Madrid finishes more than two hours from Al-Attiyah after getting lost at the sixth checkpoint of the first stage, a place that complicated most of the participants.
- Audi The secrets of Carlos Sainz’s new mount on the Dakar: a ‘beast’ from the future
First day of real fire on the Dakar, after Saturday’s 19-kilometer prologue, and first serious difficulties for almost all pilots in finding the penultimate checkpoint. The torrential rains that fell on Hail and much of northern Saudi Arabia, which forced the organization to cancel the marathon stage scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday, also made it difficult for the participants to read the road books.
And in those difficulties, Carlos Sainz he was the great victim. Madrid was lost and has already given up two hours, seven minutes and 7 seconds with respect to the leader, Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah. The prince did not hesitate in sailing, he achieved his second victory and leads in the general car category in 12 minutes and 44 seconds his main pursuer, the French Sbastien loeb. Of the candidates for victory, only the Frenchman knew how to respond to the dominance of Qatar in a first day of real competition in which the sixth checkpoint, 280 kilometers from the 334 timed, caused havoc first in motorcycles and later in cars. Czech Martin Prokop The stage finished third, 21 minutes and 21 seconds from Al-Attiyah.
With these three drivers already at the finish line, Sainz and his co-pilot Lucas Cruz they led the group of favorites that were lost while searching for the sixth checkpoint. The Audi GPS showed the continuous laps trying to find the good track, with the added difficulty that the heavy rains that fell overnight in Ha’il erased road book references.
“I am very disappointed. How many have been lost there? We are not all idiots. If they want to do it like that and that the second day this happens … a shame,” said an angry Sainz upon reaching the camp. It gives black for Audi and its innovative hybrid vehicle, which says practically goodbye to its chances of winning and not because of the reliability problems that could be assumed at the beginning of the test.
For his part, the French Stphane Peterhansel, winner of the Dakar 14 times – six on motorcycles and eight in cars – broke the rear suspension of his car at kilometer 153 of the special, when he was in second position in the timesheets, and had to wait to be assisted.
Czech, the best Spanish
The debutants Carlos Checa, first Spanish, and Laia sanz they finished 24th and 32nd, respectively, in places far from the top, as was to be expected before starting the rally-raid but saving a very complicated stage as soon as the competition started.
It was worse for Nani Rome. The winner in motorcycles in 2004 and in cars in 2014 also had navigation problems and left 1h17’45 ” with respect to the head. Time that, added to the 49 seconds of the first day after having problems with a door that was opened in the middle of the special, greatly diminished his options to fight for the final victory.
While, Isidre Esteve (Repsoll Rally Team), who faces his 17th participation in the Dakar and drives an adapted car due to the lack of mobility in his legs after a serious motorcycle accident in 2007, did a good job finishing at 1 hour, 13 minutes and 17 seconds behind Al-Attiyah.
Reference from elmundo