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altitude...

randy s

Well-Known Member
may determine the winners..not who's potentially the fastest..some mountain climbing experts say that the ability to deal with high altitude is in genetics and not high altitude training..acclimation does help but there aren't many countries that are suitable for that...and if some members of the crews get sick, then no matter how well the drivers deal with it, it's bound to affect the outcome..even the medical team is at risk for altitude sickness...i think this has been understated and is going to get very interesting..
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
may determine the winners..not who's potentially the fastest..some mountain climbing experts say that the ability to deal with high altitude is in genetics and not high altitude training..acclimation does help but there aren't many countries that are suitable for that...and if some members of the crews get sick, then no matter how well the drivers deal with it, it's bound to affect the outcome..even the medical team is at risk for altitude sickness...i think this has been understated and is going to get very interesting..
Wasn't it Nassar that got altitude sickness a few years ago? I agree that this could be a factor, I hadn't considered it for the support crews though previously. Hopefully they have plenty of coca leaves!
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
Yes, Nasser suffered very much last year.

But basically it really affects you.
I have been in Bolivia in La Paz airport (4000 meters) and it is really tought just to do normal things: walk some meter, climb some stairs (just some) and you get instantly tired.

Additionally I had sporadic and mild headaches, but I can not imagine trying to get nyself to limit doing some sports.
 

randy s

Well-Known Member
Wasn't it Nassar that got altitude sickness a few years ago? I agree that this could be a factor, I hadn't considered it for the support crews though previously. Hopefully they have plenty of coca leaves!
some testing has been done and viagra is supposed to help with severe altitude sickness..coca leaves and viagra sounds more like a party than racing..someone better hide the llamas..
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
In Bolivia they have a pill called Sorojchi Pills which really helps.
I do not know if this would be considered doping
 

randy s

Well-Known Member
Yes hookers are also good for altitude sickness (and team morale).
unless your hooker's sick with high altitude lockjaw..extremely agonizing, dangerous and difficult to deal with and it's also kinda bad for the hooker
 

bajaxp

Baja Bobsled Team
What effect does the extreme altitude have on the turbo diesels? I am guessing that the turbos are working extra hard to get what little air to the engine. Would they run hot? Do the cars run hotter since there is less air to cool the radiators?
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
What effect does the extreme altitude have on the turbo diesels? I am guessing that the turbos are working extra hard to get what little air to the engine. Would they run hot? Do the cars run hotter since there is less air to cool the radiators?
Anything turbo/supercharged will make more power than a normally aspirated engine at the same altitude. The compressor pushes more air into the engine so they can make more power. They are still effected at altitude but not as much as a normally aspirated engine.

I'm not sure about operating temps, but at those altitudes it is generally cold so I doubt they would have a problem with overheating.
 

Ol' Curmudgeon

RDC's resident crackpot
Actually, cooling issues can arise, as thin air is a poor conductor.
 

bajaxp

Baja Bobsled Team
Anything turbo/supercharged will make more power than a normally aspirated engine at the same altitude. The compressor pushes more air into the engine so they can make more power. They are still effected at altitude but not as much as a normally aspirated engine.

I'm not sure about operating temps, but at those altitudes it is generally cold so I doubt they would have a problem with overheating.
I know about a forced induction engine making more power at altitude than a NA engine. I was just wondering if anyone knew if teams have had turbo issues at higher altitude or basic engine overheating issues.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
I grew up in Bolivia. I believe the altitude will affect the support members of the teams the most. Most drivers are in relatively good shape. This will help get oxygen into the body. Anyone with any sort of breathing issues will be affected the most. Headaches are the first sign of altitude sickness. Once you get it, you very well may not get over it until you go back to a lower altitude. Weak and lethargic are the next two symptoms that have no place in Dakar.

There are pills that help. Available over the counter. Coca tea is comon place and does not get you high. It is legal to carry up to a kilo of Coca leaves on you with out any permits. Chewing the leaves similar to tobacco will ease altitude sickness, hunger pains, and keep you awake and does not get you high like cocaine does. Hydration is also a problem. The air in the high altitudes is very dry. It will suck the moisture right out of you. Chapped lips. Staying hydrated helps with the altitude as well.

I know of people that couldn't even walk off the airplane in La Paz without the help of oxygen. I hope the teams are prepared for all the days that they will be in the high altitudes.

As far as vehicles, we never had an issue with over heating due to the thin air and radiators. We lived at 5500 feet and often traveled over a 12,000 foot pass to get to one city or we would drop down to 1500 ft to get to another city. So jetting was always an issue. Motorcycles were affected the most. We didn't want to be too lean or rich. We didn't have any gas vehicles with fuel injection. Later on we converted everything to diesel. We had an Isuzu powered Dodge Power Wagon, an 86 Suburban with a Nissan diesel. We did a number of conversions for others as well.

Anyway, I am interested in seeing the affect of the altitude. I don't wish the sickness on anyone as I dealt with it all the time as a kid.
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
When you think about all the potential dangers associated with the altitude it really is surprising that the organizers are having the course run through so many days of high altitude stuff... Its gonna wreak havoc on the teams, drivers and equipment...
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
I know, but isn't there a lot more at altitude this year??? Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought it was 4-6 days at altitude verses 2-3 days as in the past...
I haven't seen the typical chart yet but I believe you are right.


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