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Mon 24 February 2020
Archive: The Paris to Dakar Rally 2004
January 2004
Former World Rally Champion Colin McRae has concluded his first entry in the epic 7000 mile Paris to Dakar Rally with an outstanding performance. 607 cars, trucks and motor bikes started from Paris on the 1st January but only 163 reached the finish in Dakar, in North West Africa. Several stages were cancelled because of the presence of roving groups of armed bandits and many competitors were defeated by the very difficult terrain. Colin himself encountered serious transmission problems with his Nissan ute and these resulted in lengthy delays, putting him out of contention for a podium place. However, he still managed to achieve two stage wins and a stage second place, finishing 20th overall. Before his transmission problems he had been as high as 3rd place overall, not bad for a novice! Colin has always wanted to participate in what is regarded as the toughest long distance rally anywhere but commitments to the World Rally Championship have prevented him doing so in the past. However, after being controversially dropped by Citroen in the WRC last year, he seized the opportunity of a drive with Nissan, themselves only competing in the Dakar for the second time! With improved reliability next year, Colin sees no reason why he couldn't finish in the top three next year and possibly win overall!
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