Stage 5 and 6 were the marathon stage, testing competitors on their ability to conserve their vehicles without the help of their teams after Stage 5. Casey and Sean would be off to a great pace in the first stage before running into belt issues in the sand. They would make it into the bivouac and only have 20 minutes to make any changes to the RZR before it went into Parc Ferme. This is where they impound the vehicle overnight and you can’t work on it until the timed racing starts the following day. The team would sleep in tent setups and forgo the amenities of a nice shower or RV bed.
The following day Casey and Sean would have an excellent day working their way through the dust from the back of the pack. They ended up 7th on the day and now sit just outside the top 10 in 11th overall.
“Marathon Stage was an interesting one. Stage 5 was pretty epic we were hauling butt at the beginning, having an absolute blast. Pushing hard and passing people, really making it happen. Then we got to the heavy sand that everyone warned me about. Basically, right when we hit the sand, we were catching the guy ahead of us and I don’t have a temperature gauge just because the RZR is bone stock. Probably was going a little too fast and we ended up losing a belt. We quickly changed it and kept going, we backed it down about 20 percent and still lost another belt. We backed it down another 20 percent and took the side cover off and cruised it to the finish. Not the greatest of the days, I think we lost only 8 minutes on the whole day but here it’s so competitive that 8 minutes is 30th place. It’s wild.
Staying the night on marathon stage was actually pretty epic. We were at an amusement park slash water park with night festivities. It was all pretty cool except we didn’t get a shower and I was tired and wanted a real bed. But we had a good time, no problems, the team did a great job taking care of us. It was fun hanging out with everybody as well.
Then today, we pushed hard all day. No mistakes, Sean did an excellent job, the RZR performed great. I think we finished 6th or 7th. We lost 2 minutes on the day, I think for us, starting in the back today we had to go through a lot of dust. Probably lost a little time in the dust today but now we start back up in the front. We get a larger gap so tomorrow is going to be a blast. We’re pushing hard, we’re learning and we’re driving. I’m loving it, Brazil is amazing, the terrain has been very unique and fun, and the competition is pretty wild. The top 20 everyday are within 5 minutes. You’re not getting the day where you make up 20 minutes. Couple more days left!” – Casey
While the drivers roughed it on the Marathon stage the teams moved over to the 6th bivouac in Petrolina and enjoyed a night off from working on vehicles. We woke up and headed out to the finish of the Stage 6 special to catch the racers coming in.
While there we found a small market that had wifi to try and stay up to date on the race. The owner of the market invited us to stay for lunch and cooked up a meal of fried fish with rice and fresh veggies. The small village is there due to the river it’s next to and the fishing that it supplies. Hanging out with the locals they we’re very intrigued by our camera gear (especially the drone) and we’re stoked on some Monster Energy patches. It was an awesome way to spend the afternoon waiting for Casey and Sean to arrive to the finish.
With three days remaining the stages start to shorten. Stage 7 will be a total of 435 KM with a 242 KM special as we steadily move back towards the coastline from Petrolina to Delmiro Gouveia.
Sertoes Stage 5 video:
Stage 6 highlight video: