Ginaf Rally Power rally diary 02-01-05 Day 3 in Le Dakar 2005 brought the stage Granada - Rabat. On a military ground near Granada, the competitors started a short special stage. The subsoil was very hard and dusty. This stage yielded no big...
Ginaf Rally Power
Day 3 in Le Dakar 2005 brought the stage Granada - Rabat. On a military ground near Granada, the competitors started a short special stage. The subsoil was very hard and dusty.
This stage yielded no big challenge for the GRP team. Edwin van Ginkel stated: "Nothing special happened today, it was a stage with a hard subsoil with a lot of dust. It was a technical stage, and it went actually quite well. We think an eleventh place is a fine result for us". The team did not suffer from the dust of competitors started before them. After the stage they had to wait until the embarking. The trucks are embarked after the bikes and trucks. After the short passage to Tanger, 200 km's of easy liaison to Rabat has to be driven. In Rabat the first African bivouac awaits the competitors.
Tomorrow awaits the first real special that is filled with traps from the very beginning; the route is 70% new. In the first part, marked out through an undulating cork oak forest, rally specialists may put their driving skills to full use. After this, although the sand and the desert are still far off, the first navigating problems appear. There are many changes in direction, in a landscape sorely lacking in landmarks: competitors, even experienced drivers, will very likely lose time here. And before reaching Agadir, the gateway to the south, 430 km of liaison must still be covered.
Today's route began with 120 km's of liaison, followed by a special with about the same length. After that a liaison of 420 km's to Agadir. About 100 km's before the bivouac, a tank stop was inserted, and this was an opportunity for Edwin van Ginkel to contact the home front to give an update on the course of things. Our phone rang at about 19.00 h. Edwin sounded enthusiastic: "All went very well this afternoon. The stage was very technical. Narrow rocky tracks with now and then some steep slopes. Our suspension system works very well at these circumstances. We had a good race pace, without taking too many risks, because the rally only just started. We are thus very pleased with a 9th position. The truck is running perfectly. So far, we did not have any problems at all".
Le Dakar has really begun!
Today was an exiting day. Anyone who has the opportunity to look at the checkpoint times on the internet now and then will have been very anxious today. Wuf, Bas and Edwin started the special in 9th position. At approximately 4 o'clock, about 40 trucks already passed CP1, and the GRP team was unfortunately not among them. Could it be a flat tyre? A navigation error perhaps? At that moment, we could only guess what had happened. Maybe, nothing was the matter, history learns that sometimes the classifications on the internet are wrong, or they forget to register somebody at a CP point.
We where watching for the latest news every ten minutes...and finally, around 16.30 h, we saw that "Van Ginkel" passed CP1 in 42nd position. Relieved, but curious we kept on following the next CP times. After they passed CP2 and CP3 we saw that the team picked up some pace again. At 20.30 h (Dutch time) they finish in 28th position. Shortly after, I received an SMS message. It appeared that they suffered from a blown right rear tyre, which destroyed a lot on the truck. Later on, we heard that the rear bumper and lights, wheel cover and brake hoses where damaged. After an emergency repair, and with a delay of 1 hour and 15 minutes, the team continued. "This was not easy", Wuf told us later on. "In the meantime, about 40 trucks with generally a lower pace where in front of us, and then we we had to stop again 30 minutes later because of a leaking valve of the tyre inflation system. So, then we had to start overtaking everyone again. Because of the dust on the narrow tracks, it is very difficult to overtake. This costs an enormous amount of time".
Tomorrow, another hard day waits. Wuf starts in 28th position, and the overtaking begins again. When entering Mauritania, the landscape will change rapidly, and the first sand dunes appear.
Wuf is looking good today! With a 7th position on CP2 and 8th on CP3, it could be a splendid day for GRP! Wuf must have overtaken about 20 trucks. Let's hope they can keep this up!