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Aquatic 10-05-2013 06:09 AM

Dakar 2014 - On 4 wheels (autos & SXS)
The time is getting nigh. It is time for this thread again.

With no Robby G, I wonder who is going to be the "Character" of 2014

And who is going to give the minis a bit of elbow in the ribs

Aquatic 10-05-2013 06:24 AM

More Saffers enter the fray
The Blue Oval Boys from South Africa have decided to follow on the success of Toyota and make a determined effort at the Dakar.
Should be interesting as Ford and Toyota are neck and neck in the South African Championship


Ideal conditions replicate Dakar Rally terrain in South America with massive dunes, undulating river beds and harsh rocky terrainfull Dakar team present, including Argentinian driver Lucio Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue, South Africans Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst and local and international race engineers, mechanics and team management Walvis Bay in Namibia 2013.

The full-scale test encompassed a complete shake-down and set-up of the mighty Dakar-specification 5,0-litre V8 Ford Ranger, and featured almost the entire local and international Ford Racing crew including team management, drivers and navigators, race engineers and mechanics.

"This is the first time the Dakar Rally Ranger has really been tested," says Neil Woolridge, team manager. "We did a short two-day test in Pietermartizburg straight after the launch of the Dakar campaign in July, but this is our first opportunity to evaluate all aspects of the vehicle and focus on the race set-up."

The test was conducted approximately 30 km from Walvis Bay and was based at the Lauberville Camp, a concession area run by West Coast 4x4.

"We chose this area near Walvis Bay as it has a bit everything and replicates a lot of the conditions we will encounter on the Dakar," Woolridge explains. "There's a huge dry river bed with soft sand and lots of undulations that really gives the suspension a good workout. The area is also famous for its dune driving, plus there are vast open rocky plains that allowed us to test the high-speed performance of the Ranger."

Argentinian lead driver Lucio Alvarez, who has completed three Dakars with two top 10 finishes, agreed that the area is ideal for the Ranger's first full test. "The location was very good for training and testing because you have all the different types of terrain experienced on Dakar.

"It matches a lot of the Dakar stages we've done through Argentina, Peru and Chile over the past three years, which makes it the perfect place to test the vehicle in the right conditions," he says.

An exhaustive schedule was put together for the Namibia test, according to Wooldridge, with one of the main priorities being to set up the suspension and dampers on the Team Ford Racing Ranger.

"We gave BOS, our suspension partners in France, all the dimensions of the vehicle, the weights, wheel travel and specifications and they built the dampers and tested them on a suspension dyno according to those requirements," Woolridge explains. "However the final set-up had to be done on the car and we had two of their technicians with us during the Namibia test to upgrade the dampers to the latest specification and fine-tune the settings."

The second main objective was to run the 5,0-litre V8 engine used in the Ranger with a 36 mm restrictor and Avgas as used on Dakar. The South African-spec Ranger, as campaigned in the local Cross Country Championship, uses a 35 mm restrictor and normal unleaded fuel.

The Ranger uses an advanced Magneti Marelli engine management system, and a specialist engine technician from Oreca Motorsport's Engine Technology division in France was also on hand to optimise the engine mapping for the mighty V8 to maximise its performance.

"We also set out to do as much mileage on this brand new car as possible," Woolridge says. "Although it's similar to the SA-spec Ranger, the FIA-specification for the Dakar allows us to use a totally different independent rear suspension compared to the live rear axle used in local racing."

Further changes include high-performance Brembo 6-piston brake callipers and pistons compared to production-based versions on the local version, and the engine is moved 100 mm back. The vehicle also boasts a massive 500-litre fuel tank for the long stages versus a 200-litre tank that's required for the SA championship, which poses a unique set of challenges in terms of weight distribution and suspension configuration.

As the lead duo for the Ford Racing Dakar campaign, Alvarez and navigator Ronnie Graue believe the Ranger, which is built in Pietermaritzburg by Neil Woolridge Motorsport, is an impressive package.

"It's early days but the Ranger is very good," Alvarez says. "The design and chassis are excellent and we simply need to fine-tune some aspects of the vehicle, including finding the perfect set-up for the suspension and optimising the engine and gear ratios. But overall the Ranger is great to drive."

Although the 2014 Dakar Rally will be the first for Chris Visser and co-driver Japie Badenhorst, they are front-running competitors in the South African Cross Country Championship, and have been part of the winning formula that has seen the new Ranger take victory on its debut in March, followed up by podium finishes in every race since.

Visser was equally impressed with the performance of the Dakar-specification Ranger in the arid Walvis Bay test area. "This was the first time we drove this Ranger and it is superb. The independent suspension gives it a much softer ride than our SA-spec vehicle, which makes it very comfortable.

"It is really good in the dunes and once the suspension, engine mapping and gear ratios are all sorted we will have a really competitive vehicle," Visser says. "The Ford Racing Ranger has performed extremely well so far, and this is exactly the right environment to test in, as it has a bit of everything and is very close to what we will encounter on the Dakar.

