Dakar: South African racers stage four report

PROBLEMS FOR STEENKAMP IN QUAD CATEGORY OF GRUELLING DAKAR The South African quad racer, Johan Steenkamp, experienced mechanical problems during Stage Four of the 2007 Dakar Rally which started in Er Rachidia and ended 679km later in Quarzazate...

PROBLEMS FOR STEENKAMP IN QUAD CATEGORY OF GRUELLING DAKAR

The South African quad racer, Johan Steenkamp, experienced mechanical problems during Stage Four of the 2007 Dakar Rally which started in Er Rachidia and ended 679km later in Quarzazate in Morocco.

Steenkamp lost a lot of valuable time already during Stage Three, the first day in Africa, when both shock absorbers on his Can-Am Bombardier Outlander seized and forced him to take it easy to the end of the stage. The problem was however attended to by the mechanical crew and everything went well at the beginning of Stage Four until a mechanical problem required him to stop.

He was then towed back to the start of the stage, but because of the stage being a marathon stage, no assistance from his crew was allowed. At the end of the day, a kind couple took him and his quad in for the evening. It seems, however, unlikely that Steenkamp, who is participating in his second Dakar Rally, will be on the start line for Stage Five of this year's event.

His team-mate and the winner of the 2004 Dakar, Cornel de Villiers, also experienced some problems, but finished the stage in fourth place, 28 minutes behind the stage winner, Jose Gonzalez (Can-Am MD Rally Sport Bombardier DS650X) who is the new leader in the Quad Category.

The Czech, Josef Machacek (Yamaha) was second followed by the winner of Stage Three, Carlos Avendano (Suzuki 450LTR). Joao Nazare Santos (Yamaha YFM700R) was one minute 33 seconds slower than De Villiers in fifth place.

De Villiers has lost one position in the overall quad standings and after four stages and 2 336 kilometres, he will tackle Stage Five from the fifth position.

The special timed section of Stage Five will be 80 kilometres shorter than Stage Four, but competitors will be in the saddle for longer as the liaison stages to and from the timed section, are longer. This stage will take participants for the first time through the spectacular Atlas Mountains.

Eleven quad competitors finished Stage Four of the 2007 Dakar Rally of which six are part of the Can-Am MD Rally Sport Team.

-credit: ET.Komm.

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Joao Nazare , Josef Machacek