Longest day for Opel Dakar Team
The second stage in Mauritania is the longest of the entire Africa Eco race. However, it will be fast with power being a key differentiator among the elite racers.
466Km of desert await Szaly Balázs and László Bunkoczi as they attempt to claw their way up the leaderboard today. With the Toyota H3 of Kanat Shagirov firmly in their sights at P5 in the overall standings, today is a must win day. The gap to Shagirov is 33 minutes and 46 seconds. If the team are to have any hope of overhauling him and moving on Turon Barrere in P4, they must claw back a big chunk of time on todays long stage.
The stage starts with dunes before the cars hit rolling plateaus and then camel grass. Innocuous sounding, camel grass can be a car killer as hitting a clump at speed is like hitting a brick wall. Team Toyo Tires racer Robby Gordon, currently contesting the 'other' Dakar in Argentina, found this out to his cost in 2006 after hitting a patch of camel grass tore off his radiator forcing him out of his first Dakar running his own team.
Hit a piece of camel grass hard and this is what happens!
Snaking turns, more dunes and more camel grass follow until the final section of the stage, a power shootout, where racers keep the pedal hard down as they try to take every km/h of speed across the sand to the finish. Szalay is a brave man with a powerful car so today should be his day. Scheduled to set off at 8:53, he will be on a mission to overhaul the 6 crews ahead of him in the general standings on todays stage.
- 16.01.2014LATEST: Robby Gordon NOT out
- 16.01.2014Not quite official but not looking good
- 16.01.2014Robby Gordon out of 2014 Dakar
- 15.01.2014Robby Gordon sole Toyo Tires driver after BJ Baldwin forced to retire
- 14.01.2014Robby Gordon finishes 28th
- 14.01.2014Gordon stopped just before stage end.
- 13.01.201414th for Baldwin on Stage 8
- 12.01.2014Baldwin 28th after difficult final sector
- 12.01.2014Rest day
- 12.01.2014Subdued end to Week one of 2014 Dakar
- 10.01.2014Technical problems for Szalay
- 10.01.2014BJ hanging in
- 10.01.2014Gordon hit with 1hour penalty
- 09.01.2014Robby Gordon 3rd on stage 5
- 09.01.2014Team Opel Dakar finish 11th
- 08.01.2014Chicherit out of Dakar
- 08.01.2014Bad luck and Trouble in Africa Eco Race
- 08.01.2014Gordon 1st Toyo Tires driver home, finishing 14th in stage 4
- 08.01.2014Robby Gordon reflects on the opening stages of the Dakar
- 08.01.2014Chicherit stopped at Km65 for 20 minutes now
- 08.01.2014BJ Baldwin before the storm
- 07.01.201442nd for Baldwin
- 07.01.20145th for Chicherit in stage 3, 6th for Gordon
- 07.01.2014Frustration for Opel Dakar Team in stage 7
- 07.01.2014Longest day for Opel Dakar Team
- 07.01.201414 + 2 = bad luck luck for Baldwin
- 06.01.2014Improved results for Team Toyo Tires in stage 2 of 2014 Dakar
- 06.01.2014Team Opel Dakar 2nd in stage six
- 06.01.2014Team Toyo Tires has a bad day at the office
- 05.01.2014Gordon finally starts special
- 05.01.2014Impatient rest day for Szalay
- 05.01.2014Dakar start for Team Toyo Tires
- 04.01.2014Huge interest in Gordon's new car.
- 04.01.2014Robby Gordon reaches Dakar
- 04.01.2014Szalay storms to second
- 03.01.2014EVR Checks in
- 03.01.2014Balzázs bounces back
- 02.01.2014Szalay Balzázs seventh overall in Africa Eco rally 2014