ever since the treatment of the Minis to favor the Citroens during the Monte Carlo Rally in the mid-1960s, the French officials have had a reputation of interpreting racing rules to favor the French. Stephane Peterhansel is French.
Gordon will continue to run, and will run hard. I am curious to see if the MINI team cruises to the finish of the Dakar Rally, or if they feel that they have to still compete with Robby Gordon’s Hummer.