Good-Bye Mauritania - Hello Mali Today's 12th leg, with a total distance of 819 kilometres, led the Dakar caravan from Kiffa to Bamako and consequently from Mauritanian to Mali. Owing to the fact that this leg is a marathon-stage, the second of...
Good-Bye Mauritania - Hello Mali
Today's 12th leg, with a total distance of 819 kilometres, led the Dakar caravan from Kiffa to Bamako and consequently from Mauritanian to Mali. Owing to the fact that this leg is a marathon-stage, the second of this year's Dakar Rally, the vehicles may only be refuelled before being brought into the Parc Fermé immediately after arriving this evening, where any work on the cars is prohibited.
In spite of the organizers' decision to shorten yesterday's 11th leg, it was still quite a challenging stage for the drivers. José Luis Monterde, with his12th place finish yesterday, assured himself tenth place in the overall standings: "It was really everything but easy - a lot of jumps and lots, lots of sand and the navigation was difficult at times as well. With today's marathon-stage in mind, we drove cautiously. The shortening of the stage yesterday, in my opinion, was ok.".
José Luis Monterde and co-driver Rafael Tornabell today placed again 12th: "It was a long stage today. I did not push very much because I wanted to keep the car in good condition. We had no big problems and the BMW X5 is running like a clockwork. We want to reach Dakar and hopefully we will be able to keep our position in the overall standings." Monterde today reached the finish 49:56 min. behind stage winner Giniel De Villiers (Nissan). In the overall standings the Spanish improved from 10th to now 9th place, with a deficit of 13h00:05 on overall leader Stephane Peterhansel in the Mitsubishi.
Tomorrow's leg from Bamako to Kayes will at first bring fast stretches on the familiar laterite tracks. While sand and dune fields have determined the course of events in the last stages, the drivers will now need to adapt themselves. The colour of the surroundings changes from beige to green, with lush vegetation offered in parts of Mali. And so, tomorrow's stage will more or less consist of narrow paths over bush lands where overtaking will be difficult. The drivers will also have to be very cautious if they want to avoid getting acquainted with the brush-wood.