Dakar is getting tougher, Šoltys almost ran out of fuel, Macháček worried about the belt
While the 5th stage of this year’s Dakar Rally was the second shortest one, still nothing has changed about the toughness of the competition. A difficult sand terrain affected fuel consumption of both vehicles and the drivers had it very close. Martin Šoltys is currently 9th in the overall standings, while Josef Macháček moved up by another 3 positions.
As the terrain changed from rocks and stones to the sand, the drivers could finally take a breath.
“This stage was definitely better than yesterday. There was a lot of sand with several uphills and downhills, so a bit like a centrifuge. When we finished the special stage, we had only 50 litres of diesel left, which wouldn’t last to the bivouac. Luckily, there was a fuel station on the route and despite it was really close, we’ve made it. We ran on the full throttle for most of the time and the vehicle went through hell, but it worked great,” said Martin Šoltys, who finished in the 14th place.
Josef Macháček also had to think about the fuel level but there was more on his mind.
“It was a completely different terrain and scenery again. We had to drive very differently because the rocks were only at the start. Then, we got on the sand which I enjoy. The bottom of the sand was wet, so we didn’t dig in, so it had to rain here before. I liked that nobody was overtaking us, but we were actually passing others. By the end of the stage, we were starting to get worried about the fuel level, because the consumption in the sand was enormous. But I also worried about the belt as several crews had to change them,” said the Buggyra Racing driver in the bivouac.
On Friday, the teams have one last stage before a free day on Saturday. But it will be the longest one so far, with 830 kilometres in total, out of which 478 kilometres will be timed. The stage will be completely in sand, with 20% in the dunes.