X-raid boss baffled by Stage 9 stoppage

X-raid team boss Sven Quandt has admitted he was baffled by Dakar officials' decision to stop the ninth stage of the event on Tuesday due to the heat.

The planned 285-km special was shortened because of what organisers deemed were dangerous weather conditions, meaning the day ended at the fourth way point.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Quandt argued: "We ran at an altitude of 4000 meters (in Bolivia), an altitude that is dangerous for people because they lose responsiveness - and now we stop because the temperatures are very high.

"We didn't stop with the altitude, but we stop with the the heat. It's funny. I do not know what to say.

"The organisation has decided but it's not normal to stop the Dakar," he added.

Peugeot's Carlos Sainz was declared the winner of the stage after P4. X-raid's top driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, finished down in fifth position, having led the early part of the stage.

The Qatari is over 14 minutes behind Sainz in the standings and Quandt said his chances of victory are slim.

"It looks very difficult because we are 14 minutes behind the leader," he added. "But everything can happen in the coming days. It is not known because it is a difficult Dakar."

Rally-like route "to help others win"

Quandt was also critical of the first week of competition, which he reckons was designed to help Peugeot.

"Normally there are more curves, more complicated roads, but those first stages were straight lines and we did not have the same power as the Peugeots.

"We are better in open roads and jumps.

"This looks more [designed] to help others to win after we've won for four years [in a row]."

Interview by Luis Ramirez

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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Teams X-Raid Team
Article type Breaking news