Aleš Loprais has moved up by two places at Dakar Rally
David Castera, the new director of the race, definitely does not overpromise. When he warns the crews, that perfect navigation will be crucial, then it will be very hard. And Khalid Alkendi, who is responsible for reading the roadbook and navigating Aleš Loprais, has learnt that as well. The 367-kilometre long special stage was the part of the route from Al Wejh to Neom and offered a tricky experience due to the many lines crossing each other. That made finding the right course difficult at times.
“It wasn’t a good day today. We lost a lot due to navigation. There were two important waypoints that we had to look for, which took us almost 10 minutes in each case,” explains Aleš Loprais why he finished 25 minutes behind the fastest driver of the day Siarhei Viazovich with MAZ.
And the Praga V4S DKR truck also needed some attention during its premiere in Saudi Arabia.
“We had to stop three times because the vehicle switched into the safe mode. We had to restart the system, but we lost there only something like 3 minutes. Then another 5 or 6 minutes, that was just the speed of those ahead of us. But it’s fine, we keep going,” continues Loprais.
That unplanned stop caused a turbocharger sensor. The whole team of mechanics, led by Petr Pokora, is already intensively working on the issue in the bivouac.
The Dakar Rally 2020 continues on Tuesday, January 7. The 404-kilometre long circuit starts and finishes in Neom and takes the competitors to the border with Jordan. This stage takes place mostly in the sand, but also offers a series of canyons around mountains. During the day, the crews will also reach the highest point of 2020 Dakar Rally – an altitude of 1,400 metres.