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Arch 12-31-2005 11:36 AM

Dakar 2006 - Official Race Discussion Thread
Fellow gearheads,
I'll leave this thread stuck at the top for the duration of the rally.
Please use it to weigh in on things as they happen!

Official website.
OLN coverage schedule.


ErrinV 12-31-2005 11:57 AM

Sainz in a VW!:clap

Am I reading right that the Red Bull KTM USA guys finished the stage 5 minutes slower. That makes the leading guys rides that much more impressive because the USA guys are no slouches by any means.


Pantah 12-31-2005 01:08 PM

Jonas Street is 3 minutes down in 13th place. He is the top American and the short notice new rider on the Pan American privateer effort. He was profiled on another thread. Congrats to the Pan Am all the guys for a fine start! :clap :lurk - P

Madmedic 12-31-2005 01:48 PM

Anyone know where I could get daily highlites off the web. Dish network no longer gets OLN.

ErrinV 12-31-2005 02:20 PM


Originally Posted by Pantah
Jonas Street is 3 minutes down in 13th place. He is the top American and the short notice new rider on the Pan American privateer effort. He was profiled on another thread. Congrats to the Pan Am all the guys for a fine start! :clap :lurk - P

Awesome!:clap They didn't mention the Team Pan Am guys.


Steverino 12-31-2005 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by Madmedic
Anyone know where I could get daily highlites off the web. Dish network no longer gets OLN.

One wheel drive

slomoto 12-31-2005 03:52 PM

Dakar updates
There are good daily updates on the race at:

JimC 12-31-2005 05:38 PM

Official Dakar site

Originally Posted by Madmedic
Anyone know where I could get daily highlites off the web. Dish network no longer gets OLN.

You could try the official Dakar web site Dakar 2006, which Arch has a link to in the first post as well!

Jim in Sacramento

Badmunkie 12-31-2005 11:10 PM

You can also see coverage at


Renazco 01-01-2006 12:21 AM

Dakar First Stage Complete

"More Fun than Legally Allowed
... unless you're driving Dakar"

December 31, 2005
Have you ever dreamt of opening up your car through a mountain pass road or racing through the city streets without regard to the neighborhood cops? The Dakar drivers understand completely-they're LIVING YOUR DREAM! The first stage of Dakar took the drivers through Lisbon's streets and into the countryside as the drivers made their way to Portimäo, Portugal. Spectators line the streets to partake in the race.

Ronn Bailey started his race day early. The last morning in Lisbon, Bailey traded the comfort of his hotel for the Dakar expedition. At 9043 kilometers through the Sahara desert, the Dakar stands above all off-road rallies as the longest, roughest and most grueling race. With the start just hours away, competitive anticipation dominates most drivers' thoughts. A veteran to competition in business, Ronn handles the pressure in spite of his amateur status. "I'm more confident this year. I know what to expect, but still there are some driving conditions that are unfamiliar to me. It's been raining for the last few days. The kind of conditions I don't see in Las Vegas, Nevada."

The Stage 1 course started in Lisbon but quickly transitioned into narrow, tree-lined country roads. Even the slightest driving errors could put the car at risk. Rains turned the dirt roads to mud which was deep at times. Drivers found it difficult to negotiate the sharp turns of the course. Bailey's car slid and sideswiped a tree on one turn, causing cosmetic damage to the passenger side of the car. Attempting to avoid deep mud, Bailey tried to navigate through a grassy field which proved to be impassable. On another tight turn, Bailey lost control of his car and slid toward the spectators on the outside corner of the turn. Fortunately the car slid slowly enough for the crowd to escape its path. No one was hurt.

According to Bailey, "The car performed well but we did have two technical difficulties. My intra-car commutations systems failed so I was unable to speak or receive audio instructions from my navigator, Herve Cotel. We had to improvise and use hand signals to communicate, crude but effective. My gear position indicator wasn't reading true, so I had to shift based only on my RPM reading-not a big deal. The communication system definitely needs to be working before we hit the desert."

When asked to characterize the day, Bailey responded, "The countryside is very beautiful, lush with greenery, and very wet. Despite my mishaps, I'm pleased with the day's results. I was able to pass two or three cars and am hopeful that I improved by standing. I won't know my time results until later tonight. I'm having a blast…more fun than legally allowed…unless you're driving Dakar."

Team Vanguard Stage 1 Standings Car #317 Gache / Garcin 37th Car Class 1:07:03
Car #354 Bailey / Cotel 59th Car Class 1:09:50
Motorcycle 180 Kevin Heath 95th Motorcycle Class 1:13:10
T4 Truck 544 Brault / Crespo 55th T4 Truck Class 6:17:01 (5 hr penalty)

[ Visit for Team Vanguard Information ]

WildTurkey 01-01-2006 12:29 AM

What kind of bike:rofl is Ron riding?

Mike Werner 01-01-2006 05:57 AM

KTM: Dakar 2006: 1st stage: Lisboa > Portimão
Cyril Despres Wins the First Stage

Five o’ clock in the morning. An ACDC Cover is the wake-up bell for Cyril Despres. The last year winner is approaching his first day of race. His number one reflects the honour and the duty of the champion of the Dakar. All the Team KTM Gauloises is working around the French champion. Former enduro champion Eric Bernard is absolutely concentrated on his new job. He is now the Manager of the “Blue” Team, and his responsibility is very big. Everything is ready. The pressure is going up.

