Dakar 2016 Day 12: The Longest Day

Day 12 of the 2016 Dakar Rally was the longest of the event at over 930km.  This long day was made up of 450km of transit starting in San Juan to the start of the 481km special stage which essentially ended at Villa Carlos Paz.  That provided lots of opportunity for mechanical issues to pop up or for competitors to get lost.   Also, I’m sure that the competitors are quite tired, so facing a long day must seem like a nightmare.  The Day 12 Route is shown below.

Day 12 Route

Day 12 Route

The Day 12 route looks like it was challenging not only for its length, but for its elevation changes.  The profile is shown below.

Day 12 Profile

Day 12 Profile

Today’s competition was not unexpected.  Leader Peterhansel is being cautiously fast and those who are in close positional races are pushing.  The result was a stage win for Dakar rookie Mikko Hirvonen in his Mini.

Hirvonen Day 12

Hirvonen Wins Day 12!

Hirvonen finished a mere 9 seconds ahead of his Mini teammate, Al-Attiyah.  Al-Attiyah and the Mini team is feeling the heat from the two South African Toyotas, Poulter and De Villiers who are looking to finish third and maybe even second in this year’s Dakar.

I don’t know if they directly organized this, but I find it interesting that three remaining Peugeot team cars finished 8-9-10 in today’s stage with Peterhansel in 10th position.  If I was running the Peugeot team, then I would say that this was a very good finish.  The finish puts all three Peugeot cars starting in sequence tomorrow, which allows them to escort Peterhansel to make sure that he makes it to the end tomorrow with no difficulties.  And they will have the opportunity to get the three-car wide finishing photo at the end to celebrate the team victory.

The Day 12 results are below.

Dakar 2016 Car Class Day 12 Results

Pos. Name Marque Time Variation
1 HIRVONEN (FIN)

PERIN (FRA)

MINI 05:34:17
2 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)

BAUMEL (FRA)

MINI 05:34:26 00:00:09
3 POULTER (ZAF)

HOWIE (ZAF)

TOYOTA 05:35:02 00:00:45
4 DE VILLIERS (ZAF)

VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)

TOYOTA 05:35:14 00:00:57
5 ROMA (ESP)

HARO BRAVO (ESP)

MINI 05:37:26 00:03:09
6 VASILYEV (RUS)

ZHILTSOV (RUS)

TOYOTA 05:38:40 00:04:23
7 TERRANOVA (ARG)

GRAUE (ARG)

MINI 05:40:17 00:06:00
8 LOEB (FRA)

ELENA (MCO)

PEUGEOT 05:42:50 00:08:33
9 DESPRES (FRA)

CASTERA (FRA)

PEUGEOT 05:43:34 00:09:17
10 PETERHANSEL (FRA)

COTTRET (FRA)

PEUGEOT 05:45:22 00:11:05
11 ALRAJHI (SAU)

GOTTSCHALK (DEU)

TOYOTA 05:46:07 00:11:50
12 PRZYGONSKI (POL)

RUDNITSKI (BLR)

MINI 05:47:02 00:12:45
13 GORDON (USA)

WALCH (USA)

GORDINI 05:47:33 00:13:16

This year’s Dakar has been difficult for the Dakar organizers with the early problems with very wet weather and the recent problems with the heat.  It’s stressful for the competitors and the organizers.

Marc Coma Etienne Lavigne

Dakar Brain Trust – Marc Coma and Etienne Lavigne

After Day 12 Peterhansel has a very comfortable lead of just over 40 minutes.  That should be sufficient for him to take the victory.  Al-Attiyah looks solid for a second place finish, but there could be a real fight for third place between De Villiers in the Toyota and Hirvonen in the Mini.  Below that the competitors are running mostly for pride and to secure rides for next year and a stage win would certainly help each one of them in that regard.

The overall standings are presented below.

Dakar 2016 Overall car Class Standings After Day 12

Pos. Name Marque Time Variation
1 PETERHANSEL (FRA)

COTTRET (FRA)

PEUGEOT 43:27:42
2 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)

BAUMEL (FRA)

MINI 44:08:41 00:40:59
3 DE VILLIERS (ZAF)

VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)

TOYOTA 44:34:58 01:07:16
4 HIRVONEN (FIN)

PERIN (FRA)

MINI 44:39:24 01:11:42
5 POULTER (ZAF)

HOWIE (ZAF)

TOYOTA 45:03:58 01:36:16
6 ROMA (ESP)

HARO BRAVO (ESP)

MINI 45:14:20 01:46:38
7 DESPRES (FRA)

CASTERA (FRA)

PEUGEOT 45:22:47 01:55:05
8 VASILYEV (RUS)

ZHILTSOV (RUS)

TOYOTA 45:32:31 02:04:49
9 LOEB (FRA)

ELENA (MCO)

PEUGEOT 45:50:28 02:22:46
10 HUNT (GBR)

SCHULZ (DEU)

MINI 46:36:40 03:08:58
25 GORDON (USA)

WALCH (USA)

GORDINI 54:08:48 10:41:06

One of the competitors who really wants a stage win is Robby Gordon.  Robby may pull out all the stops tomorrow.

Robby Gordon (2)

Robby Gordon Was Frustrated This Year – Will He Be Back?

Tomorrow the final chapter in the 2016 Dakar rally will be written.

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