Dakar : Team Galp Energia - Leg 8
Carlos Sousa, with his Nissan Navara, is continuing to move up the field. Setting the 8th fastest time on the special stage between Atar and Nouakchott, he has gained another two places in the overall classification, and is now in the top
ten, lying in 9th position. Team Galp Energia is still competitive.
This leg, between Atar and Nouakchott, might not have been the longest, but was one of the most tiring. The competitors have now passed the mid-race point, and the 4948 kilometres already covered are beginning to show. Leaving Atar, the competitors still in the race (there were 125 this morning) faced a winding route crossing canyons and wadis, followed by an erg to cross, finishing with a fast section at the end of the special stage…
Carlos Sousa reached Nouakchott at the end of the afternoon : « Our special stage did not go too badly, with a few short stops which saw us lose around an hour. First of all, there was a puncture at the 60 km point. Then we stopped to let the tyres down before crossing the dunes, and again to re-inflate them. We also had to turn round two or three times to find the right route. A few of the waypoints are really difficult to find, and there were bikes everywhere. At the end of the special stage, the gearbox started to become noisy, and as a precaution I slowed down, just for safety's sake. »
« I am pleased as the team has worked hard to make the car well-balanced and efficient. The final week could be even more favourable for us. We went well through the big dunes and the camel grass, and there are no reasons for that to change. Anyway, we will do everything we can to stay in the top ten. I don't feel tired, and the rest day in Nouakchott will mainly be good for the car… »
In the right-hand seat, Jean Marie Lurquin gave his comments on the stage : « We saw Jutta Kleinschmidt stuck in a wadi, and then Carlos Sainz who was back-tracking. The waypoints were quite difficult to find, the bikers were looking in all directions and we could see them all over the place. After the 287th kilometre, the stage became very fast, in a wide corridor between dunes. The only problem was the sandy wind, which was blowing at 80 km at the finish. »
Tomorrow is a rest day for all. Just enough time to regain some strength before facing the second part of the rally, which will start up again on Monday with a leg which is announced as being dantesque.
Press Release Team Galp Energia