Looking back on the 2018 Dakar… and looking forward to the next
The untameable marathon
This last edition of the world's toughest rally raid races ranked amongst the toughest competitors have ever experienced with results changing every day. From Lima, Peru, to Cordoba, Argentina, competitors faced many challenges with 55% of the competitors that set out making it to the finish, from January 6th, to January 20th. BFGoodrich® contenders shone throughout the stages and testing conditions, claiming the 1st 3 steps of the podium. Carlos Sainz put in a faultless performance with his 3008 Maxi and on BFGoodrich® and claimed victory by a margin of 43mm 40s over second-placed Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing/BFGoodrich®). Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Overdrive) clinched the third place to make it an all-BFGoodrich® podium at the finish in Cordoba. The 3 contenders were all running on KD2R+ which came across as the other great champions of the race.
For the 10th Dakar held in South America, contenders drove through the most versatile and challenging grounds. They kicked off with massive dunes from Lima to Arequipa with endless difficulties even for the most experienced drivers. Next they tackled the majestic and lofty Andean territory in Bolivia at more than 3,500 metres above sea level, marked by torrential rain and awesome mud baths. They finally drove across the long, rocky and muddy Argentine trails, with extreme temperatures, heading to the finish line.
KDR2+, champion tires!
For their maiden race, the new BFGoodrich® All Terrain T/A KDR2+, designed specifically for the Dakar, also supremely overcame the punishing race conditions. With their unique grip, they took all the difficulties inherent in the world’s biggest cross-country rally in their stride from dunes to mud, rocks, high altitudes and boiling heat, equalizing for the first time the 4WD performance with the 2WD performance. Relishing in this dusty real life laboratory, BFGoodrich® engineers, were on call during these 2 weeks to get all the feedback possible in order to further improve the tire’s performance. Their race for excellence always goes on, beyond the finishing line.
What about our Good Project heros?
Markus Walcher and his Walcher Racing Team crew who had been preparing this race with so much energy had to put their disappointment behind when the engine of its Wildcat failed at the start of Leg 7, 30 kilometres out of La Paz after having survived 6 days of dunes. But, true to the BFGoodrich® #driver enough spirit, they completed the route in their Unimog at another pace, living their dream right to the end…and towing other contenders in need. Another type of reward! The tires they didn’t get to use helped Spanish BFGoodrich® ambassadress Cristina Gutierrez who was the only women driver in a car finishing the rally. What a very Good accomplishment…
Beyond a sports adventure, the 2018 edition of the Dakar was a human adventure with its share of performance, pitfalls, solidarity and moments of great fun. During two weeks, competitors, mechanics and followers lived, ate, slept and dreamt Dakar. They all deserve the greatest respect. With no doubt, their gaze is already turned towards the 2019 starting blocks… So is ours and we can’t wait!