Jan 08, 2016
Daniel Mas Valdes and the second Ford Ranger reach Uyuni in 27th overall
UYUNI (BOLIVIA): Xavier ‘Xevi’ Pons carefully steered his Ford Ranger to new heights, as the 2016 Dakar Rally crossed the Argentine frontier into neighbouring Bolivia and competitors tackled a punishing 321km special stage at high altitude on Thursday.
Storms and heavy rain had affected the surrounding area and race officials shortened the special by six kilometres. Pons and Argentine co-driver Ricardo Torlaschi took no risks, avoided the debilitating symptoms of altitude sickness and were classified 20th through the sixth waypoint check.
They went on to finish the timed test in 46th overall after a late steering issue cost them over an hour, but Pons still climbed a further three places to 40th overall after the costly time loss in choking mud in Argentina at the start of the week.
The Spaniard had begun the breathtaking and energy-sapping special in Villazón from 22nd on the road, as the designated route climbed to a Dakar Rally record height of just under 4,600 metres above sea level. The stage then finished near the Tazna mining hub in close proximity to the Salar de Uyuni (salt flats).
Run under a joint venture between DMAS South Racing and Esponsorama, the Ford Ranger’s engine never missed a beat in the oxygen-starved environment – where motors lose power and experience of the changing atmospheric conditions are crucial to the success or failure of a Dakar team.
“For sure, it was a bit disappointing to have the problem so close to the end of the stage,” said Pons. “The most important thing was we got to the finish. Everyday I get a better feeling for the Ranger and the Dakar and I’m loving the challenge.
“I would like to thank Peter Jerie, who helped me on the special today. He’s a man who showed the true spirit of the Dakar!”
Chilean Daniel Mas Valdes and co-driver Juan Pablo Latrach began the day in 31st overall and seven places further back on the road in the second Ford Ranger run by DMAS South Racing. The crew improved on that position as the stage progressed and were running in a virtual 26th through the sixth waypoint check.
Several rivals hit trouble over the closing kilometres and Mas Valdes crossed the finish line in Uyuni in 23rd on the stage and holds 27th overall at the overnight halt.
Only 100 of the original 111 cars that started out of Buenos Aires began the first of the three Bolivian stages.
Support for Pons’s Dakar challenge comes from Air Europa, Fundación Incorpora Deportistas Solidarios, Avintia Grupo, Power Electronics, KP Sport, Galfer, Jjuan Faura, King Regal, Las Rozas Cuidad Europea del Deporte 2016 and the Palladium Hotel Group.
South Racing also has support from NWM, Rudy Project, OMP, TW Steel, Gold Nutrition, Michelin, MotoGP Argentina, Argentina Tourism and Ecomac.
Tomorrow (Friday), teams tackle the second of the high altitude stages across the Bolivian plateau. In a gruelling route of 723km, drivers will tackle 542km against the clock, including a section across the awe-inspiring Uyuni salt flats, the largest of their kind anywhere in the world.
Apr 09, 2021 Comments Off on Mondello Park appointed Organisers & Promoters of Irish Circuit Racing Championships
Apr 09, 2021 Comments Off on European Truck Racing Championship 2021 is taking shape; Will run on Biofuel
Apr 09, 2021 Comments Off on Extreme E – the story from off the Rally Course
Apr 09, 2021 Comments Off on M-Sport Ford to register and participate in the FIA World Rally Championship’s new hybrid era
Comments Off on Mondello Park appointed Organisers & Promoters of Irish Circuit Racing Championships
Comments Off on European Truck Racing Championship 2021 is taking shape; Will run on Biofuel
Comments Off on Extreme E – the story from off the Rally Course
Comments Off on M-Sport Ford to register and participate in the FIA World Rally Championship’s new hybrid era
Mar 08, 2021TweetTo celebrate International Women’s Day, Alfa Romeo...
Feb 26, 2021TweetHRC are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of...
Feb 07, 2021Tweet*Mid-Atlantic archipelago spectacular hosts new season...
Jan 15, 2021TweetThe Lola Cars Brand, Trademarks, Extensive Technical...
Jan 09, 2021Tweet Once driven by motor sport legend Takuma Sato...
Apr 05, 2021TweetRosberg X Racing duo Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor were the pace-setters from the outset in Extreme E’s inaugural race weekend in AlUla, Saudi Arabia (3/4 April), but the pair still...
Apr 04, 2021
Apr 02, 2021
Apr 02, 2021
Apr 02, 2021