The drama continues... Having successfully negotiated the day's special, disaster struck on the freeway heading for Malaga when Ronn Bailey was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting a local driver. The buggy was seriously damaged when it...
The drama continues... Having successfully negotiated the day's special, disaster struck on the freeway heading for Malaga when Ronn Bailey was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting a local driver. The buggy was seriously damaged when it hit the central reservation and went into a series of rolls but both Ronn and his co-driver Kevin Heath miraculously escaped with cuts and bruises.
"We were driving along the freeway behind our assistance vehicle and taking care not to go over the speed limit (the organizers check each competitor's GPS to make sure all local laws are respected and impose heavy time penalties for speeding) when we were forced to swerve to avoid a Portuguese car. In the processes we hit the central reservation and rolled the car five times. The bodywork was completely destroyed but incredibly we landed on our wheels and were able to drive off to safety. Fortunately we had our race harnesses on and so escaped serious injury -- if we had hit the other car the driver would have died for sure. All this happened in front of a service station with hundreds of spectators so we had plenty of witnesses!"
"There was a lot of work to do on the car to get going again but our assistance crew did an incredible job. At the moment we are heading towards the ferry and should just make the last ferry. If we do it is in large part thanks to the Portuguese police who provided us with an escort so that we lost as little time as possible. I can't thank them enough. Will we make it? Keep your fingers crossed -- I tell you there's never a dull moment on the Dakar."
Assuming Ronn and Kevin make it to Malaga in time they still have one more obstacle before getting on the boat to Nador -- the technical scrutineers. The buggy might be capable of driving down the freeway but it also has to be examined by the FIA officials and declared fit to race.
Ronn Bailey and Kevin Heath's 'luck' continues to hold. Late last night the arrived five minutes before the last ferry to Morocco and just squeezed their buggy into the hold before the doors slammed shut.
"The car is held together with duct tape, both myself and Kevin are very stiff but we have made it on to the boat and are heading for Nador. We are going to have to nurse the car all the way to Er Rachidia and when we get there we are going to get our physio to give us a good massage while our mechanics give our vehicle a good going over."