ALDO Racing Day 1 Report from the 2015 Dakar
Montreal - Starting Stage 1 in 79th place out of 137 registered entries in the car class for the 37th running of the Dakar Rally, the ALDO Dakar Racing Team, with Canadians David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaulé, gained 32 positions to finish 47th overall at the end of Day 1.
The preliminary stage in the Argentinean countryside was a smooth ride for the ALDO Toyota Tacoma Overdrive #380 entry, who completed the 170 km special stage in 1 h 16.58 minutes.
We spent half of that stage on the edge of dust clouds but David was able to pass when the track would shift to a crosswind for dust.
At the end of the day, the ALDO Team crossed the finish line only 22.17 minutes behind the winning Mini of Nasser al-Attiya of Qatar. Second place went to Argentinean Orlando Terranova, followed by American Robby Gordon.
"We passed a lot of cars during the special stage, including one that we had to bump because he wasn't pulling over," said co-driver Patrick Beaulé. "We spent half of that stage on the edge of dust clouds but David was able to pass when the track would shift to a crosswind for dust. Temps were 30 to 35 degrees, but it was not too bad. The course was very fast with just a few ruts, but nothing tough."
Bensadoun and Beaulé's day ended with a second liaison, this one a 519-kilometre long trip that took them to their first bivouac of the rally in Villa Carlos Paz.
On Monday, competitors will be back on the road for a very long 518 kilometres special stage that will finish into the night for some. On Tuesday, the pressure should drop with only 284 kilometres of special stages.
ALDO Racing Team position at the start of the day: 79th
ALDO Racing Team Standings at the end of the day: 47th
On Tap for Stages 2 & 3
ARGENTINA - STAGE 2, Day 2 - Monday, January 5: Villa Carlos Paz - San Juan
A long Stage
Any rest will be short-lived, because before reaching San Juan, the competitors will have a particularly busy schedule: quite simply one of the longest special stage in the rally (518 km), which is varied enough to unsettle even the most experienced of drivers. Dusty sections in the middle of the day and a sandy stretch to finish, will follow hard terrain at the start of the race. This is the first real test, which can only be successfully overcome through constant vigilance.
Liaison sections: 107 km - Special stage: 518 km - Total: 625 km
STAGE 3, Day 3 - Tuesday, January 6: San Juan - Chilecito
A Vision of red
The pressure, which competitors faced the day before (and late into the night for some of them), will partly ease off on the road to Chilecito. The shorter and less intense stage will allow them to enjoy their majestic surroundings. The red earth tracks, overlooking steep peaks and plunging down into canyons, will take the Dakar through one of the most beautiful regions of Argentina. But no one should be tempted to sit back and enjoy the view, particularly on the motorcycle and quad bike routes, which include some gruelling sections. With thousands of stones to be avoided, it will only take one to ruin this magnificent day!
Liaison sections: 258 km - Special stage: 284 km - Total: 542 km