David Castera wanted to maintain the suspense until the end, that’s why he placed the longest special – 511 kilometers – and one of the most difficult on the penultimate day of the race. In the end, this Wednesday they had to cut almost 50 kilometers, 47 to be exact, in the final part of the route, due to the meteorological conditions of recent days, in which it has rained significantly in this region.
However, there are 464 kilometers of special, although 70 of them will be neutralized – in two portions – because the ‘dry lakes’ that they crossed are flooded, and it will certainly not be an easy stage. Some of the roadbook references have been ‘diluted’ and David Castera explained that the CAP will have to be scrupulously applied. The co-drivers will have a new job.
Before departure, Castera explained about this stage that. after a few days without dunes, they return with force. A hundred kilometers of dunes and infinite sand, where you can lose a lot of time if they get stranded, are always a trap that must be overcome.
The last chance to come back. The penultimate defense of them, because in a Dakar any surprise can happen until the finish line is crossed.
This Wednesday in the briefing he did not talk so much about dunes, but about 127 initial kilometers of dirt tracks in large valleys, which alternate fast tracks and winding sections. From this point to kilometer 160, the first neutralization. Then, a very fast 14-kilometer track embroidering a ‘chott’ –dry lake–, a name that was not heard since the best African years of the Dakar and later tracks, on land, varied until kilometer 305 where the second neutralization begins.
The race will resume at kilometer 343 with the appearance of the dunes; at least 80 kilometers of level 2 and 3 dynes, and some portions of off-piste area. Perhaps the area that will decide the race, because the final 20 kilometers alternate canyons, dry rivers and some tracks.
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