January 10, 2016
Rest day: Salta (Argentina)
The Dakar is back in Argentina for another week full of adventures. Yesterday, the Xtremeplus’ assistance trucks were blocked 250 km away from the bivouac due the torrent. The river grew significantly due to the heavy rains that were descending from the high mountains and destroyed part of the bridge, so the assistance only arrived to the bivouac early this morning…
The rest day for drivers and navigators is a full day for all mechanics that must work in the four RZR and make the machines as if they were new to continue the second half of the Dakar. After completing 5,330 km, a total of 21,320 for the MAXXIS LIBERTY tires of the RZR Xtremeplus only count four punctures. This new tire have been specially provided to the Xtremeplus Team for the Dakar and will soon be available for sale!
Thanks to the performances, the Polaris RZR 1000 XT+30 N. 389 of Michele Cinotto/Maurizio Dominella is in the 50 position of the overall ranking and leads the T3 Light class. “In Bolivia, besides the dust and the trucks, we didn’t have any problems. Our small engine had some difficulties climbing in altitude, but since the altitude went down, we were able to take over all those who overtook us on the way up. During yesterday’s special stage, we let them go, and we took over again at the same place of the rain and snow. I am hoping that tomorrow we can finally see some dunes!”
At mid-race, Leandro Torres/Roldan Lourival N.367 take a nice 58 place in the temporary overall ranking, followed by Eugenio Amos/Rafael Tornabell N.371 in place 62 after facing an electrical problem during the loop Uyuni-Uyuni and having driven a nice stage to get back to Argentina.
The Chinese team of Mao Rujin/Ka Chun Yu N.394 had some difficulties and takes position 73 in the temporary overall ranking. “We had an accident in the loop: we fell in a hole in a chicane and we broke the front right wheel. Ka Chun started to dismount it, but we had to wait for Marco Piana to give us the spare parts to fix it. We lost two hours to repair it but we were able to restart… and the Salar Uyuni was so beautiful that we stopped to take pictures! It was cold and windy, but I really loved it, the stage was fun! During yesterday’s stage, we took over 12 cars in the first part, but during the neutralized section, we wanted to find a waypoint that was in a river… and inside the river, there was so much water because of the heavy rains. Fortunately, Marco was there again to pull us out… I thought we were going to come out with the fish! Unluckily, we had to change the speed variator. In the second part of the special stage, we were totally wet and it was cold… We went calmly, and now we have completed half of the race, we are in Salta!”