Sunday, January 8, 2017
La Paz – Rest Day
It seems that the only team capable of preparing machines to complete the Dakar is the Xtremeplus Polaris Factory Team! After a very difficult week, the only SSV that are still in the race are the five Polaris RZR 1000XT+30, a mid-race assessment of which Marco Piana can be pleased:
“In fact, I am satisfied of this first week. Compared with the rest of competitors in the SSV category, all our vehicles made it to La Paz! And I highlight that they’ve completed every stage, even if it was difficult in navigation and managing the high temperatures. So, the assessment is very positive, and we even have three new drivers!
The three Chinese teams have a mentality and strategy that targets preserving the RZR because, according their racing experience in China, you could break something at any time. With this said, it is a relief because they do not go extremely fast, and they do not break the RZR much. The fastest is the Russian driver Ravil Maganov, and he paid this quite quickly in the first special stage, and now he is in the forth place. Regarding the Brazilian crew of Torres/Roldan, they profit of their experience of the last Dakar and are assuring their race.”
This first week was very difficult due to the number of kilometers, type of soils, high temperatures in Argentina, awful weather conditions in Bolivia, plus the altitude. The stage Oruro-LaPaz was cancelled because of the amount of water fallen in the area… But the second part of the Dakar will not be easy.
Tomorrow, Monday, January 9, the crews take the start of a marathon stage, without service assistance, shortened due to the rain in Uyuni. “Now, continues Marco Piana, Xtremeplus Team Director, they have to manage their race. The difficulties will be the same: tiredness, altitude, heat… and staying focused. The machines have been prepared and revised during the rest day, which is only for the drivers. Our mechanics worked since early in the morning. If our crews stay focused, they will all be at the finish line in Buenos Aires!”