Dakar: Ronn Bailey Motorsports stage four report

Ronn Bailey and Kevin Heath's dreamed of a clear run yet again failed to materialise, today, with the buggy crew actually stopped for a total of 1 hour 58 minutes (without the stops we would have finished in the top 20!}. The good news is that ...

Ronn Bailey and Kevin Heath's dreamed of a clear run yet again failed to materialise, today, with the buggy crew actually stopped for a total of 1 hour 58 minutes (without the stops we would have finished in the top 20!}. The good news is that despite their various problems they once again made it to the bivouac and will be ready to start tomorrow's special to Tan Tan.

Ronn Bailey

"We could smell burning as we were driving along. We stopped several times to see if we could find the source of the problem and it wasn't until smoke started pouring out of the dash-board and we pulled the front off did we realise that a fan relay was melting. The only way to solve the problem was to disconnect the fan but that meant that the engine started to overheat in the dunes. The solution to that problem was to drive a little, stop, let the engine cool down, and then start again. I worked out that we could keep going for longer if we stayed down in the bottom of the dunes and slalom our way through."

"The other major incident was the accelerator sticking open. It took us a while to work that one out too -- eventually we realised it was a stone stuck in the one of the throttle bodies and we used one of my 'pens for kids' to dig it out.

"Then just as we were coming into the bivouac we heard a loud bang. It sounded like someone had shot at us, but in fact one of the radiator pipes had burst and we lost all our water as we pulled up at our assistance area."

"In total we lost 1 hour and 58 minutes today -- I know 'cause I hit the stopwatch every time we came to a halt. My team chief Gilles worked out that without the stops we would have finished in the top 20 -- still that's rallye-raid for you. Maybe we will have a bit more luck tomorrow."

Tomorrow the Dakar heads to Tan Tan for the last night in Morocco. Then after that the fun really starts in Mauritania!

-credit: rbm

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Ronn Bailey , Kevin Heath