With two stages under its belt, the 2013 Dakar Rally is now well underway. Stage 2 began and ended in Pisco, Peru and although this 242 km (150mi) trek was entirely on sand, which may play to a disadvantage for the new drivers, it was showed that the Dakar isn’t just about SPEED, it’s about navigation as well.
The most exciting races of the day came from the motorcycles and cars. The first ten bikes were sent out every two minutes, followed by the next ten every one minute. Although visibility is clear, it is easy to get lost in the massive dunes. Spain’s Barreda Bort displayed dominance as he drove immediately to the front on his Husqvarna made bike by waypoint 1. Bort never looked back as he led from checkpoint to checkpoint, until he arrived first across the finish line in Pisco with a time of 2:42:31. “I’m really happy on the days stage. I got a little bit lost at the start but so did everyone else,” said Bort. 03:16 behind him was Pedrero Garcia and Australia’s Matt Fish (05:53 back). The sprint to cap off the top 10 was most impressive, with all times two minutes and thirty seconds from each other.
American Kurt Caselli was at the forefront of that sprint and finished 07:10 behind Bort in 5th place. Caselli started 33rd off the line and made it through way point 2 in 3rd. Caselli traded positions through all checkpoints with Portugal’s Ruben Faria, who sits in second place overall through two stages. Caselli’s solid performance picked up the beaten down Americans, who after Robby Gordon’s mishaps on day 1 had a rough beginning to this years rally.
136 positions separated Robby and Stage 1 winner, Carlos Sainz, heading in to the second stage although he started 33rd. Why? For safety reasons, at the end of each Stage, the Sporting Stewards will automatically reposition for the starting order of the next day’s Stage. Elite Drivers and/or the first 20 overall in the car category, the first 10 overall in the truck category, if these drivers happened to be badly classified due to mechanical problems. In no case can such a repositioned car start in front of a car appearing among the first 20 cars in the start list of the Stage.
Robby looked to get back on pace for his first career Dakar Rally win after getting his Hummer stuck in the dunes in the prior stage. Today, Gordon was able to shave some time off but still remains 49:21 down to the overall leader and 10-time Dakar Champion, Stéphane Peterhansel. Peterhansel, who took the Stage 2 win over South African Giniel de Villiers, is favored to win the 2013 Dakar Rally and posted a 02:35:38 in his 302 Monster Energy Mini. France’s Ronan Chabot took third on the day.
All day, drivers had difficulty unlocking their GPS waypoints. When a driver gets close enough to the waypoint, a trigger in their vehicle unlocks them onward to the next. Stage 1 winner and Team Toyo driver Carlos Sainz, aka El Matador, fell victim to this early on in the race and lost significant time driving around trying to unlock the waypoint. Sainz was unhappy and made sure let the race organizers know it.
Mixed feelings are brewing as today’s performance could be looked at as a step forward or a step “not backwards” for Robby Gordon. He now lies twenty-third in the overall and significant work to do in the stages to come. We should see some excellent racing from the American Rebel.
Complete Results for Stage 2 can be found on the ASO website.
1 302 PETERHANSEL (CHE), COTTRET (FRA) MINI 003:00:20 00:00:00
2 301 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 003:02:58 00:02:38 00:00:00
3 316 CHABOT (FRA), PILLOT (FRA) SMG 003:03:06 00:02:46 00:00:00
4 313 TERRANOVA (ARG), FIUZA (PRT) BMW 003:06:46 00:06:26 00:00:00
5 307 NOVITSKIY (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 003:09:53 00:09:33 00:00:00
6 300 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), CRUZ (ESP) BUGGY 003:10:45 00:10:25 00:00:00
7 306 ALVAREZ (ARG), GRAUE (ARG) TOYOTA 003:12:47 00:12:27 00:00:00
8 310 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PALMEIRO (PRT) MINI 003:14:20 00:14:00 00:00:00
9 308 SOUSA (PRT), RAMALHO (PRT) GREAT WALL 003:16:08 00:15:48 00:00:00
10 321 ERRANDONEA (AND), DEBRON (FRA) SMG 003:16:35 00:16:15 00:00:00
11 303 SAINZ (ESP), GÖTTSCHALK (DEU) BUGGY 003:16:41 00:16:21 00:00:00
12 331 VASILYEV (RUS), YEVTYEKHOV (UKR) G-FORCE 003:20:47 00:20:27 00:00:00
13 312 VOS (ZAF), HOWIE (ZAF) TOYOTA 003:23:00 00:22:40 00:00:00
14 348 GADASIN (RUS), KUZMICH (RUS) G-FORCE PROTO 003:24:36 00:24:16 00:00:00
15 305 ROMA (ESP), PÉRIN (FRA) MINI 003:24:48 00:24:28 00:00:00
16 325 WEVERS (NLD), LURQUIN (BEL) HRX 003:25:22 00:25:02 00:00:00
17 314 GARAFULIC (CHL), PICARD (FRA) MINI 003:25:59 00:25:39 00:00:00
18 326 VAN MERKSTEIJN (NLD), CHEVAILLIER (BEL) TOYOTA 003:29:20 00:29:00 00:00:00
19 309 CHICHERIT (FRA), GARCIN (FRA) SMG 003:31:10 00:30:50 00:00:00
20 328 THOMASSE (FRA), LARROQUE (FRA) BUGGY MD RALLYE 003:35:13 00:34:53 00:00:00
21 336 MALYSZ (POL), MARTON (POL) TOYOTA 003:43:11 00:42:51 00:00:00
22 320 DELAHAYE (FRA), WINOCQ (FRA) BUGGY MD RALLYE 003:46:45 00:46:25 00:00:00
23 315 GORDON (USA), WALCH (USA) HUMMER 003:49:41 00:49:21 00:00:00