With the close of Stage 14 last week, the 2013 Dakar Rally competition officially closed. Great Wall’s Haval Dakar Team finished 6th, placing in the top 10 among the big names like BMW and Toyota.
The stage itself was less challenging than most of the journey, and the two Dakar competitors from Great Wall maintained their strong second-half momentum. Sousa finished 8th for the stage, placing him 6th overall. Zhou Yong finished 12th on the day and matched a personal best 19th overall.
Throughout the Rally, Sousa was stable, proving his value as a mature competitor. Zhou Yong made progress every day and finished 10th twice during the second half of the Rally. This meant that he achieved record stage results amongst Chinese competitors. Following the Rally, Zhou said, “Our good performance is inseparable from the great efforts made by the support team. The technical team made fast and prudent checks of the cars after each stage, and the logistics team offered competitors the best logistics support. A common saying that goes around in Dakar rung true – ‘Teams win with skills and services’.”
The Fourth Dakar experience has repaid Great Wall with good results in the world’s top rally. The vehicles are enjoying increasingly prominent international influence. During the Rally, visits from top competitors Sainz and Gordon, and renowned manufacturers Total and Michelin have demonstrated the brand’s ever-growing popularity. There was also an unimaginable and unprecedented scene where nearly 100 journalists from across the world watched the two teams compete in the special zone during Stage 13. These journalists were accompanied by GWM’s distributor representatives. According to sources, the Haval SUV now has been exported to more than 100 countries and regions, ranking in the top 3 among Chinese auto brands with an export volume of 36,400 units in 2012.
“This year, the presence of large-displacement gasoline cars this made us under heavy pressure, but the final result proved that our perseverance was right. We should all cheer and applaud the Haval Dakar Team!” said Dong Ming, director of Haval Dakar Team, following the Rally.