Dakar: Team Vanguard stage nine report

Uncertainty Clouds Today's Results The Nouakchott to Kiffa course contains the longest and hardest special of the Dakar rally and proved to be problematic for Bailey. [9_1.jpg] It appears that, within the first 90 minutes of the start of the ...

Uncertainty Clouds Today's Results

The Nouakchott to Kiffa course contains the longest and hardest special of the Dakar rally and proved to be problematic for Bailey. [9_1.jpg] It appears that, within the first 90 minutes of the start of the special, Bailey became stuck in the Dunes. From the duration of the delay we feared that severe equipment failures were to blame, although we are uncertain. At the time of this publication (22:23 GMT) Bailey's real-time status indicated that he has not yet cleared checkpoint 1. The team is now concerned that he may miss Stage 10's start time.

Fortunately, because Bailey is listed as being in 105th position overall after Stage 9, today's set back has not diminished Bailey's stellar perform in Stage 8 where he finished 11th for the stage and improved his overall standings to position 109.

On Sunday Bailey was enjoying congratulatory complements from rally participants who began seeing Bailey as a serious competitor. "The standing joke at the bivouac was that Herve and I had switched roles and that I was not driving. A little hard for me to hear but it's all in good fun. In preparation for Stage 9, my transmission, clutch and shocks have been replaced and OLN has rigged my car with cameras. My strategy for Stage 9 is to go slow and make sure that we don't make any navigation errors. Dunes are not only hard to drive but equally hard to navigate. The word is the sand is extremely soft...it is going to be a struggle. I have the least driving experience in the sand so I'm really looking forward to getting Stage 9 behind us. If we can clear Stage 9 the remaining specials play to my strength and experience," states Bailey on Sunday as he prepared for Stage 9.

Philippe Gache finished today's special in 9th position moving into the 12th overall position. Our congratulations to Philippe.

Stage 10 will begin Tuesday January 10th. The course runs from Kiffa to Kayes and features a 283 kilometers special. This special is a sharp contrast to the desert specials with narrow winding trails lined with thick vegetation.

-vanguard-

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Series Dakar
Drivers Philippe Gache