|Dakar Rally 2013: Lavieille "GPS point did not correspond to the road book".|
On this second stage, a loop around Pisco, competitors expected to meet the first difficulties on a 100% sand terrain but it is finally navigation that played a dirty trick. A Waypoint, difficult to find, costed a lot to many crews, including among the favorites, and nearly one hour to the Lavieille-Polato duo.
A maddening navigation as the Buggy Juke was perfect on this sea of sand. Second of the team to finish the stage, Yves Tartarin had the same fate and moreover assisted Stéphane Wintenberger and Thierry Delli-Zotti struggling with a blocked hydraulic jack. Finally, the service truck entered in the race stooped to fix the second Buggy Juke. Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu have experimented soft sand but finish the second stage with relief and satisfaction.
The first Dessoude's crew to start, Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato did not expect to "suffer" so much after only sixty kilometers. "I think this is the first time we're struggling so much in navigation. After triggering a safety waypoint, the following one should have been 5 or 6 km away, but nothing to do. We then began an incredible "gardening party" to trig this damned waypoint" Lavieille reported.
"I think we made twenty go and return on what meanwhile became a highway, because we were not the only ones to look for it! Finally, we had a doubt, when the GPS reference point did not correspond to the road book reference. I thought we were going crazy. After one hour, we were able to resume the normal course of the stage."
"The car is great, and small changes made yesterday on suspensions are perfect. Small adjustments have to be made to the gear ratios but nothing to say regarding crossing despite of the high temperature. This stage was much like the Pharaohs Rally, a fairly few visible surface and a very bumpy track. At the end of the stage, we stopped a few minutes to change a tire because the rim was a bit in the tire. For safety we preferred making the change. A good day ends. Tomorrow, the difficulty will increase a step further."
Second car to reach the bivouac, Yves Tartarin was not displeased to finish. He was experimenting for the first time a two-wheel-drive car in racing conditions.
"I was a bit anxious this morning with the idea to start with a 2WD in such conditions. I did not deflate enough at the beginning of the stage and I got stuck in the sand a first time, alone. Ten minutes later, 300 meters from me, it was the turn for Stéphane and Thierry to get stuck. Impossible not to help the boys, so I took the plates and I went to help them. But, dragging the sand plates in soft sand under sweltering heat. I was exhausted!"
"We spent nearly one hour trying to remove the car but an hydraulic jack was bent. Unable to do much more, we let them waiting for the T4 truck. Few kilometers away we got stuck, shortly, another time. When we were ready to leave, a car hit us at the rear. We were ok but the Buggy was damaged: exhaust system twisted, and rear cover exploded. We took back the track until the finish and like many, we had some problems with navigation. Well driven, the 2WD is a great car. During that day I learnt a lot. That real first stage was a tough start. I worry a bit for next legs!"
The third vehicle of the team to cross the finish line, the proto Atacama of Fred Chavigny and Guy Leneveu, did a good job. The crew and the car are in great shape! Fred explains this dynamic day.
"A good day ends! We tested the shovels, they will be perfect for the entire rally. The car was great and unlike other crews, navigation was not a problem. We stopped three times to shovel but we did not stay stuck for long. We probably would have been able to avoid that but the problem comes much more from the driver than from the car. I need to practice, to remember the dunes’ crossing. The stage was globally good. To be followed tomorrow."
Finally, the second Buggy Juke of Stéphane Wintenberger and Thierry Delli-Zotti, victim of a bent hydraulic jack, lost a lot of time today, but as the saying goes, the Dakar has just begun...
2013/01/07 | 13:23 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/DESSOUDE