A Dakar never is easy A total of 3,449 kilometres still await the participants. After today's stage, the remaining participants have already completed more than 2/3 of the number of competition days in the Dakar Rally 2005. But regarding the ...
A Dakar never is easy
A total of 3,449 kilometres still await the participants.
After today's stage, the remaining participants have already completed more than 2/3 of the number of competition days in the Dakar Rally 2005. But regarding the distance yet to be completed, the calculation looks somewhat different. A total of 3,449 kilometres still await the participants and 2,397 of them are special stage kilometres - just a little less than half of the total distance of 5,433 special stage kilometres needed to be completed.
And the remaining specials are sure to offer the drivers some more challenges and difficulties. Seemingly endless dune-fields and difficult navigation will be on the agenda as well as rock-hard and stony stretches that await the drivers on the last legs. The second marathon-stage on the 12th leg from Kiffa to Bamako promises suspense as well; with a total distance of 819 kilometres, it is the second-longest leg of this year's Dakar Rally. Once again, tactical and clever driving is called for on this marathon-stage as service will be limited and the vehicles must be parked at Parc Fermé immediately after reaching the finish in Bamako.
José Luis Monterde, driving the remaining X-raid BMW X5 with his co-pilot Rafael Tornabell, will be determined to secure his position (15th place in the overall classement) during the next days. The 'Rooky' of the 2001 Dakar, now in his fifth Dakar Rally, had bigger plans for this year but was thrown back on the fifth and seventh leg due to large time losses. 'To arrive' is therefore the guideline set by the Team-Manager Sven Quandt: "The Dakar is always difficult and the last days have proven once again how hard it really can be. Even if the seventh leg, for various reasons, gave grounds for discussion, there will still be a number of difficult situations to master - there's still a long way to go in this Rally. Our cars have once again demonstrated the high technical level they operate on and just how dependable they are. Thank God they've proven themselves when it comes to safety, although it's naturally a pity that Nasser Al-Attiyah is no longer in the running. The most important thing is that no one was seriously injured. The podium is out of reach for us, but we for sure want to arrive at Lac Rose in Dakar. The atmosphere there after such a strenuous Rally is simply marvellous and we want to enjoy that."
After yesterday's break, the second-to-last Leg on Mauritanian ground proceeded today. Here, a demanding 499 km loop (483 special) had to be completed and the participants had to overcome seemingly never-ending dune-fields and sand-masses.
Tomorrow's Leg from Atar to Kiffa will lead over 695 kilometres (656 km of which special) before the caravan reaches Mali. Once again, this means: Dunes and Sand! There is a new stretch through the valleys of the Tagant massif which will cross the Ksar el Barka oasis before leading over a very rocky stretch to the Nega pass.