|Dakar Rally 2014: The trucks story - "Nobody will finish without problems".|
Hasty... This is perhaps the most fitting title for the sixth part of the Dakar adventure in which went trucks from Tucumán to Salta only 156 measured kilometers. Against the previous ultramarathon stages in which were the differences between the racers in tens of minutes or hours, this time was every second very important.
The Dutchman Versluis (MAN TGS) was the fastest on the stones, his time in finish was 01:33:54 hours. The second Nikolayev (Kamaz) lagged behind him for 78 second and the fifth Stacey (MAN) lost after Nikolayev just 17 seconds!
In the day of his birthday didn’t lost Czech Tatra driver Aleš Loprais, who brought his Tatra 815 Prototype to finish on the 9th place with lost of four minutes and three seconds. He was on the seventh place in the overall classification, but after the additional hourly penalty of the Russian Šibalov (Kamaz) he moved to the sixth place. He is loosing an hour and 39 minutes to the leading De Rooy and about 32 minutes to the third Nikolayev. The crew of Jan Tománek is currently on the 22nd place.
Everyone wants to get closer to interim leader of the Dakar, Gerard de Rooy. The technical problems have avoided him but in the sixth stage he had to go without the windscreen after hitting the tree. "We had a very good first week. Everyone else had some problems and because of them we are leading," admitted de Rooy. "But the second week is very important. Now I’m not the one who needs a push, so I’ll wait and see what will happen," said the current leader, which is an hour and 40 minutes before Aleš Loprais.
"Nobody will finish the Dakar without problems, they can meet even de Rooy," said Karel Loprais. "The finish is far away and nothing is lost," supports Karel Loprais the team of his heart. Have a nice Sunday, support our team even in the second half of the Dakar Rally and this time literally – "We are going forward!"
Interview with Dakar legend and former winner Karel Loprais
How does it see Karel Loprais after the first half of the race? Karel Loprais knows as the six-time winner the Dakar Rally very well. Therefore, we
had some questions about it in the middle of this year.
MR: Saturday was a rest day. What is actually regime of the team at this day?
Karel Loprais: The team can sleep longer, but they must do heavy maintenance on the truck. They do the essential things, they have to replace those things which mechanics see fit.
MR: Do the members of the racing crew help?
Karel Loprais: They need to put together. If need be, they certainly help, but there’s enough mechanics. But the main mechanic that goes in the crew would be hanging around to know what they were doing at the truck.
MR: And what about official meetings, for example with fans? Do they have time for it?
Karel Loprais: It depends on the place. In the South America there are rest days In the large cities, so there are many people. But teams do not have enough time for fans, they have to work on technique and gain strength. In our time we travelled without assistance, so we had to work on the truck. Despite the fact that there were not so many people in Africa.
MR: The six stages are over. How do you assess them?
Karel Loprais: The organizers got tougher. This is reflected in the renegades who do not ride anymore. But basically the Dakar returns to the original tracks which I remember. The boys had two tough days. We drove the day stage, after it night stage and day stage again. Without time to sleep, without assistance. Now it’s hard but those who were ready go further. At our times the eight hundred kilometres long stages ran frequently. We came to the bivouac, went to sleep and next day just got in the truck and drove away.
MR: Aleš loses an hour and forty minutes to the leader de Rooy. Is it any chance to do anything with it?
Karel Loprais: There are still many chances before the finish of the Dakar. Everyone could have some problems, even de Rooy. Nothing is lost.
MR: Was anything interesting for you at this year’s Dakar?
Karel Loprais: There are high temperatures, in Africa there wasn’t. It is enemy of all. Let’s return to the team, to the truck especially. The 4x4 dust was broken twice.
MR: How can it happen that the same fault recurs?
Karel Loprais: It just happens. I didn’t talk to guys, so I don’t know what was exactly wrong with the truck. We’ll se what they say.
MR: And your forecast for the second week of the Dakar Rally?
Karel Loprais: If the technique will be right, it will be good. The crew goes on, you can see it on them.
Trucks overall results after SS06 Tucuman - Salta 260 km
||DRIVER / CODRIVER
||De Rooy/Colsoul/Rodewald (NL)
||Stacey/Ruf/Der Kinderen (NL)
||Vila Roca/Van Eerd/Colome (ES)
||Van Vliet/Pronk/Klein (NL)
||Kuipers/Torrall./Van der Vaet (NL)
View all results: Please [ CLICK HERE ]
2014/01/12 | 15:21 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/HOUTHOOFDTOVA