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Dakar Rally 2013: Defect stopped Ales Loprais Tatra victory race in SS10.




The wind stages are changed by the fast ones, the tenth lead trough forrest areas into the desolated places. It was one of the stages with profile more like a classic rally than like a Dakar. The amount of the kilometers checked the drivers and also the technics.

The Czech Loprais Tatra crew drove an incredible ride, they were one of the best right from the beginning. In the 7th and 8th checkpoint they were the first. In the section between 8th and 9th checkpoint the crew heard a shot and after 273 km of the speed trial the Tatra had to stop because of an defect. The guys did amazing work and after 8 minutes the wheel was changed.

In the ninth checkpoint they were losing about 7 minutes (8th place) and in the tenth checkpoint they were losing about 8 minutes (6th place). Also another drivers had troubles and Ales Loprais finished in the 7th place with losing 5 minutes 46 second to the stage winner, Russian Karginov. If the tear did not broke, Ales would probably win the race, but if means nothing.

Despite that the stage was beautiful and it was big race. De Rooy had once again some troubles, which means he is actually in the 5th place losing 1:20:06 and he is only one place above our 503 crew, that stay in the 6th place with losing 01:32:20 to the winner Nikolaev, the second Martin Kolomný (00:32:23) and the third Mardeev (00:34:10).

"Traditional mountain stage, that punished all the mistake, because there were no escape zones" said Loprais. "Even in the rocks the drivers drifted. Everything worked fine. After the start we missed one turning, so I was a little nervous. I tried to ride as fast as possible. We were checking the stage from the leading point until one of the organisers car chased us. There are more than one on the track (medics, press,...), but they are always standing on the side."

"If the drive, then very slowly and move away right when they see you. Unfortunately this vehicle was an exception and did not want to move away. We drove behind him in a dust cloud for 7 km. And then the defect came. I do not remember I drove on something, I tried to stay on the track in the mist and as close to the vehicle as possible, to hear the horn. I heard a shot and already knew, what does it mean."

"I was tired and dehydrated, the stage was physically difficult. I drank 6 litres of the water and one litre of the energy drink 69, but it was not enough. Serge and Radim worked as a F1 mechanics.The whole changing was pretty fast. The wheel screws were extremely hot from the heat coming from the brakes" explains Ales Loprais, what happened on the track.

Tired, however with smile, adds: "I really wanted to add sixth victory in the stage on the Dakar, but I still stay on the number 5. The sixth one is still waiting for us somewhere. I believe in that. We all fight!" There is nothing to add.

2013/01/16 | 12:15 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/LOPRAIS











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