HomeSportRautenbach stars in Dakar rally debut

Rautenbach stars in Dakar rally debut

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ZIMBABWE rally driver, Conrad Rautenbach targeted a top 10 finish at the Dakar rally and got it after finishing an impressive ninth on his debut race on Saturday, and deservedly winning the Rookie of the Year Award.

BY SPORTS REPORTER

The two-time African Rally driver claimed five top 10 finishes and even finished fifth in the last stage in Río Cuarto, avoiding any mistakes.

It was good enough for the Toyota rider to take a solid ninth place overall at the finish in Buenos Aires in the car category.

Rautenbach’s performance in the second week of his first Dakar Rally was notably more consistent that in the first few stages, as he got to grips with rally-raid racing at its toughest.

The 10 000 kilometre race was won by France’s Stéphane Peterhansel, his 13th Dakar Rally title, declaring the latest win the sweetest following an epic battle with French Peugeot teammate Sébastien Loeb.

The 51-year-old Peterhansel added the 2017 title to his previous six wins on four wheels and his six on two, the first coming in 1991 on the world’s toughest rally.

While Peterhansel won the race, it was the 32-year-old Rautenbach who stole the headlines when he finished ninth against all odds.

Rautenbach arrived in South America to tackle the race, having just returned from semi-retirement from the sport to concentrate on family business.

Before departing for the race, Rautenbach declared that his target was just to finish the race.

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