PS Laser stage 6 report

Cox and Schroder finally out of 2010 Dakar After crashing into a ravine yesterday afternoon, South Africa's Alfie Cox and Germany's Jurgen Schroder suffered mechanical problems on their South African built Nissan Navara, but they did everything...

Cox and Schroder finally out of 2010 Dakar

After crashing into a ravine yesterday afternoon, South Africa's Alfie Cox and Germany's Jurgen Schroder suffered mechanical problems on their South African built Nissan Navara, but they did everything in their ability to soldier on to the overnight point. Getting towed by other competitors, a support truck giving assistance, etc. saw to it that they arrived at the overnight bivouac at close to midnight. This morning they were at the start ready to continue, but the damage caused by the crash was just too much and they were finally forced to retire. "Terribly disappointed," was a devastated Cox's only remark.

A whole lot of cars went down the embankment exactly where Cox and Schroder had their disastrous accident. Although a number of competitors were lucky to stop on the edge or just hanging over the edge, quite a few cars either had more damage or similar damage to that of the Navara pairing. One car stood on its nose in the ravine for 5 to 10 counts before it fell back against the embankment wall and later continued the stage.

"The technicians immediately started working and repaired whatever they were allowed to do in the engine, they did a magnificent job" said Alfie Cox afterwards.

"Disaster actually struck when our service truck blew a turbo on Tuesday, which meant that we started yesterday's second longest special stage knowing that we did not have a race truck behind us if we needed them for support. What can one do, it left me nervous, but we continued as normal, driving very carefully and then we landed nose-down in the ravine. It is a total disappointment, we were going so well..." commented Cox.

"We are staying on until the rest day at least, assisting our team mate Holowczyc and any of the other Nissans that was built by Glyn Hall's Team," said Alfie Cox at tonight's bivouac in Iquique.

Although KTM's Mark Coma (Spain) took the stage win and made-up 10 minutes lost time, his team-mate Cyril Despres (France) has a commanding lead in the overall standings of the motorcycle category. Aprilla, in their maiden Dakar, must be very happy to have Chile rider Lopez Contardo still lying in 2nd place overall going into the final stage to the halfway mark.

In the car category Stephane Peterhansel (France) bounced back with his BMW to take another stage win ahead of three Volkswagen Touaregs. In the overall standings VW dominates with Carlos Sainz (Spain) ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar), and Mark Miller (USA), followed by the top petrol driven Mitsubishi Lancer of Carlos Sousa (Portugal). The fifth place belongs to the man who also took that position at the finish last year, Krzysztof Holowczyc (Poland) in a Nissan Navara.

Vladimir Chagin (Russia) made a clean sweep today, winning his 52nd stage in a Kamaz truck ahead of teammate Ferdaus Kabirov (Russia).

Tomorrow's (Friday) special stage is by far the longest in this year's rally. The 600km stage has a number of climbs through mountain passes although the altitude does not vary a lot. Tonight's overnight point marked the most northern point of this year's event. This stage takes the caravan back south to Antofagasta, where the teams will spend Saturday to repair and prepare their machines for the second half of the rally. There are sections of the stage that goes through crystallised salt lakes where some reckon the speeds could be as slow as 10km/h. At the same time speeds in other areas will be in the vicinity of 160km/h. The rules determine that competitors are allowed to finish at 18:00 on the rest day (Saturday) and it is expected that some competitors may only arrive at the bivouac by then.

-source: ps laser

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Mark Miller , Carlos Sainz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Carlos Sousa , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Krzysztof Holowczyc , Vladimir Chagin , Jurgen Schroder