Rallying: Rafał Sonik third in Dakar Rally

Polish quad driver Rafał Sonik finished the famous Dakar Rally in the third position in the general classification after the last stage, won by another Pole, Arkadiusz Lindner.

Lindner won ahead of Giovanni Enrico from Chile and Simon Vitse from France. Sonik was fifth and it allowed him to finish the whole rally in third place. Kamil Wiśniewski finished Friday’s stage on the eighth place and it gave him the fifth position in the general classification.

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The winner among quad drivers was Chilean driver Ignacio Casale, followed by French Simon Vitse. Lindner was classified 12th, which was the last position among all the drivers who managed to finish the rally. However, he himself had major mechanical problems at the beginning of the race. Eventually, his results got better and better.

This is the fifth time Rafał Sonik managed to the podium. He was the winner in 2015, the runner-up a year earlier and came in third in years 2009 and 2013.

Among car drivers, the winner was Spaniard Carlos Sainz. The only Pole, Jakub Przygoński due to mechanical problems lost a lot of time and was not competing for final victory, even though he achieved good results several times.

Poland’s Maciej Giemza finished 17th among motorcycle drivers while Krzysztof Jarmuż was 44th in the classification.

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Family business

Two Polish crews were also competing in Side-by-Side Vehicles (SSV) race. Both of them know each other very well because Maciej Domżała and Rafał Marton are fathers of Aron Domżała and Maciej Marton respectively.

Although sons won the first stage, they did not maintain such a good performance. On Thursday’s stage they had severe mechanical problems, had to replace an engine which costed them a fifty-hour penalty. Finally, fathers’ team was classified in 13th position, while sons’ in 30th.

In the race of trucks, Poles were members of three crews. Dariusz Rodewald, along with two Dutch drivers, Janus van Kasteren and David Svanda finished the rally in sixth place, Szymon Gospodarczyk with Patrice Garrouste of France and Petr Vojkovský of the Czech Republic were ninth, while Robert Szustkowski, Jarosław Kazberuk with Czech driver Filip Skrobanek finished in 18th position.

This year’s edition of the famous Dakar Rally for the first time took place on off-road routes of Saudi Arabia.