06. 01. 2021
Yesterday, after the quarter of "Dakar", the cargo category suffered further losses. Now there are 38 crews out of 44 in the general classification. The high-speed and not the easiest stage (and there is never another in the legendary race) stage almost brought the Japanese team out of the number of participants on H359no.
Teruhito Sugawara and his companions on one of the dunes had an accident, making a coup on the roof. Fortunately, none of the athletes was injured, and the technical assistance provided allowed them to continue moving. Night repairs at the bivouac - and the truck went to the next start.
Having reached the southern boundaries of the route of the 43rd edition of the Dakar rally-marathon, the participants of the race headed for the northeast of Saudi Arabia. The path from Wadi al-Dawasir to the capital of the state of Riyadh became the longest this year - 813 km.
The program of the fourth competition day included very fast sections on almost the entire 337 km route. The landscape of the stage consisted of a sandy cover with gravel sections, a six-kilometer stretch in a canyon, the intersection of dry river beds and, of course, dunes of various configurations with dangerous descents. And just before the finish line, the rally caravan was waiting for tracks swept by strong winds and a mountain valley with confusing navigation. Signal from the organizers: crews, attention to the course!
Freight crews scattered around the start, mixed with off-road vehicles, from the group leading in the overall standings literally flew towards the finish line. The first waypoint remained with Andrey Karginov from the KAMAZ-master team, and the top 10 pilots at the 43 km mark fit in a minute.
Further more. Immediately five crews were located seven seconds apart, and Karginov, Sergey Vyazovich and Alexey Vishnevsky covered 80 km with the same time! Five-time Dakar champion Eduard Nikolaev, who this year plays the role of assistant to the head of the Russian team Vladimir Chagin, noted that he had never seen anything like this in his career. It should be added that the average speed of passing the first quarter of the distance was about 120 km / h, while for the truck category the maximum is limited at around 140 km / h.
Sharp and uncompromising struggle in seconds and harsh environmental conditions put serious pressure on technology. After all, no matter how experienced the pilot, navigator and mechanic are, they depend on the reliability of their sports car.
Vyazovich's MAZ could not stand the highest racing pace - the Belarusian crew, which was walking in front with a two-minute handicap from the rivals, stopped at 100 km, and in the news report on the Dakar website there was a message about a technical malfunction, the elimination of which would take from one to two hours. A serious blow to the tournament prospects of the team leader from Minsk, who took second place in the overall standings and won the prologue and the third stage of the marathon. Just yesterday, after the finish, the pilot complained about the extraneous sound from the turbocharging and the loss of engine power. However, we will find out the reasons for the breakdown later.
Continuing powerful movement along the Karginov track, already on a 125 km segment, he brought his advantage over his competitors to more than a minute and kept the first result almost to the finish line.
70 km before the end of the special stage, the first winner of the Dakar on the Arabian Peninsula strengthened his leadership, almost 2 minutes ahead of Vishnevsky. The final adjustments to the stage table were made by the mountain valley, where the crew made a mistake in navigation and lost the time reserve, showing the second result and lagging behind Dmitry Sotnikov by 10 seconds.
Andrey Karginov, pilot of crew No. 500: "Good special stage, we drove fast. At first the dunes were high-speed with a sharp descent, it was important to find the right speed Then the slower L1 and L2 went, but there were very few of them.
The day turned out to be difficult in navigation, at the end we ran into problems and lost time. Everything is in order with our car. We saw Vyazovich standing, whose crew was running around the truck. "
Throughout the entire stage, crew # 507 went behind, and error-free driving and navigation in the final segment allowed Sotnikov to catch up three and a half minutes behind and win his third special stage in the 2021 race and set a personal record for victories in one "Dakar". The winner's time was 2 hours 58 minutes 47 seconds.
Ruslan Akhmadeev, navigator of crew # 507: "The organizers promised a quick special stage. The dune section was not very large - only 23 km. We can say that today was a navigation day: fast tracks, channels and many forks. At 80 km we went the wrong way, although everything seemed to be correct according to the binding. We made a slight mistake in the course, but we went to the track off-road.
We lost one and a half or two minutes. We kept a good pace, overtook SUVs and motorcycles. At the end there was a very confusing track between canyons and mountains, we managed to find the right road and successfully finish without breakdowns. "
As well as yesterday, in the final report the gaps between the crews turned out to be minimal. Almost the entire top ten is located in a temporary 10-minute slot.
The third result at the special stage was shown by Vishnevsky (+14 seconds). Czech Martin Matsik finished just eight seconds away. Two more sports crews "KAMAZ-master" under the control of Anton Shibalov (+3 minutes 56 seconds) and Ayrat Mardeev (+6 minutes 15 seconds) became the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Anton Shibalov, pilot of crew # 501: minutes. Two SUVs started behind us, rushed forward and raised a curtain of dust, which also took some time.
We didn’t quite pass the stage as we wanted, but on the whole it was okay. No complaints about the car, the equipment proved to be good. "
Ayrat Mardeev, pilot of crew # 509: "The special stage was fast enough, we were almost constantly driving at maximum speed. they go faster and overtake. And when the average speed dropped slightly and there was more off-road, we again began to catch up with the jeeps and rested on them.
everything is not bad, only a couple of times we left to the side, and again the dust made it difficult to find our bearings right away. Tomorrow we will have a very difficult day, we need to prepare the cars well and squeeze the maximum out. "
As of 19:00, Vyazovich's truck remained motionless. The breakdown of the opponent allowed Dmitry Sotnikov to strengthen his leadership in the general classification. The second is now Martin Matsik (+26 minutes 22 seconds) to move up to second place in the general classification, Anton Shibalov is 26 minutes 57 seconds behind.
Ayrat Mardeev moved up two lines - to the fourth position (+48 minutes 21 seconds). Andrey Karginov moved from 12th place to tenth (+2 hours 2 minutes 17 seconds).
On Thursday, the rally caravan will leave for Al-Qaysum - in the north of Saudi Arabia. The total distance of the route will be 662 km, the special stage will stretch for 456 km. The patience of the pilots will be important on this long racing stretch: steep dunes and numerous stones require careful passage.
Cargo offset. Results of the 4th stage. Top 10
00: 07: 0 2
00:08 : 58
Martin VAN DEN BRINK
General classification after the 4th stage. Top 10
Martin VAN DEN BRINK
Photo: DPPI, Red Bull Content Pool