Katayama makes it to Dakar

FORMER Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama made it to the end of the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally on Sunday, albeit nearly 55 hours behind the race winner. Katayama was competing in a production-based, diesel-engined Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 and climbed up through the field to run as high as 39th before problems - including serious dust storms in Mauretania, dropped him back down the order.

The 38-year-old Japanese driver will decide whether or not to try again to win the world's most famous rally-raid. In the meantime he is still considering a second attempt to climb Mount Everest without oxygen.

Katayama has never been one to shirk a challenge. He moved to France early in his racing career and survived an accident in Formula 3 which left him with a broken neck after his care went over the barriers at the daunting Clermont-Ferrand circuit.

The event was won by Mitsubishi driver Hiroshi Masuoka and his co-driver Pascal Maimon with last year's winner Lotta Kleinschmidt second and Kenjiro Shinozuka third.

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