Dakar: Mitsubishi stage 14 report

MITSUBISHI CLAIMS HISTORIC 11TH DAKAR RALLY VICTORY AND 6TH CONSECUTIVE WIN The Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution crew of Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard today won the Dakar Rally, claiming Mitsubishi's 11th victory on this legendary event...

MITSUBISHI CLAIMS HISTORIC 11TH DAKAR RALLY VICTORY AND 6TH CONSECUTIVE WIN

The Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution crew of Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard today won the Dakar Rally, claiming Mitsubishi's 11th victory on this legendary event and the team's sixth consecutive win. This is the first time Alphand, a former World Downhill skiing champion, has won the event. Team-mates Joan 'Nani' Roma and Henri Magne also finished on the podium, in third position, while defending Dakar champions Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret finished fourth overall for the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team.

Following two fatal accidents, one which occurred yesterday in a village during a competitive section and another today on an assistance road, Event Director Etienne Lavigne has elected to cancel tomorrow's final leg of the 2006 Dakar Rally. While not involved in the incidents, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team extends its sincerest condolences to the families involved in these tragedies.

As predicted, today's stage was a tough one for the navigators but Picard successfully guided Alphand and their Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero Evolution through the dusty tracks to allow the crew to set eighth fastest time and ultimately win the event by 17 minutes and 53 seconds over South African Giniel De Villiers.

Team-mates Joan 'Nani' Roma and Henri Magne, and Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, both had navigational problems today and were only able to set 18th and 14th fastest times respectively. However, the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team crews claimed third and fourth positions overall on arrival in Dakar this evening.

The Dakar Rally convoy awaits news about proceedings for the final day of the 28th Dakar Rally.

Special note on yesterday's incident:

An accident occurred on the 13th leg of the event on January 13th, which unfortunately resulted in a spectator's death. Our sincere condolences go out to friends and family of the victim.

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Series DAKAR