Dakar: BMW stage 3 report

After their final stay in the comfort of a hotel room, the competitors took on a small 9km timed stage. After their final stay in the comfort of a hotel room, the competitors took on a small 9km timed stage, set on the beachfront of Castellòn...

After their final stay in the comfort of a hotel room, the competitors took on a small 9km timed stage.

After their final stay in the comfort of a hotel room, the competitors took on a small 9km timed stage, set on the beachfront of Castellòn (70 km from Valencia) and were watched by some 80 000 spectators. The sun shone – at last - although the sand was wet and heavy. The two X-Raid drivers both produced excellent performances, avoiding all the potential traps in the stage. Consequently, they will start tomorrow’s first timed stage in Morocco from the second and fifth places. However, before they reach Africa, they will have to drive an 800km liaison stage to Algesiras and board the ferry which will take them across the Mediterranean Sea.

GRÉGOIRE de MÉVIUS / ALAIN GUEHENNEC (BMW X5 N°212):
"I could have gone faster as this year the moguls were less difficult than last year but I did not want to take any risk. This last European stage determined the starting order for the first African stage, between Tanger and Er Rachidia. It was important to finish in a good position and make sure that we aren’t driving in the dust of too many cars in front of us. At the moment, everything is going well for us but it is difficult to evaluate the real potential of our competitors."

LUC ALPHAND / HENRI MAGNE (BMW X5 N°207):
"It was great to start racing on the sand today. The layout of the track was identical to last year’s but the sand was wet and it was easy to make mistakes. I think it was important to be in among the first cars. Yesterday, we put sand tyres to race in the mud and today we fitted mud tyres which allow good traction in the sand... It was the right choice. Clermont-Ferrand was a great moment and I enjoyed driving on the beach today. We only have 1000km to go before reaching Africa when the Dakar Rally will really start!"

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Series Dakar