Dakar 2014: Update from the Road, Days 11-13

Nutanix has teamed up with VMware’s Jan-Willem Lammers to sponsor a group of Dutch journalists who will be following the Dakar 2014 rally. Follow all his updates here on the Nutanix blog.

January 15th: Iquique-Antofagasta
Another tough stage for the competitors and a very pleasant drive along the coast to beautiful Antofagasta. Great weather, light breeze and nicely located bivouac. Able to sit at a beach restaurant just outside the bivouac. Stange experience to be out of the bivouac and experience the tranquility just outside the madness of the rally. Having some time without noise feels great. During the day in the noisy car or in the bivouac where generators and power tools are taking the scene 24/7, there is never a moment of rest.

Crazy story of the day: Not a nice one this time for us.  Some thieves attacked and pried open the car lock and stole cameras, lenses, ipad, money and other stuff. All things essential to continue the work are still there so the show still goes on. This is, after all, Dakar…

January 16th: Antofagasta-El Salvador
Really enjoyed today’s drive crossing the Atacama desert. A line of tarmac through landscapes that could as well be on the moon. Makes you feel really tiny again. This is an area I would like to return without being in a rally.

Crazy stories of the day (or night): 2 teams of our Dutch friends in the trucks had serious problems early in today’s stage with a broken friction plate in the clutch. It looked that they had to give up but they were able to fix it with help of their assistance teams. Both teams came in very late but in time to start the next day.

January 17th

Tomorrow is the last stage and nothing is decided yet in the competition. All 4 categories are close and can still change in the last stage.

  • In the bikes competition the victory is near for Marc Coma with a big lead after Barreda fell in today’s special stage and lost over 2 hours.
  • In the quad category it is still close and a small mistake can change the results there.
  • The car competition is an exciting story with a lot of politics, so it seems. For a long time Nani Roma was is the lead and Peterhansel complained that there are team orders in the X-raid mini team. This created much grief for people who like the sport. Twitter got filled with #matchfixing and the rally director complained openly. Today’s stage Peterhansel told before the start that he intended to forget about the team order and he finished first leading the standing with a 29 seconds advantage overall. That will be an exciting race to the finish tomorrow.

  • For the trucks competition Gerard de Rooij performed strong today in his green Iveco nose truck leaving the Russians behind over half a minute. To win the competition he needs 16 minutes tomorrow so a podium is likely but the highest place will probably go to Karchinov in the Kamaz.

Crazy story of the day is that private driver Bastiaan Nijen Twilhaar towed pro driver Barreda from Honda over a 320 km liason to the bivouac after Barreda had to push his bike over the finish.

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