WITH HARDSHIP THE JMB STRADALE TEAM HAS FINISHED THE 3RD STAGE!
The competitors took the departure from La Rioja to Fiambala this morning and have run 441 km under the burning sun with the temperature reaching 45 o.C. After 3h 34mn 21s, the Sousa-Baumel team No. 314,
placed 9th followed by their team members Spinelli-Palmeiro and Barbosa-Ramalho in 10th and 19th positions.
The crossing of the dunes was very hard for many competitors. Nevertheless, the duo Carlos Sousa and Matthieu Baumel work well together as they placed 9th in this stage and have advanced to the 6th position in the general ranking.
" This morning I had butterflies in my stomach as I remember this stage on last year's Dakar " confides the co-driver, Matthieu Baumel. "At km 4, Giniel de Villiers rolled his car just in front of us and blocked the route . After a couple of tries to get around his car by taking another route, we were back in the starting blocks and not advanced by an inch as we found Novitzskiy in the middle of the road in de Villiers place. We went 40 km out of our way to get around the stopped car and followed the others but in their dust. The track was bumpy and twisty therefore in combination with the dust, this stage was quite dangerous. We did well despite these small troubles!"
The Brazilian Guilherme Spinelli and his Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro followed the movement today by coming in 10th and moving up to 8th in the general ranking. The crew members of the no. 322 remain confident: "It was a hard stage and the sand was very soft. It was hard navigation up until the first waypoint," explains Filipe and we were a small group heading the race having to look for the second waypoint. Except for having landed on a tree trunk which made us lose 3 to 4 minutes, as I had to use the spare tire to get us out of this tough spot, everything else went well! We are very satisfied with today's stage."
The crews Misslin-Polato and Barbosa-Ramalho both had to stop in the middle of the dunes due to a vapor lock problem. In order to start up again they had to wait until their fuel cooled down... Miguel Barbosa finished the special in 19th position moving up to 17th in the general ranking and Nicolas Misslin finished 31st and moved down to 24th position in the general ranking.
As for Orlando Terranova and Pascal Maimon, they remained stuck before the CP1 due to a clutch problem that they could not repair before the arrival of the JMB Stradale Off Road racing truck. The stage took them 6h 32 mn and 29 s to finish. They obtained 35th position of the day and are 29th in the general ranking.
The JMB Stradale Off Road team manager, Dominique Serieys comments: "This is only the aperitif...the race is just starting."
Tomorrow's fourth stage will start with a 394 km liaison which will allow the competitors to cross through the Andes from Argentina to Chile. Once in Chile, they will take the departure of the 203 km timed clocked stage in the Atacama desert. This stage will finish with a 32 km liaison bringing them into Copiapo, Chile.