Yesterday night only one operation was missing: the great “Briefing”. Etienne Lavigne, the Director of the Dakar was the only man on the stage of the immense auditorium of the Cultural Center of Belem. The Atlantic ocean was behind his shoulders. In front of Lavigne 775 peoples. The 775 competitors of the Euromilhoes Dakar 2006. A warm welcome from the Man, then the instructions from the General. “You have to take care, this Dakar will be different. We wanted to refocus the most famous all terrain race. We changed the rules of the game, because we want to recover certain human qualities of the race. So take care, and enjoy it”. Then the details of the first two European days of the major African event.

6:15 AM. The first motorcycle leaves the “parc fermé”. This is the closed space where the bikes have been recovered in during the night. The 2006 Dakar has started. Each pilot has to face a transfer of 186 kilometres, then the 83 kilometres of the first special stage of this Dakar. And at last the final section of 100 kms unto Portimao, South of Portugal. One more Year is closing, a new Dakar is open.

In this first special test there is no navigation. The stage trace looks like a colossal enduro test, arrows indicating the right way. The pilots have to pay attention to the road book during the connection sections, but they can forget it, and also the monitor of the GPS, all over the special test. The ground is sandy, somewhere wet because a couple of shower. The main problem is to have chosen the right tyre. Most of the front riders have switched from Michelin Desertto Michelin Baja. Grip reasons.

Departure is scripted in the inverse order of number plates, so Cyril Despres leaves after all others. 50 minutes and 10 seconds afterwards his first finish line is crossed. A couple of seconds and a time keeper reveals the “watch” decision: Despres has won the first special stage. KTM also. A Portuguese is second, his name is Ruben Faria. Some rumours about a special prize of 30.000 euros if a Portuguese wins a special stage in Portugal. Maybe tomorrow.

People have to wait for only seven seconds. An orange bike of the Team Repsol KTM is at the finish. His rider is Marc Coma. “Strange day, this first day. I was concentrated on the track, that was so slippery because of the rain. At a moment I believed the rear tyre was punched, so I stopped. I remember an important race in Dubai, two years ago. Same feeling of a problem, but I decided to go on. After ten kilometres the rear axle of the wheel was broken, and my stage ended. This morning I preferred to stop and I checked the wheel. All was ok, so I resumed. I’m a little bit surprised: I stopped, and despite the time lost I pay a delay of only seven seconds. Maybe I am in very good conditions”. Also Andy “Wild" Caldecott, the Australian that took the place of Duran in the Repsol KTM Team “B”, was surprised: “My form is not 100%. I stopped training during the last six months, because of my job, and I decided not to attend to this Dakar. When Arcarons called me, I was very happy, but also a little bit concerned: the 9th position is a good start. Of course, the race will be very long, but the beginning is not so bad”.

Others Factory Riders Different have chosen different strategies. Most of them preferred to take it easy. The two Americans, Andy Grider and Chris Blais, finished in 23th and 31th position, and Gio’ Sala was only 42th.

The debutant in the Repsol KTM Team “B”, Jordi Viladoms, was 20th: “I am a little confused. I believed I was very calm, but this morning, when I took my motorcycle in order to leave, I noticed my road book was still in my hotel room. In a second I switched to very nervous. Then during the stage I retrieved my self control, and finally I enjoyed this first special test”.

First day has passed. Tomorrow the 28th Dakar will change Year and Country. The second stage will start in Portugal but the finish line will be placed in Spain, near Malaga. A stage of 567 kilometres with a special test of 387. Nothing to say: the beginning of this Dakar is not a joke.
Have a Very Happy New Year!

stage results / overall results
1st stage - Special: 83 km

1. Despres (Gauloises KTM) 58:10 min
2. Faria (KTM) 58:14 min + 00:04
3. Coma (Repsol KTM) 58:17 min + 00:07
4. Rodrigues (YAMAHA) 59:00 min + 00:50
5. Esteve Pujol (Gauloises KTM) 59:10 min + 01:00
6. Fretigne (YAMAHA) 59:15 min + 01:05
7. Casteu (Gauloises KTM) 59:36 min + 01:26
8. Pellicer (KTM) 59:54 min + 01:44
9. Caldecott (Repsol KTM) 01:00:35 h + 02:25
10. Goncalves (HONDA) 01:00:45 h + 02:34
11. Rivera (KTM) 01:00:47 h + 02:36
12. Duclos (KTM) 01:01:01 h + 02:51
13. Street (KTM) 01:01:15 h + 03:05
14. De Gavardo (Repsol KTM) 01:01:18 h + 03:08
15. Agra Carrera (YAMAHA) 01:01:45 h + 03:34
16. Verhoefen (YAMAHA) 01:02:11 h + 04:01
17. Farres Guell (YAMAHA) 01:02:16 h + 04:06
18. Van Drunen (YAMAHA) 01:02:16 h + 04:06
19. Toral Garcia (KTM) 01:02:31 h + 04:20
20. Viladoms (KTM) 01:02:50 h + 04:40
22. Gau (Gauloises KTM) 01:03:07 h + 04:56
23. Grider (Red Bull USA KTM) 01:03:16 h + 05:06
31. Blais (Red Bull USA KTM) 01:04:23 h + 06:13
43. Sala (Repsol KTM) 01:06:21 h + 08:10

Mikas 01-01-2006 06:11 AM

Here are a few pics from the 1st stage :evil

I'll post some videos also, as soon as i can get then on Smugmug... :bluduh

Mike Werner 01-01-2006 06:20 AM

Nice ones !!!

dirtypumpkin 01-01-2006 06:20 AM

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the highlights on OLN today.

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