Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret (right) and Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard in their Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Pajero Evolutions on the way to 1st and 2nd in the 2007 Dakar rally.
January 22, 2007 Given that Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart had won the last six Dakar Rallies, it was logical to expect the seventh consecutive victory which came about on Sunday with the top two placings on the podium, but that would not have paid the respect due to the fleet of VW 285-hp 2.5-litre TDI turbodiesel Race Touareg and the massive effort of the Volkswagen factory team. As it was, the Volkswagen team led the event for the first eight days and won ten of 14 possible stage victories, and but for one catastrophic day where the team’s two best placed drivers suffered valve-train failure, the results might have been different. The success was a record-breaking 12th win in the team's 25-year history of competing in the world's toughest and most famous off-road rally. The French crew of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the event for the third time in four years in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and beat their team mates and defending champions Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard by a margin of just seven minutes 26 seconds, after 15 days of bruising competition across Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.