Dakar Rally in Morocco without any problems
The Race Unimog of Team MAXDATA Mercedes-Benz made it to Morocco without any problems.
From today, the team will have to cope with Mauritania's dunes.
The Unimog U 400 entered by Teams MAXDATA Mercedes-Benz delivered
in fine style, over the course of the first 3,000 kilometres of the 2007 Dakar Rally, with the first stage on African soil – on deep, soft sand, from Er Rachidia to Quarzazate – turning out to be the highlight. It was perfect terrain for the race Unimog that is contesting the truck competition.
“It was big fun,” said Unimog driver Darko Goriup. “We passed a lot of other trucks and had already worked our way up to 24th position when we were stopped by a puncture that cost us two hours.” In the end, Goriup and his Slovenian co-driver they held 47th position when crossing the stage's finish line. “It's our goal to make it to Dakar,” added Goriup, “While our overall result isn't of major importance, for us.”
The race Unimog is supported by the Actros 6x6, the team's mobile repair shop at the service sites. Both trucks are perfectly equipped: thanks to the power delivered by the PRAMAC alternators, there are no supply leaks. Following the retirement of Ellen Lohr's M-Class prototype, the two ad-truckdrive supported trucks now represent the team's spearhead, with the Unimog crew enjoying the ‘luxury' that all the mechanics can fully focus on working on the Unimog.
With its total mileage of 817 kilometres, today's sixth stage, leading from Tan Tan to Zouerat, represents the longest of the entire event. Following a 414-kilometre liaison, the team will have to coupe with the 394-kilometre special stage. “This test across the Mauritanian dune region most definitely will be a very challenging one,” reveals Goriup. “It's all about keeping your cool and also focusing on the navigation.”
The goal to secure a good result in the truck competition's overall rankings came to an end as early as on day one. The Unimog was only the 60th car to start into the first 117-kilometre special stage held on soft sand. “The trucks that had started earlier had caused incredibly deep ruts,” said Goriup. “We had no chance at all of going faster. Therefore, we exceeded the maximum time of three hours by twelve minutes and received a massive five-hour time penalty for this delay.”