|Dakar Rally 2013: Mixed feelings in bivouac of the SAM Mercedes Team.|
The Germans Matthias Kahle and Dr. Thomas M. Schünemann are still advancing and moved five positions up during the fourth day of the Rallye Dakar - but the HS RallyeTeam’s racetruck is in trouble. Matthias Behringer, Hugo Kupper and Michael Karg had to stop the stage due to a defective fan shaft of the motor.
On the first 30 kilometers of the fourth stage, one of most difficult sections of the whole rallye were waiting for the participants: Soft desert sand paired with steep uphill stretches - the drivers had to get over an elevation gain of 600 meters - was the undoing of several top-pilots.
Robby Gordon (Hummer H3), Orlando Terranova (BMW X3 CC) and Lucio Alvarez (Toyota Hilux Pickup) lost a lot of valuable time. Matthias Kahle and Dr. Thomas M. Schünemann, however, proved how well they can handle the SAM 30D CC: They mastered this delicate passage with flying colors and came up from the ocean of dunes 17th.
The drivers of the HS Rally Team defended this position during the remaining 258 kilometers and even overtook one more competitor shortly before the end, crossing the finish line as the 16th car of this stage and with a new daily best performance.
The reward is a great leap forward in the overall classification. Kahle/Schünemann again improved by five places and now rank #17 in the car classification, by 2:17 hours behind the top position held by Stéphane Peterhansel (Mini All4 Racing).
The racetruck of the HS Racing Team has serious problems. Mathias Behringer, Hugo Kupper and Michael Karg started today’s competition with the Maurer-MAN prototype sensationally and ranked #8 at the second Waypoint - only the four factory cars of Kamaz, two of Iveco and the Tatra of Ales Loprais have been faster.
But soon after, the journey of the rebuilt offroad-monster ended when the enginge overheated - maybe caused by a hard impact when they were driving down the dunes some kilometers before. The diagnosis in the dunes: The fan shaft was broken and so the fan wheel was not driven anymore. The engine overheated lacking fresh air. It was impossible to complete the stage in order not to ruin the 18.3-liters-engine.
Behringer/Kupper/Karg slowly paved their way back to the highway and took the service track to the bivouac in Arequipa. The truck team always was concerned not to let the engine overheat. Tonight, the Team will try everything possible to repair the damaged truck. Even if they currently only have little confidence that they will manage to do so.
Matthias Kahle: "For Thomas and me, it was a hard, but good day. Especially the first kilometers were really challenging, teams got stuck by the dozen. But we have laid the foundations for our great position today. Now we especially hope that Mathias Behringer & Co. can go on tomorrow.
Dr. Thomas M. Schünemann: "Tonight, the Team will do everything possible to get the truck going for the stage of tomorrow and start as strong as usual. Just as we did, Mathias Behringer has impressively proved his abilities and the qualities of the Maurer-MAN during the last days."
UPDATE: The racetruck of the HS Rally Team will not set out for the fifth stage of the Dakar 2013. For Mathias Behringer, Hugo Kupper and Michael Karg, the adventure "Dakar" and the premier in a prototype truck comes to its end due a broken fan shaft of the engine. The German-Dutch trio had shown an impressive performance with the rebuilt Maurer-MAN: During the second day, the crew overtook 96 vehicles and even moved up to the twelfth position of the truck classification on day three. On the fourth stage, Behringer/Kupper/Karg ranked #8 in the daily classification before the breakdown.
2013/01/09 | 16:29 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/KLEIN/SAM