Dakar Rally : News from Leg 7
There will also be camel grass and a few fast sections. In fact, it is one of the most varied stages of this 29th edition, but probably one of the most difficult. Experience in the desert will once again be primordial, and in this domain, the
Mitsubishi drivers will be favourites… It should be noted that the starting times for the cars and trucks will be merged tomorrow: they will start depending on their scratch time position, irrespective of category, with Dutchman Hans Stacey in 22nd position, for example. 580 km, including 542 km against the clock, are on the menu for the seventh stage, including sand, sand and more sand, on the tracks and off-track on the dunes.
Russian team Kamaz Master wished to officially express its gratitude and warmest thanks to team 511 of Dutchmen Hans Bekx and Edwin Willems and Belgian Toon Maessen, for coming to the rescue of their team 500 – Vladimir Chagin, Semen Yakubov and Serguey Savostin – after their truck rolled over on stage 5. The intervention, which – according to Firdaus Kabirov Kamaz's team manager proves the high human values and positive attitude of Hans Bekx, is an example for all participants.
After a driving mistake on km 12 of today's special stage, Belgian biker Alain Thirifays hurt his shoulder and went back to the bivouac in Zouerat.
Many got lost in the very first kilometers of the special stage and are now looking for the right way often having to turn back. Several of them, including Brazilian Jean De Azevedo, have made a 50 km loop before finding the right track.
After breaking his bike's engine at km 139 of today's special stage, French biker Eric Piroud is now waiting for assistance, or – failing so – for the broom truck.
As the first 9 bikes have now passed CP1 (km 216), Frenchman Cyril Despres has been marked virtual leader of today's special stage, 3'20 ahead of Norway's Pal Anders Ullevalseter and 4'33 ahead of France's David Casteu.
As the first 40 cars have passed km 33, Frenchman Luc Alphand is now marked 2nd of today's special stage, 54" behind Carlos Sainz and 2" ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah, now in 3rd position.
Marked at km 33 some 33'07 behind the virtual leader of special stage 7 Spaniard Carlos Sainz, France's Jean-Louis Schlesser had to stop for repairs after only 10 minutes.
As the first 11 trucks have passed km 33, the leader of the overall ranking, Dutchman Hans Stacey was marked virtual leader of the special stage of the day, 1'14 ahead of his compatriot Wulfert Van Ginkel and 1'15 ahead of Russian Ilgizar Mardeev.