DAK Adverse weather conditions force Dakar organisers to red flag eighth stage in Argentina
35th Peru-Argentina-Chile (Dakar Rally) – January 5th-20th, 2013
For immediate release
Saturday, January 12th 2013
LEG 8 – Salta to San Miguel to Tucumán
Liaisons 379km; Special 470km; Total – 849km (before changes)
ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS FORCE DAKAR RALLY ORGANISERS
TO RED FLAG SPECIAL STAGE INTO SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMÁN
SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMÁN (ARGENTINA): The Overdrive Racing quartet of Geoff Olholm, Adam Malysz, Nunzio Coffaro and Lucio Alvarez faced appalling weather conditions on the 2013 Dakar Rally, as the event headed towards the halfway point with a punishing timed section between Salta and San Miguel de Tucumán in Argentina on Saturday.
Overdrive Racing’s Alvarez and co-driver Ronnie Graue had climbed to 20th position on the stage into Salta, even though they reckoned that the flat-out special had seen them lose out to the Minis in the maximum speed stakes for many kilometres.
They were running well up the leader board on the stage on Saturday before stopping near a river crossing around 123km into the day’s special. Incessant rain in the region had left the tracks in a treacherous state and there was a substantial amount of flood run-off water to contend with before race organisers decided to red flag competitors at the second passage control and abandon the day’s racing.
Only 106 cars had been permitted to start the last stage before the rest day. A liaison section of 152km guided teams to the start of the 470km special – split by a neutralisation zone of around 133km - and a second liaison of 227km steered cars into San Miguel de Tucumán. Torrential rain forced the ASO to cancel the first section of the special and the entire stage for the trucks.
Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah set the early pace on the revised and shortened special, with Guerlain Chicherit, Robbie Gordon, Orlando Terranova and Toyota Imperial South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers in close attention. Weather conditions made the conditions hazardous to say the least and Chicherit took over the stage reins when Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel were delayed.
But the weather conditions deteriorated still further and the ASO decided to red flag the stage at the second passage control point after 86km (374km point of the original special) and that meant that all stage performances and problems after that point were under threat of being ignored.
The Overdrive Racing Toyota chassis were built in Belgium in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed and are powered by the 4.6-litre V8 engine that conforms to the latest FIA regulations. Overdrive is based at Villers-le-Bouillet, near Huy, in Belgium. Overdrive Racing has support from sponsors Toyota Belgium, Mistral, Donaldson Filtration and Michelin.
Tomorrow (Sunday), is the traditional rest day on the Dakar Rally in San Miguel de Tucumán. VIPs, guests and members of the media traditionally visit the event, while teams take the time to rebuild the race cars and drivers and navigators take much-needed rest before the second half of the rally begins in earnest on Monday morning.
For further information: contact Jean-Marc Fortin (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Scott Abraham (E-mail: email@example.com), Overdrive S.A., rue de la métallurgie 37, 4530 Villers-le-Bouillet, Belgium, Tel: + 32 475 762 391. www.overdriveracing.be