|Dakar Rally 2013: Impressive catch-up brings Erik Wevers in 17th position.|
Normally things get heavy towards the finishing line, but nothing is normal in the Dakar Rally. The most difficult sector of the third Dakar stage between Pisco to Nazca was positioned 20km after the start.
In this first section of dunes Erik Wevers en Fabian Lurquin got stuck and lost almost 20 minutes. An impressive catch-up brought Erik Wevers and navigator Fabian Lurquin at the finish in 17th position.
The Riwald team passed the first waypoint in only 61st position. The bad start was the signal for Erik Wevers and Fabian Lurquin to go maximum attack during the remaining of the 243-kilometer special stage. The remaining 200 km the HRX Ford was trail hunting at top speed.
From waypoint 2 on, the Riwald duo only lost out 15 minutes on stage winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. The pace after the delay would have been good for a top 10 finish. But "if" doesn’t count in sport and certainly not in the Dakar Rally. That is why Erik and Fabian tomorrow will be hunting for a classification which suits the drivers, the team and the HRX Ford.
"We were very disappointed when we got stuck in the dune so early. Everyone past us. From that moment on everything went perfect. Apparently we impressed with our speed in the dunes because we received many compliments for our driving style" said Erik Wevers.
Gert Huzink and Eugénie Decré took revenge after an eventful second stage, in which they got stuck a number of times. The Dutch-French Riwald pair also provided assistance in a serious accident yesterday, by which the rider had to be recovered by helicopter. Gert and Eugenie started in 126th position today and drove in the dust almost the entire day. In their way up front they passed many trucks and cars, resulting in a strong performance: finishing in 35th place.
"It felt like we were in a dust storm today. Because we started so far back we had to pass some 40 trucks. It is good to see the speed is there and that we can go smoothly through the dunes. The Dakar Rally was really fun today" said Gert Huzink.
In the overall rankings Erik Wevers made progress taking fourteenth position, while Gert Huzink seated into the top 50 ranking 46th. Anne Kies had a strong day in the Riwald rally truck. The experienced Dakarist arrived in Nazca in 30th spot, while he takes 40th in the truck overall standings.
2013/01/08 | 14:43 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/RIWALD