In Competition: Stories of the Dakar: a coin that decides between the master circuits and from the rally

Dakar rubs his 40 years of life and during these nearly four decades has left many anecdotes and very good. During these days we will try to review some of the most surprising and fun. We started with possibly one of the us shows the character of this race, able to decide the winner of one of your edits between two riders on the superclass with the simple action of throw a coin into the air.

In this case we are talking about the Paris – Dakar, 1989 where Peugeot used to form dream teams was found with its two pilots, Ari Vatanen and Jacky Ickx, fighting to win a Dakar. Aware of the ambition of these two beasts of the circuits and the rally Jean Todt took a solomonic decision: throw a coin 10 francs to the air to decide who would be the beneficiary of the team orders. And is that all there present, swore that the situation between both pilots had been very tense.

Both Ickx (with a Mercedes G-Class) as Vatanen (two editions before it) already knew what was the taste of winning a Dakar, so we both started out on equal terms. The goddess fortuna made the coin fall off of the side of the Finnish getting his first win behind the wheel of the Peugeot 405 T16 after that, in 1988, also outside the main favorite to release with victory but he stole the car in Bamako, the capital of Mali, and was not returned until a few hours later, when the scandinavian winner of the WRC in 1981, he was already disqualified.

121 - Paris Dakar 1989. Peugeot 405 Turbo 16. ArrivŽe ˆ Dakar.The decision of Jean Todt didn’t like to Ickx, which even became a leader in the penultimate stage, when Vatanen was right of way next to his co-pilot and Jacky gave an account of the error. In those moments it was the prequel of the Multi-21 that years later we would live in between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Vatanen accused Ickx of not respecting the team orders, while the co-pilot of the belgian claimed that they had gone as slowly as possible.

The last stage, with only 61 kilometres against the clock, forced Ickx to make a decision. In this case was to stop and wait for Vatanen, who came out two minutes behind him in the tour, you will pass and therefore render harmless the advantage of 20 seconds which Jacky held in the classification. He did so clearly, stopped completely in the middle of the track so that there would be no doubt that it was respecting the internal guidelines of the team. Some stewards wanted to take away the victory to Peugeot, by an argument similar to the one we saw in the GP of Austria between Schumacher and Barrichello, however, Vatanen returned to raise the glass of milk in the sky of Dakar, while Ickx, forced virtually by the host of the final ceremony, he went up to the podium but refused to shake the hand to Vatanen, and not even he uncorked the bottle of champagne. The relationship with the signing of the lion was broken, but return later on with Citroën.