GREENVILLE, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2005) — This year's winner of the Dakar Rally in northern Africa rode on BFGoodrich tires, giving the Group Michelin brand its fourth straight victory in what many consider the world's most challenging off-road race.
Frenchman StÃ&Copy;phane Peterhansel, driving a Mitsubishi Pajero with BFGoodrich Baja T/A Rock tires, won for the second year in a row, finishing 27 minutes, 14 seconds ahead of second place finisher Luc Alphand, his teammate who also used BFG tires, Michelin said.
The victory is BFG's sixth in the past seven years. Competitors voted this year's rally one of the most difficult in the event's 27-year history—made even more challenging because rally organizers banned tire pressure systems and tire drop offs, according to Todd Steen, motorsports marketing manager.
This year factory teams had to race on one type of tire—the BFG Baja T/A Rock, size 235/85R16—during the entire rally as opposed to multiple types previously designed for specific terrain, one for rocky, hard-wearing surfaces and the other designed for sand.
The win is Mitsubishi's 10th Dakar title, including the last five consecutively, Michelin said.