Pisco – Pisco
After what Carlos Sainz described simply as a “warm up” yesterday, the 2013 Dakar Rally properly began today. The action was made up of a 327km trek on sand, before an 85km link and a 242km special stage, entirely on the notoriously difficult sand dunes. It wasn’t long before the tricky conditions were soon claiming victims in all of the four categories.
Bikes: Joan Barreda Bort takes control
Gerard Farres Guell was one of the first to encounter problems today. The Spaniard stopped just 37.53km into the special stage due to an as yet unknown mechanical problem. Farres Guell waited for the arrival of his assistance team to get him going again.
Riders had different strategies in tackling the stage, with some options more favourable than others. Poland’s Kuba Przygonski (KTM) and Paulo Goncalves both lost vital time 75km into proceedings. It is believed they had both elected to take a shorter, more direct route through the dunes, but got stuck in the sand.
However, Argentina’s Pablo Alejandro Busin suffered the worst. It is believed that he crashed 40km into the special stage. Fortunately he escaped injury, but things were worse for his bike which was reportedly destroyed by a fire.
Cyril Despres took the early advantage in the stage and was followed through by Joan Barreda Bort at the first checkpoint 110km into proceedings. However, the Frenchman lost that position to Barreda Bort, who started the day in tenth, only 53km later. Barreda Bort would go on to win the stage by three minutes and 26 seconds from Juan Pedrero García, with Matt Fish rounding out the top three.
“I got lost at the beginning of the stage. But I wasn’t the only one who needed some time to find his bearings. I quickly got back on track and everything went smoothly from then on. It was a great day at the office,” Barreda Bort said afterwards.
Elsewhere, Despres dropped 10 minutes and 10 seconds to the stage winner trying to navigate around a dune. Francisco Lopez, who started strongly yesterday, lost 18 minutes as navigation played a part in the first sand dunes.
Quads: Patronelli and Husseini break away from the rest.
Marcos Patronelli took the lead of the quad bikes category after a strong day on the special stage.
Patronelli took the advantage early on, posting the best time at 163km checkpoint. He held a slim advantage at that stage over Sebastian Husseini, but the pair had broken away comprehensively from the rest of the pack, with a four minute margin over Ignacio Casale, with yesterday’s winner, Ignacio Flores Seminario a further five minutes behind.
With 75km to go, Tomas Maffei had successfully moved up into third place, but was almost five minutes behind the provisional leader Patronelli. However, he would be unable to prevent Ignacio Casale from taking the position back.
Patronelli extended his small margin over Husseini to claim the stage, with a winning margin of one minute and six seconds. Casale meanwhile finished nearly 9 minutes behind Patorelli to complete the top three, with Maffei dropping thirty seconds to Casale by the end.
“The stage was fast. Very beautiful. But also dangerous. Everything went well. I was a bit worried when the Peruvian driver [Ignacio Flores] was in front. But everything went well. It was a good day. I’m very happy,” Patronelli said afterwards.
Cars: Peterhansel takes the lead as Red Bull duo struggle.
There was drama in the car category today as last year’s winner Stéphane Peterhansel took the lead as rivals struggled.
In particular, it was a disastrous day for the Red Bull duo of Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah after showing strongly yesterday. The two struggled over the dunes and lost considerable time to the likes of Peterhansel.
It was Lucio Alverez who initially made the early running, but was overcome by Ronan Chabot in his SMG at the 163km marker. It wasn’t as good for Chabot’s team mate Guerlain Chicherit however, who was slowed with a puncture and lost 32 minutes to Peterhansel by the end of the stage.
Chabot was the first to reach the next checkpoint at 11:54am local time, but Peterhansel was next through and beat Chabot’s time by two minutes. Alvarez gamely clung onto third, but was twelve minutes behind and likely to lose positions, whilst the delayed Red Bull team of Al-Attiyah and Sainz lost thirteen and a half minutes and twenty minutes to Peterhansel respectively.
“We had a good stage, mainly thanks to navigation. We’re fast, and we’ve got the potential to go even faster, but it was mostly Jean-Paul’s navigation which saved the day, nothing else,” Peterhansel said.
By the end of the stage, Peterhansel had extended his advantage to just under four minute over Ronan Chabot. However, Giniel de Villiers later split the pair to move up to second in his Toyota, and lies two minutes and 35 seconds behind Peterhansel. It was also a strong run by Orlando Terranova who claimed fourth, and was some five minutes and 26 seconds slower than Peterhansel’s Mini.
Al-Attiyah made up ground to finish ahead of Alvarez, whilst Sainz posted the eleventh quickest time, eventually ending up 18 minutes off the pace. He drops to eleventh in the overall standings and put the blame on his GPS system.
“We need to have a look at the GPS, there may be something wrong with it. We went through certain points two or three times without them being validated, until we thought “too bad, let’s move on” and, after 15 km, it went back to normal… I don’t know, we need to have a look at it.”
Robby Gordon endured another difficult day, finishing the stage 19 minutes off the pace, and is now 23rd in the overall standings, 49 minutes behind the leader.
Trucks: De Rooy maintains advantage
There was action in the trucks category on the second day of the Dakar rally today. At the 163km checkpoint, Hans Stacey had set the fastest time, and was joined at the top of the times by Aleš Loprais’ Tatra. Loprais was a little over three minutes slower than Stacey, with yesterday’s pace setter, Gerard de Rooy, dropping to third.
However, Stacey’s time at the top was soon over, as only 27km later, he suffered some kind of currently unknown problem, which lost him a lot of vital time.
The ensuing delay meant that his team mate de Rooy was able to capitalise, and was once again on top by the end of proceedings, making it is second stage win in two days. He set a time of just over three hours, which was good enough to beat Loprais’ best by a minute.
“Unfortunately, we lost about 10 minutes looking for a waypoint until we finally found it as we went by a dune. Anyway, I’m quite happy, especially because we were able to drive flat out in the last few kilometres… Broadly speaking, everything went well,” he said.
Stacey was eventually able to get to the end of the stage, 26 minutes off the pace of his team mate. He therefore has dropped outside the top five in the overall classification, whilst Miki Biasion moves up into the top three, nearly 12 minutes off the pace of de Rooy.
2013 Dakar Rally stage two results:
|1||Joan Barreda Bort||Husqvarna||02:42:31|
|3||Ignacio Nicolas Casale||Yamaha||03:11:34||00:08:54|
|5||Ignacio Flores Seminario||Yamaha||03:17:39||00:14:49|
|2||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota||02:38:13||00:02:35|
|1||Gerard de Rooy||Iveco||03:00:59|
2013 Dakar Rally overall standings after stage two
|1||Joan Barreda Bort||Husqvarna||03:24:11|
|3||Ignacio Nicolas Casale||Yamaha||04:00:04||00:09:19|
|4||Ignacio Flores Seminario||Yamaha||04:04:29||00:13:44|
|2||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota||03:02:58||00:02:38|
|1||Gerard de Rooy||Iveco||03:27:17|