Jan 12, 2017
Only a few days are ahead before the finish of Africa Eco Race. The fewer kilometers are left to reach Lake Rose in Dakar, where the race will be finished and its winners will get prizes, the more difficult and challenging are the specials.
Today sportsmen had to pass plenty of dunes. Two KAMAZ-master crews, taking part on Africa Eco Race, decided to pass this section backing up each other. As Andrey Karginov said in that situation it was the most correct tactics.
“First we waited for Sergey Kuprianov’s crew to pass the sands together. At the start we had time difference in 18 minutes, but we decided to go together. We are a team, and we are interested in results of the both crews. We realize that here in Africa nobody is insured against anything”, – explained the pilot Andrey Karginov.
The other KAMAZ-master pilot Sergey Kuprianov noticed that the dunes were the hardest part of today’s special.
“Today there were very difficult dunes: rugged relief, soft sand. We passed them without big problems, although it was not easy. For example, there were such places, when we went up to the top and there was almost vertical cliff of with an altitude of a two-stored building. We had to go down and climb up again. And the sand was loose. So we couldn’t descend fast, as the dune was almost vertical, and in the bottom we needed to go fast in order to climb up the next one. All in all there were approximately 10 dunes of such kind. But we passed all of them well, only once we backed out”, – told Sergey Kuprianov.
Climbing one dune could bring us to a serious accident, but a special device, that due to the competition rules must be installed on every vehicle of competitors, helped them to avoid it.
“In front of the highest dune we heard a signal that somewhere near was a car, we climbed up a dune, surmounted the top of the dune and saw the crew of Konstantin Khoroshavtsev. They appeared only one meter from us! We were too close to “jump” on the car. It was a dangerous moment for the guys, as they didn’t mark their car on the top of the dune, only set the signal with the device”, – told Sergey Kuprianov.
In case of an emergency, the pilot has to press the button of this device and then other racers coming to the car will get a signal that an accident has happened nearby, and they need to be attentive.
Moreover, Sergey Kuprianov’s crew faced with technical problems.
“The pumping system stopped working. First we tried to repair it, but as a result we had to stop twice: first to deflate the tires before the sand section, then – to inflate them after. The pumping system does it fast, but it takes much time if you do it with the valve core. As a result, we again went back to the fourth position. The time difference with the nearest rival is 19 minutes. This time can be won back if not to stop”, – admitted the sportsman
The crew of Andrey Karginov could keep its leading position in the general standings of Africa Eco Race. However, two more stages are ahead and the sportsmen are not going to relax.
“As co-pilots say, tomorrow could be an unusual day as well, as the race officials can make a surprise in the end of the race”, – he noticed.
However, as Andrey Karginov said, he would remember stages of Africa Eco Race for long. “Only the day before yesterday we drove on sands, about which the race officials told us beforehand. We thought they meant dunes, but it turned out to be sand tracks with camel grass and loose sand. It was the first time I saw in my 10-year career that KAMAZ refuses to go on a straight surface”, – noticed the pilot.
Tomorrow racers have to overcome a loop section. On 13 January they will leave the territory of Mauritania and continue the rally-marathon on the territory of Senegal.
Results of the 9th Leg:
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