The Freelander hit trouble on the first long stage in Morocco. We knew the car was not really at optimum preparation (problems had even emerged in Clermont-Ferrand) and suspected it would not get all the way to Dakar, but dropping out this early was a disspointment. The crew were slightly off course (but nothing to worry about) on entering the Erg Chebib, they then landed badly causing damage to transmission and could not get closer to the main route of the stage to get help. The truck in our team was called in, and the assistance vehicle, but the truck could not pull the vehicle out either. Locals managed to get the car to the nearest town ~150km after nearly 36 hours and two failed attempts with two tractors - but (hard & expensive) lessons were learnt!
They are already planning another attack next year, but are likely to go for a different car. I am confident that the Freelander could have made it, but only with extensive modification and the kind of repairs/maintenance that the works teams apply every night. As the Freelander is not homologated anyway, it could almost be turned into a full-spec buggy anyway.... but at a significant cost!