Team GoKoBra leg 1 Saturday report

Fat bugs and lots of people

The last day was filled with more waiting for Team GoKoBra super B but now the rally has started for Jurgen van den Goorbergh and Kees Koolen. The first Dakar-day was not a tough one, not extremely long, but all in all it was a tire some day. The GoKoBra buggies left Buenos Aires around 6 pm local time for the 377 kilometer long liason to Victoria.

It was a long ride; Koolen reached the bivouac around midnight, Van den Goorbergh an hour later. He suffered from clutch issues that meant he had to be push started when he came to a standstill. `That was not to be enjoyed but it is fixed now.'

Everywhere along the route people were cheering the Dakar competitors on. `The first part of the route was a 5 lane high way and people try to ride the route with you' says Koolen. `They ride next to you or just in front of you. When you slow down, they slow down. When you speed up... they speed up. I understand and it is fun in a way but it is also dangerous. Бnd distracting and that makes it annoying.' The first hour and a half, two hours Koolen was riding at daylight. Riding got harder in the dark when many flies, moths, grasshoppers and other fat bugs clogged up the view of the window screen and the lights of the buggy. `I even stopped at a gass station as I thought I was having issues with my lights. Nothing of that, just bugs! We have not mounted a screen wiper so I had no ways of cleaning the window whilst driving and I had to stop a few times to clean the window and the lights just to make sure I could see again.'

According to the weather reports it has rained a lot in Cordoba the last few days and the reports are that the course is muddy. `An advantage for us' thinks Koolen. `The buggy is light, it won't just sink in the mud. Dust would be a bigger issue as that slows you down when you are riding behind other competitors.'

Sunday, january 2nd, Van den Goorbergh and Koolen will start around 9 am (1 pm NL time) for the first stage. It will start with a long, 482 kms, liason followed by a special of 482 kms over fast gravel paths; similar to the special stage of last year. The stage form Victoria to Cordoba is 788 kms long.

-source: team gokobra

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Kees Koolen