GWM/Haval’s impressive run of top 10 Dakar finishes continued when Frenchman Christian Lavieille, driving the number 315 Haval H8, achieved eighth place overall in the 2014 event. Lavieille, in his first outing with the GWM/Haval team, impressed with his consistency and speed. The latest success follows Carlos Sousa’s sixth places in the 2012 and 2013 Dakar races.
Following the race, GWM/Haval’s team managers expressed satisfaction with the result and lauded Lavieille for his performance after finishing the final stage with the sixth fastest time. In fact, such was Lavieille’s pace in the stage that he only lost out on jumping to seventh by less than two minutes!
Of course, the team’s hopes for an even better finish were dashed early when race leader and surprise first stage winner, Sousa, was forced to retire following turbo troubles during stage 2. Nevertheless, in the process the team had earned its first stage win, and the first ever by a Chinese manufacturer.
The final stage of the Dakar was won by South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers (Toyota), who finished in fourth overall position. The podium was an all Mini affair, with Nani Roma taking a controversial win following the issuing of team orders preventing Stephane Peterhansel from attacking for victory. Peterhansel duly finished in second place as instructed, with Nasser Al-Attiyah claiming third.