Dakar: Ronn Bailey Motorsports stage one report

A difficult start for Ronn Bailey, Kevin Heath and their Chevy LS7 buggy on the first stage of the 2007 Dakar between Lisbon and Portimao in Portugal. At km 70 their vehicle came to a grinding halt with electrical problems and then just towards...

A difficult start for Ronn Bailey, Kevin Heath and their Chevy LS7 buggy on the first stage of the 2007 Dakar between Lisbon and Portimao in Portugal. At km 70 their vehicle came to a grinding halt with electrical problems and then just towards the end of the special they suffered a puncture. At the time of writing Ronn and Kevin are on the liaison stage to the night stop in Portimao and should comfortably make the 9 pm deadline so as to be eligible for tomorrow's stage.

Ronn Bailey

"The day started off really well. The special was very sandy -- almost like being in Africa - and the car was going really well. We were particularly happy with how our Goodyear tyres were performing. Then at kilometre 70 we came to a dead stop. We eventually managed to work out it was the alternator -- despite it being a brand new part -- and managed to bypass the problem and get going again. Then just before the end we got a puncture trying to make up for lost time."

"Unfortunately our electrical gremlins came back to haunt us once we got out of the special and we had to change the part. Right now we are 200 kilometres from Portimao, on the liaison, but should be OK to get to the parc ferme before our 9 pm deadline."

"Despite a less than an ideal start to the race, I am strangely satisfied how we and the whole team have reacted. There was no panic, either in the special or on the liaison, we just got on with sorting out problems as and when they arose. My goal isn't to win the Dakar, it is to get to the end, and it is by overcoming our difficulties in a controlled fashion that we will make it all the way to the finish. ...tomorrow is another day, with new challenges...."

The second stage of the 2007 Dakar should be considerably easier for all the competitors -- just 67 km of relatively straightforward racing, before a long haul on the road to Malaga in Spain to catch the ferry to Africa.

-credit: ronn bailey motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Ronn Bailey , Kevin Heath