The 2015 Dakar Rally will be held on January 4 – 17, 2015. This is one of the great rallies in the world and I enjoy following it on television. Unfortunately I often have to get up at 2:00 AM the watch the daily highlights on the NBC Sports Network in the Eastern Time Zone.
The route of the Dakar rally changes somewhat from year to year. This year the route will go into Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia. The route and the schedule for 2015 is shown below.
The 2015 Dakar Route
The entry list for the 2015 Dakar has been published by the organizers. First of all, I’ll have to own up to being wrong. Last year I speculated on this website that former multi-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb would be competing in this event in 2015. Last year he spent a couple of days hanging around the Dakar and I suspected that he had caught the Dakar fever and was checking the event out. Well I was wrong. Sebastien Loeb is not on the 2015 Dakar entry list.
However there was a surprise on the entry list of the cars that will be competing. As I looked down the list, Car 322 caught my attention. Cyril Depres, the perennial top contender and former winner in the bike class, is trading two wheels for four. He will be driving a Peugeot this year. It will be interesting to see how he does. In the Dakar there is a long history of motorcycle riders becoming car drivers and being very successful.
The Mini team will be back in strength and there will be a strong Peugeot team. De Villiers will be strong in the Toyota. Unfortunately, I think that Robby Gordon will again be a Roman Candle in this event – burning brightly but not lasting long.
There is a Ford entered as Car #317. I don’t recall Ford having much of a presence at the Dakar. I hope that Villagra does well in the Ford.
The following is a listing of some of top ranked Dakar entrants in the Car Class.
2015 Dakar Car Partial Entry List
|300||ROMA NANI (ESP)PERIN MICHEL (FRA)||MINI|
|301||AL-ATTIYAH NASSER (QAT)BAUMEL MATTHIEU (FRA)||MINI|
|302||PETERHANSEL STEPHANE (FRA)COTTRET JEAN PAUL (FRA)||PEUGEOT|
|303||DE VILLIERS GINIEL (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ DIRK (DEU)||TOYOTA|
|304||SAINZ CARLOS (ESP)CRUZ LUCAS (ESP)||PEUGEOT|
|305||TERRANOVA ORLANDO (ARG)GRAUE BERNARDO (ARG)||MINI|
|306||SOUSA CARLOS (PRT)FIUZA PAULO (PRT)||MITSUBISHI|
|307||HOLOWCZYC KRZYSZTOF (POL)PANSERI XAVIER (FRA)||MINI|
|308||GORDON ROBBY (USA)||HUMMER|
|309||LAVIEILLE CHRISTIAN (FRA)MAIMON PASCAL (FRA)||TOYOTA|
|310||VASILYEV VLADIMIR (RUS)ZHILTSOV KONSTANTIN (RUS)||MINI|
|311||DABROWSKI MAREK (POL)CZACHOR JACEK (POL)||TOYOTA|
|312||GACHE PHILIPPE (FRA)GARCIN JEAN-PIERRE (FRA)||SMG|
|313||ALVAREZ LUCIO (ARG)PATTI ROBERTO (ARG)||TOYOTA|
|314||VAN LOON ERIK (NLD)ROSEGAAR WOUTER (NLD)||MINI|
|315||TEN BRINKE BERNHARD (NLD)COLSOUL TOM (BEL)||TOYOTA|
|316||SPATARO EMILIANO (ARG)LOZADA BENJAMIN (ARG)||RENAULT|
|317||VILLAGRA FEDERICO (ARG)MEMI ANDRES (ARG)||FORD|
|318||MALYSZ ADAM (POL)MARTON RAFAL (POL)||SMG|
|319||GARAFULIC BORIS (CHL)PALMEIRO FILIPE (PRT)||MINI|
|320||CHABOT RONAN (FRA)PILLOT GILLES (FRA)||SMG|
|321||THOMASSE PASCAL (FRA)LARROQUE PASCAL (FRA)||BUGGY MD RALLYE|
|322||DESPRES CYRIL (FRA)PICARD GILLES (FRA)||PEUGEO|
Other than Robby Gordon, there are few North Americans on the Car entry list. Car 380 is a Canadian entry of David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaule in an Overdrive. Car 356 is what I call the NAFTA entry with three participants – a Canadian, an American, and a Mexican in their Jimco.
With Depres not competing in the Bike Class, then certainly Marc Coma has to be considered as the early favorite. Behind Coma the field is strong. I was just going to include the top 10 ranked entrants in this post, but then I saw that Ruben Faria on KTM was #11 and I believe that Faria will make his presence known during the Dakar.
2015 Dakar Bike Class Partial Entry List
|1||· COMA MARC (ESP)||KTM|
|2||· BARREDA BORT JOAN (ESP)||HONDA|
|3||· PAIN OLIVIER (FRA)||YAMAHA|
|4||· VILADOMS JORDI (ESP)||KTM|
|5||· RODRIGUES HELDER (PRT)||HONDA|
|6||· SUNDERLAND SAM (GBR)||KTM|
|7||· GONCALVES PAULO (PRT)||HONDA|
|8||· PRZYGONSKI JAKUB (POL)||KTM|
|9||· CASTEU DAVID (FRA)||KTM|
|10||· PEDRERO GARCIA JUAN (ESP)||YAMAHA|
|11||· FARIA RUBEN (PRT)||KTM|
Further down the Bike entry list there are a couple of Americans – Tony Gera on a KTM and Antonio Narino on a Husqvarna.
To get more information on the 2015 Dakar check out their website at www.dakar.com
I will be once again following this event very closely.