January 2, 2011
Electronics and clutch having issues with heat
It was a difficult first Dakar stage from Victoria to Cordoba in Argentina for Jurgen van den Goorbergh and Kees Koolen. Both experienced problems on the 482 kms long liason to the special stage. Van den Goorbergh had problems with the electronics and cooling issues. Koolen suffered of a overheated clutch he could not reset by himself.
Every once in a while the buggy would just stop,' tells Van den Goorbergh at arrival in the Cordoba bivouac. The temperature sensor measuring the air going into the engine seems to have issues. When that gets too hot, the engine comes to a halt and after 20, 25 minutes it all cools down and I can go again but I have had this a few times and that added up to losing a lot of time.' Van den Goorbergh started the special stage too late and ten minutes into the stage he experienced the same problems. `I can tell you, that does not make you happy. Eventually I took the cap of the sensor and that solved the problem, but it took another 100 kms to trust all was well. But when I finally got to ride the GoKoBra buggy without these issues, things were good and taking of the time I lost of the total time of the day, I am not unhappy' states the former Moto-GP rider. `all these issues as because of the buggy being new and I am sure we can fix them soon.'
Kees Koolen suffered from a overheated clutch at kilometer 330 on the liason a problem experienced by Van den Goorbergh Saturday. `An issue easy to resolve by resetting the system but not easily done by one person as the valve is in the back and you have to step on the clutch at the same time. There is no way of doing that,' explained Koolen. `I stood there for 45 minutes when Jurgen passed me. He helped me and I could continue.' Koolen too arrived at the start of the special stage too late and had to bite the dust of the others. `All the cars had started. I started only just before the trucks did. Because of the dust I could not go quicker then 70. Guys like Erik van Loon and Tonnie van Deijne did almost 190 on that part so that says enough of how much time I lost.' The last 20 kilometers Koolen experienced one of the torrential rain showers that have flooded the Cordoba bivouac. `Because of the rain the tracks on the road where waterways and caused me some damage as I could not see the rocks and what not. Time to fix it all and hope for a better day Monday.'
The second stage, from Cordoba to Tucuman, is 764 kms with 324 kilometer special stage.
-source: team gokobra