Monday, January 16, 2017

Dakar 2017 Nissan Final Results

So this year's Dakar is over.  Despite significant changes to how navigation was done, terrible weather conditions at times, 15,000 feet in elevation, some new terrain and new countries...the end results were as would have been expected before the event with Peugeot dominating the competition with their top flight drivers and equipment.  The Toyota Hilux's of Team Overdrive which had been nip and tuck with the Peugeot's during the rest of the year's events were not a significant factor with Nasser Al-Attiyah crashing out early and Nani Roma and DeVilliers finishing 4th and 5th overall, over an hour back.  Overall, Toyotas were the dominant marque of the event putting 28 finishers at the checkered flag out of 57 finishers overall.

So did any Nissans finish after only four started??

#334--The VK56 powered Renault Duster of Facundo Ardusso consistently finished in the mid 20th position each day with its peak coming on stages 5 and 12 where it finished 18th each time.  This was good enough for the team to score a 22nd place finish overall.  I have learned that these are actually South African built vehicles and will have to inquire as to whether the Thompson Racing outfit that builds them has connections with the Nissan efforts there.

I know the South African teams mostly took the '17 Dakar off and didn't really have anyone present as they have in years past making this year an almost Nissan absent event.  Hopefully some more are built or budgets are found for Nissans in the '18 Dakar given how well the brand has done there in the past and how much Nissan is expanding and pushing its trucks and SUVs worldwide...

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