The Dakar is almost upon us...
The vehicles of the European competitors reached Argentina after 19 days at sea and are now waiting for their owners to come and pick them up from Campana Port, starting on the morning of December 31.
Dakar 2013 has its share of glory and problems both for the teams who took on the challenge and the ASO organizers. Yet in the end the final podium at Santiago's Palacio de la Moneda was a day of celebration.
Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch captured 8 podiums and 2 stage wins in the world's toughest off-road race.
Twelfth podium place for protagonist Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain as Dakar finishes.
Peterhansel now has 11 Dakar wins! Despres earns another title to make it five in total. Patronelli takes his second championship. New to the legend status was Nikolaev.
Chaleco and Gordon at full pelt! On the penultimate stage in this year's Dakar, a show was put on by Francisco "Chaleco” Lopez on as he notched his 4th stage win. Robby Gordon grabbed his second special victory in his Hummer.
Status quo in Copiapo after stage 12 in all four main categories.
Rain stops play for South African Toyota team on stage 11. De Villiers and Von Zitzewitz consolidate second place overall with three days to go.
Torrential rain once again makes an impact on the race action. Special stage 11 is aborted by the Dakar organisers at CP1.
Another one-two-three for the X-raid Team. Nani Roma and Stéphane Peterhansel second and third respectively.
Nani Roma secures his second stage win while Stéphane Peterhansel and Orlando Terranova finish second and third respectively.
All the six cars to get a full check-up which for the X-raid BMW and MINI service crews, they were busy on Dakar's rest day.
Rest day in Tucumán, Argentina, gives the Dakar competitors a chance to regroup and get the much needed sleep before they tackle the 9th stage.
Freak weather makes an impact on the stage result. Stéphane Peterhansel finishes fourth to defend his overall lead.
Casteu takes over, it's sink or swim for the cars.