So Nani gets the win and that is great for him, but it will always be overshadowed by the team orders...
Nani is a guy who has been at this for a looooong time it was good to see his performance this year and to be honest
a lot of people totally overlooked him me included. It is easy to do this with likes of Peterhansel on his team...
His performance was a bit of a surprise. A lot more consistent then in previous years. But all that wont mean much to any fans considering the fiasco of the team orders.
It is easy for us to say they should have let them race etc but the team boss did what he should have to ensure a podium sweep by his team. Way too much at stake for the team and with Peter playing his cards it is not that much of a surprise... this is how it always was at dakar... not that it should be though.
I would have loved to see Nani and Peter slug it out over the last few stages, but that was not going to happen, and Roma was probably going to choke anyways.
All the hate for minis is there, but one thing is for sure... they are a well prepared and properly developed raid-car, on a team whose performance is as of yet unmatched. My hats off to them for running such an amazing and succesfull program. Even other car makers are buying their technology to make themselves look good (Great Wall)
With all my hopes for the Toyota it was very clear that they are simply outgunned in the numbers and drivers departments. They simply don't have the (budget) numbers to take it to the minis.
Giniel is an amazing driver but he simply has no help, and the pro-drive cars don't have the speed or the drivers to put pressure on the front. Their car seems to be lacking a bit on the top end and perhaps the rules will help them a bit next year but I am not sure if they have the necessary clout to facilitate that kind of change (ie. larger restrictor). But this team will need a lot more cannon fodder to make an impact if the xraid team stays as strong as it is now.
And what about the Fords? Can they develop their program far enough to make an impact?
Will any of the 4x4 survive the onslaught of buggies that are to appear next year?
Many many disappointments in the car category for me this year. So many lack-luster, last minute efforts that provided hope for a slug fest at the front, but failed for a variety of reasons, which made the front of the car race a the somewhat lame mini washout and the team orders just soured that some more.
And the trucks? What a year for the trucks!
Shame it came to a bitter end for now but we shall see.
btw I would drive the countryman anytime... it is a great car and handles awesome in the snow.
but I won't buy one