Victory in the Diesel categorie for the X-raid Team
"Until you've reached the finish line of this rally, you can never be sure weather or not you really will reach it. I am relieved that we have both cars at the finish", was the first comment from sport-director Erwin Weber after the end of the last stage of the rally Dakar 2004. 107 kilometres, 27 km of which special stage, needed to be overcome at the finale. The last stage of the Dakar is like a showcase in order to give those who have crossed the finish line the ovation of thousands of excited spectators as a remembrance.
Luc Alphand and Henri Magne came in fourth today, which they also take home with them in the overall standings. Luc Alphand: "I am very satisfied with fourth place because I really fought hard for it. With two stage victories I improved on myself once again a bit and my thanks and compliments go out to our outstanding team, without which my performance would never have been possible. The BMW X5 is an excellent car and I am already excited about the next rallies with it."
Grégoire de Mévius and Alain Guehennec took 14th place in the day's standings and finish eighth in the overall standings. Grégoire de Mévius: "For us a very difficult rally has come to an end. The Nema-stage was really very hard and after the two cancelled stages, it simply didn't go so well for us anymore. I planned to achieve a better result in the Dakar - but at the end, I have to be satisfied. I wanted to finish once more with a good time yesterday but unfortunately, we were thrown after driving over two consecutively following bumps and we rolled over. A thanks goes to the mechanics, which once again worked the night shift in order to repair the car for the last stage. They were all so motivated that I think they would have pushed me to the finish if they had had to. It's an unbelievable feeling to work with such a team."
The X-raid team began the hardest of all rallies with high expectations. 15 days of competition and more than 11,000 kilometres are now behind the internationally assembled group, which, over the course of the last three weeks, has shown itself to be a tight-knit community. "We're very happy with the victory in the Diesel categorie and pleased with what we've shown and achieved here", added Erwin Weber: "In view of the competition and their many years of experience with the Dakar, fourth and eighth place in the overall standings is really very good. You can't forget that this is only the second time we've been there and, looking at the failure rate of the cars (58%), we're proud that we've finished so well. That we brought both cars to the finish is also a proof for the reliability and the capability of the BMW Diesel engines. Congratulations to all team members for the great work and, with CORONA EXTRA, we have the perfect sponsor to enjoy a good beer tonight."