|Dakar Rally 2013: Toyota´s Van Merksteijn still in top 20 after SS02 Sunday.|
Three small problems for Dutch Toyota Overdrive driver Peter van Merksteijn and Eddy Chevaillier during the second stage of the Dakar Rally: A brief search for a waypoint, a flat tire and once stuck in the sand. The other two hundred and fourty kilometers it was full throttle through the dunes, with a nineteenth spot in the rankings as a fine result.
"It was harder than we thought", immediately after the finish of the special around Pisco Van Merksteijn commented. "But super cool!" The men in the Toyota with start number 326 lost a few minutes in the search for a 'waypoint' (a checkpoint). There they had good company: Also former Dakar winner Carlos Sainz (winner of the yesterday prologue) and Nasser Al-Attiyah lost time.
"And we got stuck, because we arrived just a little too slow on the top of a dune", explained navigator Chevaillier. "That is very difiicult: are you going too fast, then you will roll over. Are you going too slow, then you get stuck." Most heavy part of this stage was changing a flat tire. "Two nut did not cooperate. We lost eight minutes, and a lot of sweat in the hot sand", laughed Van Merksteijn. "But I feel positive about the coming days, which will be very challenging."
The special stage on Monday, January 7 is 243 kilometres in lenght from Pisco to Nazca in the southern part of Peru. A major test in the first half of the stage: the drivers have to cross an 'erg', a spectacular sea of sand over a hundred kilometres wide.
2013/01/07 | 09:47 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/VAN MERKSTEIJN