|Dakar Rally 2013: Christian Lavieille Buggy Juke "things got complicated".|
For the Buggy Juke of Christian Lavieille, the 7th leg might have been a formality but turned into a tough day due to a turbo pressure drop and a diesel leakage. Handicapped, the French driver has limited the damage on classification.
For Frédéric Chavigny, this is the third consecutive stage on the right pace. Improving every day, the Proto Atacama seems more and more at ease. Finally, Yves Tartarin facing some problems Thursday, ate widely dust today without regaining some overall positions.
The 7th leg made the jonction between Chile and Argentina. After a long liaison, the special stage was relatively short but intense. On the first 130 kilometers, there was no significant difficulties to be reported (except altitude) on very fast tracks. But the last 90 kilometers, were a pure pleasure in driving on very technical tracks.
Christian Lavieille and Jean-Michel Polato were on a fast pace at the beginning of the route, ranking in the Top 15, but then, things got complicated. "We drove flat out, on the sixth gear, on this very fast track when at about km 70, our turbo pressure has dropped" the Frenchman said.
"At the same time, we smelt a strong smell of diesel and we thought of a leak. We decided not to stop and to go on like this, being very careful. Finally, we limited the time lost. Positive point, the Buggy Juke has good stability at high speed, and we were able to check that. The issue will be Saturday because we will start around 30th position and we will be in the dust, which is never easy on a 470 km special stage."
Regarding the Proto Atacama, Frédéric Chavigny and Guy Leneveu managed their third consecutive day on the right pace. "We did a good stage but we were hindered during 70 km in the dust, it was hell. Too many trucks on track. On the fast section, we had peaks at 160 km/h. But the end of the route was very technical in driving, which is not without interest. Every day drives us closer to Santiago."
Yves Tartarin and Christian Poirault were not very happy, too much bothered by dust which was everywhere. However, they finished the stage in 45th position.
2013/01/12 | 16:11 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ARPIZOU