January 13, 2016
Stage 10: Belen – La Rioja (Argentina)
Special Stage: 278 – Road connection: 485 km – Total: 763 km
This morning, the bivouac at Belen woke up under a drizzle similar to those in northern Europe. With this, the Dakar 2016 would have had all kinds of weather conditions. Due to the storm that followed the race since the beginning, today’s special stage was shortened to 244 km. The rivers grew with the water coming down from the mountain were impossible to cross!
At 7:30 pm, the only Xtremeplus crew to have completed stage 10 was N.394, Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu.
Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 (6h40’41): “It was a great day for us, also very hot but everything worked well. Yesterday, I had to stop and get rest under a tree because it was so extremely hot. Today, we had two punctures and we got lost for 7 km but we are here, and we are the first team of the Xtremeplus to finish the stage, it´s amazing!
I had an excellent feeling in the dunes, it is true that in China we had huge dunes, and I drive on the sand. So that didn´t make me feel scared, even if the sand is soft. We passed several cars during the stage and here we are, 32nd!”
The other teams faced some difficulties and arrived to La Rioja a late… to start the 11 stage La Rioja – San Juan.
Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 (52 in 8h32’15): “I preferred to make sure we made it, the stage was so hard! So I wanted to maximize the engine power because it was so hot that we lost power. We had to go from top to top but we but stuck in a basin and stood there for an hour…”
Michele Chinotto/Mauricio Dominella N.389 (42 in 7h20’34) stopped to let the Polaris RZR Maxxis’ engine cool off. The temperatures climbed up easily over normal levels. The Italian crew was also forced to change the belt.
The Brazilian crew Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival n°367 was blocked quite a long time on the track with Marco Piana reparing the gear box.