Aleš Loprais, Khalid Alkendi and Petr Pokora have a lot to do in a bivouac today after the tenth stage of Dakar Rally 2020. The new Praga V4S DKR needs a good service, but this time it is only on the crew, without their mechanics. Although the Wednesday’s special stage did not go very smoothly for Instaforex Loprais Team, Praga is now even closer to Siarhei Viazovich with MAZ in the third place.
The Dakar Rally 2020 stage from Haradh to Shubaytah was prepared as the marathon stage. That requires all the crews to be in a separated bivouac in the evening, without their mechanics and facilities. It makes the crews fully responsible for their vehicles, using only parts and tools that they brought themselves.
It puts extra pressure on the mechanics during the night before the marathon stage.
“As a precaution, we changed the turbo, tyres, we refilled oils, greased steering and checked the whole vehicle. We also had to make a new exhaustion pipe that caused us issues yesterday and changed the hoses it had damaged. And of course, we had to pack everything, even things we usually do not bring along, like the control unit, power box, connecting rods, air filter and some sensors,” explained crew mechanic Petr Pokora.
Wednesday’s special stage was supposed to be 534 kilometres long, with a 30-kilometre long final part in fields of dunes. But the weather was against it as sandstorm and low visibility forced the organisers to stop the event after just 223 kilometres.
But even on a shortened route, Aleš Loprais, Khalid Alkendi and Petr Pokora have gained 24 minutes on Siarhei Viazovich. He is now only 41 minutes ahead of the Czech team. All that despite a troubling day for the Instaforex Loprais Team.
“Today, we had some issues with our turbo sensor. We had to stop and reset the car five times. Sometimes, it was about survival. However, we need to thank our Lady for making it to the end. We’ll be intensively working on her with the guys ahead of tomorrow’s difficult stage. But today it’s only on us because we don’t have our mechanics. It’ll be an interesting night,” said Aleš Loprais.
The penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally 2020 will bring the crews back to Haradh. This stage is 744 kilometres long, out of which 379 will be timed. The first 80 kilometres will offer some of the most formidable dunes in Saudi Arabia.