Africa's Gateway to the Atlantic
Stage 14's special brought the rally to the outer edge of the city of Dakar. Considered Africa's gateway to the Atlantic the drivers gather at the Dakar bivouac to prepare to drive the final stage and cross the finish line in Lac Rose.
Today's special ran 254 kilometer from Tambacounda to Dakar. The course layout required the drivers to change their compass heading frequently putting the burden on the navigators. As expected many navigation errors occurred between checkpoint 1 and 2, frustrating many of the teams and costing them valuable time. Despite the tricky course, Team Vanguard's Philippe Gache finished the stage with his best performance. Gache completed the stage in the 6th position in 2 hours 48 minutes, just 12 minutes and 16 seconds behind the lead car.
Sadly a second accident cost the life of another child. This time the mishap involved a T5 assistance vehicle. About half way through the special a 12-year-old boy was struck and killed. Police Chief DIOP commander of the brigade is investigating the accident.
Because of the tragic events of the last two days, the final stage Dakar to Dakar, leading to the rally finish at the Lac Rose podium, will not be timed.
Stage 15, the final of the rally, begins Sunday January 15th at 7:30 in the morning. The rally is expected to conclude by 12:30 pm. The "ceremonial" special is only 31 kilometers and will not be timed. Short of a total equipment failure Philippe Gache and Jean-Pierre are expected to finish with their current standing, 12th position. We congratulate you both for your outstanding performance!