Great first racing stage in 2010 Dakar Very slippery and muddy conditions on WRC tracks made racing on sand tyres very difficult during the 355km special stage on day 3 of the 2010 Argentina Chile Dakar Rally. With adrenaline pumping all the way...
Great first racing stage in 2010 Dakar
Very slippery and muddy conditions on WRC tracks made racing on sand tyres very difficult during the 355km special stage on day 3 of the 2010 Argentina Chile Dakar Rally. With adrenaline pumping all the way on the high speed and in some cases quite dangerous track, very testing conditions saw South Africa's Alfie Cox and his German co-driver Jurgen Schroder claw their way up the ranks to 14th place before sliding off the road and eventually finishing in 17th place on the stage. The PS Laser Racing Team with a South African built Navara now lies 18th overall 23 minutes behind the overall leaders.
The start of today's special stage was delayed by 30 minutes because of adverse weather conditions in the Cordoba area. The special included several of the famous stages from the WRC event in Argentina, including the El Condor stage.
"It was raining for the first 150km of the stage, so I was driving rally- style with the back end of the car drifting all the time in the dangerous slippery conditions. It was quite nerve wrecking sometimes because a few of the drivers around us seemed to be driving at 110% and we were scared that they could make mistakes and cause accidents that could result in damage to our car," remarked Cox at the stage finish.
Cox continued: "... the last 200km was fast and very dusty. Jurgen was again very good. I am very proud of him; he has stepped up his game since last year's race. I had a bit of a moment in the dust and we slipped off the road which allowed the three cars that we passed earlier to regain their places. We then decided to settle down, and drove to the finish behind them. The car is great and I am very satisfied with our performance thus far. I am now going to refuel and then I want to clean the car before the technicians check it through."
In the slippery conditions the overnight leader, Nani Roma (Spain) racing a BMW, rolled his car 3km from the start of the special stage. A short while later local driver Orlando Terranova (Argentina) rolled his Mitsubishi Lancer in the same spot. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) was stage victor in his VW Race Touareg taking over the overall lead. After suffering electrical problems yesterday Guerlain Chicherit (France) drove like a man possessed with his BMW X3, finishing 2nd on the stage.
David Fretigne (France) on a Yamaha 450cc won today's motorcycle special stage, his first stage win in 4 years, moving up into 3rd place overall. Overnight leader David Casteau (France) on a Sherco, finished second, maintaining his overall lead ahead of KTM rider Cyril Despres (France). Marc Coma (Spain) of KTM received a 22 minute penalty after he was found speeding in some of the towns yesterday.
Tomorrow (Monday) the route begins the steady climb towards the Andes foothills and crews will tackle the 182km special stage to Fiambala, a town in the Tinogasta area in the western region of Catamarca. A portion of the stage and the overnight bivouac are located at the beginning of the Altiplano at around 1,500 metres above sea level.
The day begins with a tiring 259km road liaison, which winds its way along the side of the Sierra de Velasco hills and the relatively short stage starts at Santa Rosa to the east of the overnight stop. The stage forms a loop to the north and west of Fiambala, includes three passage controls and takes place with the backdrop of the Cordillera de San Buenaventura Mountains on the western horizon.
-source: ps laser