[Topics / DAKAR] The Dakar 2010 Race Report (Stage 9)
January 11, Copiapo (Chile) - La Serena (Chile)
Connection 0 km, SS 338 km*, Connection 209 km, Total: 547 km
(*The above distance was changed to SS 178 km. Please refer to the report below.)
Car 2 kept top place in the Production Vehicle Division and in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters.
Car 1 is currently driving to La Serena alone; it met with some trouble along its way.
The final day of the special stage over dunes in the Atacama Desert was held on the 11th. The 178 km SS was held between Copiapo and La Serena in Chile. Although the distance of the SS was originally 338 km, the organizers delayed the start time and shortened the distance to 178 km from the start to CP2 (Check Point 2), due to morning fog and also due to the delayed arrival of so many entrants at the bivouac on the previous day. It was nonetheless a demanding day for the entrants as the course included many areas covered in the latter part of yesterday's SS, including steep climbs over difficult dunes.
Car 2, driven by Teruhito Sugawara/Seiichi Suzuki of Hino Team Sugawara, which came from behind and overtook the J. Elfrink team (Mercedes Benz Axor) during the special stage on the 10th, drove well and with composure even on this arduous day. Car 2 prudently cleared areas highly risky for trucks, such as the camber driving zone and the high dunes which could have caused a roll-over. It reached its goal with a favorable SS result -- 8th in the overall Truck Division, 1st in the Production Vehicle Division, and 1st in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters. It seems that the Elfrink team got stuck just after it started the SS, so that its arrival has been delayed. Based on its cumulative results, Car 2 came in 7th in the overall Truck Division, and kept 1st position in the Production Vehicle Division which does not stipulate any engine displacement requirements; it is also in 1st place in the class with an engine displacement of under 10 liters.
On the other hand, Car 1, driven by Yoshimasa Sugawara/Katsumi Hamura, that also drove at an exquisite pace encountered turbo trouble after it passed the CP (Check Point). It drove valiantly to finish the SS, and although the vehicle has not arrived at the bivouac as of 10:40 p.m. local time (the time at which this report is being written) Car 1 has contacted us to say that it has been striving hard, is driving alone, and hopes to arrive safely at the bivouac in La Serena. Although Car 1 reached the goal of the SS in 13th in the Truck Division, 5th in the Production Vehicle Division and 2nd in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters, as it made a detour in part of the course after it experienced trouble, there is a possibility of its incurring a penalty (time increase) due to this. However, there is no formal decision with regards to this detour as of now.
All entrants, after the SS moved to the bivouac set near the coast of La Serena by using the 400 km connection. As the start time of the SS was delayed to 12:30 p.m., all entrants arrived at the bivouac after 8:00 p.m. A 238 km SS is set tomorrow along the last course in Chile to Santiago, the capital of Chile. The mechanics are waiting for the arrival of Car 1 as they service Car 2 at the bivouac.
Teruhito Sugawara (Car 2 Driver)
I feel as if the vehicle load while driving in South America is five-fold or so compared to that of Africa, as the sand in the dunes here is much heavier. Today's stage was also arduous. We will strive hard until the end, in order to keep our current position.
Seiichi Suzuki (Car 2 Navigator)
It seems that Car 1 could drive unaided although its turbo condition was not good. It was difficult to keep our momentum during today's SS due to the heavy sand. However, yesterday's noise disappeared when we changed the transmission. As the sand load was so heavy, we have decided to ask the mechanics to replace the transfer just to be on the safe side.
(The rankings in parentheses are in the class with an engine displacement of below 10 liters.)
*The rankings at the time when the report was written might be adjusted afterwards.
Refer to the latest ranking list.
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|Teruhito Sugawara and Seiichi Suzuki discussing tomorrow's rally in the tent.|
|Car 2 replacing the transfer at the bivouac in La Serena.|
|Copiapo (Chile) - La Serena (Chile)|