- Fifth place for Nani Roma
- Dunes put the crews through their paces
Stage six, from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona, proved a real test. After a long liaison stage, the competitors were faced with just short of 290 tough kilometers of special stage. Joan Nani Roma and Alex Haro (both ESP) ended the leg in fifth place in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Jakub Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) came home tenth. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) reached San Juan de Marcona on place 15. Boris Garafulic (CHI) / Filipe Palmeiro (POR) are still in the special stage. Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Ronnie Graue (both ARG) re-joined the rally today in the semi-marathon competition, and consequently had a late start. They drove the 10th fastest time today.
Roma did struggle in the face of a few adversities today, but still fared well on the stage. “It was a tough day, which did not actually pan out so well, but I am still happy,” said the Catalan. “I got stuck briefly in the first part. Fortunately, that only cost me five minutes. It could have been a very different stories in these dunes. In the second part of the leg, we spent a lot of time looking for a waypoint. We then ended up in a valley and lost a lot of time looking for a way out. I think everyone had problems today.”
Przygonski lost a lot of time today. He was struggling with gearbox issues when he arrived at the X-raid mechanics at the service point at CP1. They managed to change the gearbox in a sensational 40 minutes. “We had a problem with the gearbox,” the Pole explained. “Fortunately, we made it to the service. The guys did a great job there and replaced it in less than an hour. However, our challenge for a top position is over now. From now on, it is all about learning and getting good stage results.”
Terranova and Graue returned to the 2019 Dakar today and now start in the semi-marathon competition. This class is for all competitors taking advantage of a second chance and re-joining the race after the rest day. However, certain rules apply to these crews: they may not start in the top 25. On the final day, they must start from the very back of the field. Furthermore, they may not help other competitors, unless their safety is at risk.
Tomorrow’s stage is a loop around the bivouac in Marcona. The competitors face a total of 386 kilometers, 323 of which are against the clock