DAK Ford Ranger team mechanics refettle car at Dakar rest day in Iquique
37th Dakar Argentina-Bolivia-Chile (January 3-17, 2015)
Dakar rest day – Iquique, Chile
VILLAGRA AND MEMI ENJOY REST DAY IN IQUIQUE AS SOUTH RACING AND NEIL WOOLRIDGE MOTORSPORT PREPARE FORD RANGER FOR SECOND DAKAR WEEK
· Iquique hosts rest day for car crews before race resumes with climb into Calama
IQUIQUE, CHILE, January 12, 2015 – Monday was a day of much needed rest and relaxation in Iquique for the YPF Competicion Ford Ranger pairing of Federico Villagra and Andrés Memi, after eight gruelling days of competition in the 2015 Dakar Rally.
But the rest day is traditionally one of the most important days for other members of a Dakar rally team. Aside from the numerous media interviews and chances to discuss the week’s racing with friends, rivals and spectators, Villagra and Memi will be preparing themselves physically and psychologically for the final five special stages of the Dakar.
Meanwhile, the team will be checking every small component on the Ford Ranger to ensure that it is fully prepared and ready for the resumption of the race on Tuesday.
Teams have a checklist of tasks to carry out on a rest day and everything from the transmission to the suspension, wiring and braking systems will be thoroughly examined before the race resumes.
South Racing is looking after Villagra’s on-event logistics and day-to-day management under the directorship of the experienced Scott Abraham and his team. Villagra’s Ford Ranger was prepared and developed in South Africa by Neil Woolridge Motorsport.
“Federico and Andrés have done a great job so far to bring the Ranger home to Iquique,” said South Racing’s Scott Abraham. “The first half of the Dakar has had its ups and downs, but the whole team has rallied around the crew and the Ranger and we are looking forward to a better second half of the event. There are still a lot of kilometres and the race is far from over. Knowing the Dakar, there will be a few surprises along the way.”
In addition to Argentine energy company YPF, Villagra’s Dakar programme is being supported by suspension and OEM parts company Fric Rot, Brenson (Dealer Ford), Piamontesa and construction company Natania. OMP, Michelin, Rudy Project and Gold Nutrition have provided technical assistance.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, January 13), all competitors tackle an identical special stage between Iquique and Calama in the high Atacama Desert. The special runs for 450km and gradually starts to climb as it closes in on Calama.
The town is the capital of the El Loa Province and is one of the driest in the world with average annual precipitation of just 5mm. The bivouac will be overlooked by Codelco’s giant Chuquicamata copper mine, the world’s second deepest open pit, which towers above the desert settlement and supports the livelihoods of many of the town’s residents.
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