Jan 14, 2015
• Stage win for Nani Roma and Michel Périn
• Extremely difficult navigation
The stage, from Iquique to Calama, should prove to be the most difficult one of the 2015 Dakar Rally to date – particularly when it came to the navigation. In the second half of the special stage, many crews got lost while looking for a way point. Roma and Périn, however, made perfect use of their skills to find the waypoint right away and win the stage with a lead of more than six minutes.
“This win is for my guys and the team,” beamed Roma. “They did a great job. Today, we finally experienced a trouble-free day and didn’t encounter the slightest problem. And Michel once again delivered in sensational style. The special stage was an extreme challenge. The dunes weren’t that difficult but afterwards, the going got really tough.” With hindsight, a waypoint after 300 kilometres proved to be the key to success. “Here, you had to follow the compass direction absolutely exactly,” explained Périn. “But many of the others yawed and consequently lost their way.”
Unfortunately, the team-mates of the winning pairing also got lost what cost them several minutes. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) finished sixth. “Today, we had a really good chance of closing in on Yazeed,” Holowczyc said annoyed. “But the special stage was really tough.” Their team-mates Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) came seventh. “We lost our way together with Giniel, thus losing a lot of time,” admitted Terranova.
Tomorrow, the Dakar returns to Argentina. Having completed the border formalities, the competitors will start into the special stage at 3,600 above sea level and will work their way up to 4,600 metres above sea level. The field will cover a total of 859 kilometres, tomorrow. A 385-kilometre liaison section will be followed by a 358-kilometre special stage and another 116 kilometres to the bivouac.
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