The Dakar 2017 has wrapped. A whopping 9000km of stages spanning through Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay bear the scars of 316 vehicles – ripping through the dust and dirt that make up the toughest off road race on the planet.
Just finishing the race is an achievement, but coming home in the top five in the face of intense factory-backed competition; that’s something different all together. Nani Roma and co-driver Alex Haro-Bravo achieved this during the 39th edition of the legendary Dakar, finishing in fourth place behind the Stephane Peterhansel, Sebastien Loeb, and Cyril Despres.
The Spanish duo used their Overdrive Racing V8-powered Toyota Hilux to maximum effect, holding station in the top five of the overall rankings for the entire of the 12 day competition – even scoring two third places (stages one and four), as well as a second place finish on stage five.
Arriving in Buenos Aires, having conquered everything from landslides to the infamous Fech-Fech, Roma and Haro-Bravo proved to be the only crews capable of taking the fight to the trio of Peugeots that dominated the event:
"I'm happy with the result, but I would have liked to have been closer and fighting for the podium in the final stages as well,” Nani told us in typical calm and collected style. “But hey, the second part of the race was very hard and the Peugeot drivers made a very good effort. We must now continue to improve some things in the car that have delayed us a little this year.
"The race was a really tough and difficult one this edition. The weather, the navigation, it has all been a challenge. But we finished, and finished very well! The team and I are very tired but happy we have done it. You must look at it this way – to finish a Dakar is always a prize, regardless of the classification you get!”
"When you start the Dakar, you think about winning, but you also fear you could be out of the race at any stage on any day, as it has happened to other teammates. We were really pleased that we could target the podium so soon, but this time the Peugeots were very strong! Fourth place I think is fair, and both Alex and I are satisfied. It’s true that at one stage of the race I was the only car that could upset the Peugeots, but my goal was always to win and, when I could not, I did my best.
“Even though we have just finished - from tomorrow begins the Dakar 2018 – this is the only way!”
1. Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot -
2. Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 5m32.s
3. Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 32m54.s
4. Nani Roma Overdrive Toyota Toyota 1h15m41.s
5. Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota 1h49m37.s
6. Orlando Terranova X-Raid Mini JCW Mini/BMW 1h51m40.s
7. Jakub Przygonski Orlen Team Mini/BMW 4h12m58.s
8. Romain Dumas RD Limited Peugeot 4h22m42.s
9. Conrad Rautenbach Overdrive Toyota Toyota 4h39m32.s
10. Mohammed Abu-Issa Team X-Raid Gmbh Mini/BMW 4h50m50.s