|Dakar 2010: JMB Stradale Mitsubishi arrived in convois.|
The 2010 Dakar has finally begun...The motorcycles, the cars, and the trucks have gone through their first time clocked session held between Colon and Cordoba. Further to the bad weather, the special stage was reduced to 199 km and the 5 JMB Stradale Team cars have all finished placing between 11th and 16th.
The course was divided, in order to have the maximum security between the motorcycles and the cars. The Portuguese driver, Carlos Sousa came in with the best time of the team in 11th place at only 7m22s after the stage winner, Spanish Nani Roma.
"It was a nice special stage to get into the rhythm of driving together. It has been several months that I've not driven therefore I did not wish to take any risks today. With Matthieu Baumel, my new co-driver, who by the way is very precise when reading his notes, we found good sensations with the Lancer. We did not attack as it's not worth losing the Dakar after only two days."
With the exact time as Carlos Sousa, Nicolas Misslin and Jean-Michel Polato placed in 12th position: "We had a few problems with our wipers today. It started off by the having to rapidly find a solution to fix the water reservoir which was not functioning just before the start of the stage.
After a couple of kilometers, at the first puddle, the wipers blocked in the middle of the windshield which was full of mud. Nothing serious however a little bit of a handicap to not clearly see the track. Other than this little problem, we are missing a little engine power in order to compete against the diesel engines. I liked the driving between the trees and on sinuous terrain. We juggled between 3rd and 4th gears the whole time...For the moment, the 5 cars have arrived in good positions therefore let's stay concentrated."
The Argentinean, Orly Terranova, finishes 13th in the ranking despite a small scare "It was a good special and we had a lot of luck until 170 km into the special stage I came upon a curve to quickly and was unable to stop. I ran into barbed wire which destroyed the windshield. We decided to keep on driving but after a couple of kilometers I was sick. Pascal had to get out of the car and completely remove the windshield in order that we finish the stage in good conditions."
Guilherme Spinelli and his co-driver, Filipe Palmeiro placed 15th position with only 3m19s difference with Terranova. "I drove very carefully today as my objective is to finish the Dakar. We did not attack and passed 4 to 5 cars including Guerlain Chicherit of the X-Raid team. If the Dakar continues like this last stage, all will be perfect. "states the Portuguese co-driver.
The young driver, Miguel Barbosa follows the JMB Stradale Off Road team by coming in 16th. "We left in 33rd position therefore right away we found ourselves in the dust. Afterwards, we drove over 100km alone before coming up to and passing other cars. These are my first kilometers driving the Racing Lancer and I must learn the ins and outs of this car. I only hope that tomorrow's stage will not be as slow as today's for the ground was very broken up...
The second stage will leave from Cordoba to La Rioja on Sunday January 3rd. Two different tracks will be used to separate the cars from the quads and motorcycles. A small liaison of 56 km will be the warm up before the 355 km of timed special before coming into the Rioja bivouac in the center of Argentina. The total distance of the day will be 687 km.
2010/01/03 | 16:41 CET | Editor: MR/HS/JMB