|SA-Dakar Rally: Nani Roma - "Fun is getting bigger kilometer by kilometer".|
The 10th special stage from Antofagasta to Arica proved to be a very successful one the Monster Energy X-raid Team. With their yellow Mini All4 Racing, Spaniard Nani Roma and his French co-driver Michel Périn celebrated their third special stage win. Just 21 seconds behind them, their team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret took second position, thus extending their lead over Robby Gordon in the overall standings to 19:51 minutes.
"This success is for my team that is working on my car day for day and extremely hard," underlined Nani Roma. "When it comes to me, I just can say that the fun is getting bigger kilometre by kilometre. That’s a feeling I missed in the past years."
Peterhansel also had a nice day. Although he had to settle for finishing second behind Roma, he increased his lead over Gordon in the overall standings to nearly 20 minutes. "But we shouldn’t forget that there still are several days to go," warned the Frenchman. "Yesterday, we had to witness how fast something can go wrong. We saw Gordon going off in a tight corner and falling into a ditch. We checked if he had somersaulted but he was continuing on his four wheels and obviously had to stop later."
Russian Leonid Novitskiy and German Andy Schulz are happy with having finished sixth, in wednesday’s special stage. "In consideration of the fact that this special stage was extremely difficult it’s a fantastic result. Navigating was anything but easy and the dunes also proved to be more difficult than expected," beamed Schulz. The pairing didn’t encounter any major technical problems but lost some time due to the difficult navigation. Right behind them, Portuguese pairing Dos Santos / Fiuza finished seventh.
Polish-Belgian pairing Holowczyc / Fortin, however, weren’t that lucky. At first, they had to stop due to a broken power steering, thus losing valuable time. Later they gut stuck and when another competitor tried to tow them out, the tow rope broke, hit the radiator and destroyed it. So, they had to wait for the X-raid truck to have the radiator repaired.
The three BMW X3CC vehicles also secured good results. Chilean-French pairing Boris Garafulic / Gilles Picard who had been in problems, yesterday, made it to the top 10 for the first time, they finished 9th. "We passed a lot of competitors," said the Chilean, "And some of them were trucks. Nonetheless, the Dunes were really tough, today."
The Germans Stephan Schott / Holm Schmidt took their KS Tools BMW X3CC to 13th position, with the two Russians Alexander Mironenko and Sergey Lebedev in the BUER BMW X3CC coming 19th. They had the chance of securing an even better result but then, they got stuck in the sand.
2012/01/12 | 10:34 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/QUANDT