Dakar : Team Galp Energia - Leg 7
Carlos Sousa set the 10th fastest time today, between Zouérat and Atar. A terribly difficult stage which will undoubtedly bring a number of retirements. At this time, only one third of the cars have reached the bivouac. An awful stage, which
brings back memories of last year's problems between Zouérat and Tichit…
Sand was definitely on the menu for this 7th special stage, which was 499km long. A particularly difficult stage, especially for the navigators, who had plenty of work to do in order to avoid the various traps.
Carlos Sousa, in his Nissan Navara, was able to limit the damage, despite a small misadventure which he could have well done without…
« Globally, the day was satisfactory, despite a bit of time lost in the dunes. We didn't deflate the tyres in the first chains of dunes, but 5 km from the end, the car was overheating a bit, and we stopped to deflate them, and to carry on with a bit less force.
We were on a slope, and I went into reverse without seeing that there were large clumps of camel grass behind us. The car stopped between the two clumps, in a difficult position, and we couldn't put down the jacks or the plaques. We had to dig ourselves out, and we lost around 55 minutes. It was really a stupid mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry for the whole Team, who put in an excellent job.
Apart from that, the car was working very well. It is very efficient over this sort of ground. I hope that the next two stages will allow us to further improve our position. It's only default is a lack of topspeed. Yesterday, there was a long, very fast, section in the middle of the stage, and both the BMWs and the Schlesser buggys literally left us standing. It was really impossible to follow them.
Today, we are right in the middle of the Dakar, and fatigue is beginning to set in, which is most probably why I was a bit inattentive. When we got stuck, I suddenly felt shattered, and it took me a few minutes to sort myself out. Now, our position is clear : to hope to make any further progress in the overall classification, we will have to cross the next dune stages without difficulties, and to hope that our rivals have problems… »
Tomorrow they head for Nouakchott, the day before the rest day. A day to be spent getting back in shape, men and machines alike.
Press Release Team Galpia Energia