Thursday 11 January
6th stage: Arequipa – La Paz
Total: 760 km – Special: 313 km
The Dakar has moved up a gear or rather to the higher altitude and is leaving Peru for Bolivia, at over 4000 m. The big Peruvian dunes are now behind the competitors, but before leaving this country so welcoming, a last Special has been raced on the Altiplano, at an altitude that seriously diminishes the power of the Buggy 2WD. Then everyone crossed the border, not far from Puno, and the participants took to the track for a second Special. The arrival in La Paz is a great feast for all the inhabitants have come more than many to mass all along the route of entry into the Bolivian capital, over a distance of nearly 20 km. Music, flags, applause… Bolivia’s welcome will be unforgettable for Eugenio Amos and Sébastien Delaunay and the Buggy 2WD.
Eugenio Amos / Sébastien Delaunay #335 – 21st of SS5 in 03h26’37 and 9th overall:”At the finish of this 6th stage, we took back 15′ in Al Qasimi,” explains Sébastien Delaunay.” The first Special was a bit technical and already very high because to get to the start, we crossed an area with snow… We did quite well. But the second Special, in Bolivia, was made up of large straight lines, lots of mud puddles, without navigation… and the altitude really penalized us. Eugenio couldn’t find the right rhythm and we also had an alternator problem that I managed to handle. We could have changed it at the finish but there were 400 people around the Buggy 2WD to take pictures, so we continued like that. Unfortunately, we ended up without a battery at the foot of the podium and Terranova pulled us out but he didn’t want to get on the podium… Too bad it was a nice party.”
Today is a day of rest for competitors but not for mechanics who refurbish vehicles. Tomorrow, La Paz – Uyuni, marathon stage of 727 km in total, and therefore without assistance, they will have to manage the Buggy 2WD.