G-Force Motorsport

Dakar 2013. Day 8. Meteorological Armageddon...

Sunday, 13 January 2013 00:14

The official site published “Red Flag”.  There was the information about the weather conditions and that the special stopped due to the water raised up high. As the Dakar site reported  the results at CP2 would be considered as final for the special. The point became CP2 after the first part of the special had been cancelled yet in the morning. Are you puzzled? We do, too. Let’s try to clear it up…

The official information began with the words “a meteorological Armageddon”. Not easy to pronounce... And just imagine of trying to drive it through!  When yesterday evening we wrote about the next stage it was already difficult to study out the routes of the day 8. The route for the bikes and quads was to differ from that for the trucks and cars in the first part of the stage. The trucks had to start with the same 155 kilometers of the route as the cars and then drive through the liaison to the bivouac.  And for the cars the special would have been split into two parts, first 155 kilometers the same as for the trucks, then the neutralization zone and next, after 288 kilometer, the same route as for the bikes and quads.

But everything mixed up after the morning news when the organizers informed about the changes to the stage due to the weather conditions. The special for the trucks was cancelled, the bikes and quads were to ride the second part of the track which was 288 kilometers long. Having said so, the road book for bikes and quads was not the same for the cars and both Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel misleaded. But Al-Attiyah was quite quick to reveal this and lost only 2 or 3 minutes while Peterhansel followed the bike tracks far longer.

Right that moment the official site announced that the stage stopped and the finish would be appointed at CP2 which is 374 km as the previous route map said and 86 km for the changed one.

Stéphane Peterhansel  (#302): My first big mistake since the start of the rally, I insisted on following the motorcycle tracks but it was the wrong direction. Jean-Paul pressured me to look for a way out of the riverbed, but I continued for 2.5 km before retracing my steps, which means I'd gone 5 km too far and lost almost 9 minutes, as Terranova was going by when I came out... Well, that's the way it is... Nasser will probably take advantage of this, but that's racing... Having said that, one of the riverbeds was quite full when we went by and apparently they wanted to neutralise the stage at CP2. This wouldn't be bad news for me, as it would neutralise our navigational mistake and we'd only concede the time lost head-to-head on the course... We'll see...

Nasser Al-Attiyah (#300): Everything was going smoothly for us, we were putting the pedal on the metal, and everything was fine. When we got to the río, there were three metres of water, there was no way we could cross that. So we called the organisers, who told us the stage had been neutralised at CP2.

We are waiting for G-Force Motorsport  team comments The crews and assistance are now passing by the stormy river on their way to the bivouac. The news are likely to come in the morning (at Moscow time). If the results are taken at the notorious CP2, Boris Gadasin and Alexey Kuzmich  (#348) are the 15th of the day and Vladimir Vasilyev and Vitaly Yevtyekhov (#331) are the 16th. Nasser Al-Attiyah in overall will be just a few seconds behind Stéphane Peterhansel. That is the situation after the half distance of Dakar 2013 passed!

But let’s discuss the results of the chaotic stage 8 tomorrow when there will be the “rest day” at Dakar 2013 and the organizers make their decision on the winners of the stage.

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Photo: www.dakar.com and G-Force Motorsport

G-Force Motorsport photogallery, Official photogallery, Voice of Dakar on FreeDRIVE radio, championat.com