|Dakar 2010: The excellent run of Henrard/Beguin continues.|
The caravan of the 2010 Dakar has crossed the Andes and will now settle in Chile for the next few days. Today's stage on the perimeter of the celebrated Atacama Desert saw Stéphane Henrard and François Beguin continue to surf over the dunes, and the crew of the Marc VDS Racing Teamtended buggy has moved up to a magnificent 12th place overall.
After Monday's memorable stage, which will stay etched in the minds of a good many crews - and mechanics - for some time to come, competitors were treated to an equally unforgettable experience today as they tackled the 394km run out to the first Chilean test. Thanks to the grand, breathtaking landscapes it crossed, the long haul seemed to flash past in an instant as the field slalomed its way along a pristine asphalt road between red mountains, black rocks, mountain torrents and even wild horses. The vista was rendered even more fascinating by the unique light which would have been a challenge to even the most accomplished impressionist painter!
"The special thing about the Dakar is that it takes you to places where you would probably never ever go otherwise," enthused Stéphane Henrard shortly before the start of the stage. "Today's run-out was especially enjoyable inasmuch as the service crews and media took the same route as us, and were therefore able to profit from the same fabulous views."
To be fair, the show put on by the driver of Marc VDS-run buggy was almost as impressive as the scenery. The VW TDi-engined insect was in its element over this afternoon's 163km test (which the organisers shortened by 40km in a bid to ensure the field stayed as bunched together as possible) and Stéphane and François succeeded in securing the 18th best performance of the day, which takes them up to 12th overall. "Unlike Monday's stage, which was particularly tough on the cars, today's run was far more fun," reported the Belgian driver. "I was able to enjoy myself without taking any undue risks."
2010/01/12 | 14:31 CET | Editor: MR/HS/VW Belgium