"It's also important for Japie and I to get as much time as possible in the dunes, as it's not something we're used to. The navigation and GPS systems are very different to what we use in the local championship, so we have a bit of work to do on those fronts but Lucio and Ronnie have been very helpful and supportive and we have no doubt that we'll be competitive on the Dakar Rally."
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Aquatic 10-05-2013 06:34 AM

Toyota also went to Namibia for a play
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The poor South African Rand must be working in Glynn Hall's favour. There seem to be a lot of the South African built Toyotas riding around in the rally world at the moment

Deadly99 10-05-2013 06:35 AM

Is the bugly making another appearance? With some lessons learned now that team is certainly a contender :nod

Tork 10-05-2013 07:39 AM

RG and BJ Baldwin just got back from Toyo in Japan . A partnership for Dakar ?

Dread Pendragon 10-05-2013 07:56 AM


Originally Posted by Aquatic (Post 22484184)
With no Robby G, I wonder who is going to be the "Character" of 2014

I spent a while looking through a lot of fan video of the cars from this year's Dakar. The point was to put together a brief highlight video. There are only a few seconds of the Mini's because they are so boring. They are obviously fantastic vehicles, but unless they are wrecking or getting passed by RG or one of the camiones they are boring. Somebody needs to drill a hole in their exhaust or make some flames shoot out the back when they accelerate or something.

The Toyotas are actually pretty fun to watch. They come screaming by and look pretty cool. If anyone ends up driving one of the Hummers let's hope they have mad skills or are crazy. The Hummer's going to sound great regardless, but RG driving like a bat out of hell is what made it epic.

Cars 1

Cars 2

RG 1

RG 2

RG 3

whitham_wannabe 10-10-2013 12:47 PM

Nice work editing, Mike ... I like this one :D

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Dread Pendragon 10-29-2013 08:17 AM

Just posted by wrk2surf in the Bivouac thread:


Originally Posted by wrk2surf (Post 22660743)
RG's support trucks leaving for Argentina


the second truck looks to be Dodge Badged

On Planet Robby here

Uller 10-30-2013 08:44 PM

Another Buggy
The Herrator Buggy

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Uller 10-30-2013 09:11 PM

Repeat Champions! Peterhansel and his MINI ALL4 Racing Win the 2013 Dakar Rally.
Highlights from last year. I'm guessing the Car/Team will probably be the same for this year?

I think its worth watching and hadn't seen it yet so, here you go.

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Here is a link to an article from Car and Drive with some really close up, interesting photos of the MINI:

I like the duct tape holder.

Uller 10-30-2013 10:06 PM

A Few of the Imperial Toyota Hilux Dakar
From Here:

Toyota Announces Dakar 2014 Lineup

Leave a reply
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Following their successes in recent years which culminated in a 2nd place for Giniel de Villiers (who himself won the Dakar rally in 2009 in a Volkswagen Toureg), Toyota have entered the 2014 Dakar rally with 2 South African drivers: de Villiers and newcomer Leeroy Poulter.
Having competed previously with Giniel de Villiers and ABSA off-road competitor Duncan Vos, Toyota have seen successful competition in earlier Dakar rallies but have yet to win a Dakar rally.
Following a 2nd place for de Villiers and Vos retiring on just day 3 of the rally, Toyota have returned to the drawing board and rebuilt their Hilux to tackle Dakar 2013.
Members of the original team have been retained, including de Villiers, co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz and team boss Glynn Hall will return in 2014 with first-time Dakar driver Leeroy Poulter. Poulter will be have Duncan Vos’ 2013 co-driver Rob Howie sitting beside him.
This years route will from Rosario, Argentina to Salta for a rest day and finish in Valparaíso, from 5 to 18 January 2014.
Giniel de Villiers Dirk von Zitzewitz
Dakar History: 10 Starts, 1 Win.
Originally from: Touring cars
Leeroy Poulter Rob Howie
Dakar History: 1st Dakar rally (Toyota Imperial SA Hilux)
originally from: Motorcross & karting
Glynn Hall boss: Toyota Imperial SA Dakar.

From the Goodwood 2013 Race

In Car:

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Roof Top:

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ArthDuro 10-31-2013 08:16 AM

Nasser will bring the bugglys back
2 cars with Thierry Magnaldi in the water car

Carlos also seems to be coming back albeit in a SMG buggy

it is a beauty contest for sure

Dread Pendragon 11-03-2013 12:16 AM

Here are a couple of comments from Planet Robby:

"Robby is running his new truck. Kellon Walch will be the co-driver.
Sometime after Baja ( just like every year) is when they will probably begin to send out pictures."

(Guessing about what exactly RG will be driving:)
"TOG said it is a truck. So that rules out any kind of buggy sort of car. Mike K keeps reminding it's a WRC course this year. So I lean towards a front or mid engined smaller truck."

BillUA 11-03-2013 12:29 AM

Awesome thread!

Uller 11-18-2013 06:35 PM

Dakar Rally 2014: Carlos Sainz joins Red Bull SMG Rally Team for 2014.

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