Kolomý in TOP 10 Again. Stage Nine Cancelled
Martin Kolomý and Aleš Loprais completed without bigger problems another significantly shortened stage of Dakar Rally. The result moved Kolomý up three ranks to the ninth overall rank. For the reason of rainstorm a landslide blocked the access road to Salta. Thus the organizers have to cancel today´s stage nine.
Although the originally scheduled 492 kilometres were shortened to mere 170, two pilots of the factory team of Kamaz and Hans Stacey with his MAN were trapped on the road. The leading interim rank so far held by Gerard de Rooy with Iveco was taken over by Dmitry Sotnikov with Kamaz.
“Today´s stage was quite quick in the beginning, with a lot of mud all around. We loved that. We flew forward, overtaking many trucks. Then in one point where the route climbed above 4,300 m above sea level, the engine power dropped a little, but everybody had the same problem there. In the latter half we had a bigger problem, when in the course of the descent we got stuck in a wash-out. Digging out of there took us some fifteen to twenty minutes,“ said the fifteenth ranking Kolomý in the finish. In the overall ranking he moved to the ninth interim rank.
Aleš Loprais achieved the twelfth quickest time in stage eight. His overall rank improved by one. “We begin anew after the first week. In the beginning the engine power was not optimal in the high altitude but the chassis worked excellently in the technical sections. Now the alpha and omega of everything will be what will come next and when we meet without our accompaniment again,“ said Aleš Loprais, who celebrated his thirty seventh birthday on Tuesday.
For today a stage from Salta to Chilecito was scheduled. But as the Dakar caravel remained trapped in the mountains 160 kilometres before the bivouac and the organizers did not manage to prepare a bypass today´s stage had to be cancelled. “In the beginning it was fun. We had gone through dozens of similar situations. But the information we receive are contradictory and the waiting has already extended over seven hours,” said the team manager Jan Kalivoda. But even after twelve hours the Tatra Buggyra Racing team did not move forward. “Today the most important thing is to get to the next bivouac so that we can normally continue with the tenth stage, today´s one has been cancelled,“ confirmed Kalivoda.