Our task is to stay in top 10 - Arthur Ardavichus09 january 2013, 02:50
The most prestigious transcontinental cross country rally Dakar-2013 kicked off on January 5. The race will pass the territory of three countries: Peru, Argentina and Chile.
This year’s tournament is participated by almost 500 crews from 53 countries. Motorcycles is the most numerous category: 182 racers. 158 crews take part in the offroaders categories. 74 vehicles compete in the trucks category. The quad category is the least numerous this year: 39 quads.
Kazakhstan's racing team Astana is represented by 1 truck and 3 offroaders.
Last year's third place winner Arthur Ardavichus of Kazakhstan is driving KAMAZ - start number 517 in trucks category. His navigator Aleksey Nikizhev and mechanic Nurlan Turlubayev are also part of his crew.
Crew of Arthur Ardavichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev. Photo by RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate
Three Kazakhstan crews in offroaders category: pilot Aidyn Rakhimbayev and navigator Gabdulla Ashimov (#410), pilot Bauyrzhan Issabayev and navigator Dmitriy Yugai (#409) will drive prototypes of M440, and pilot Andrey Cherednikov and navigator Albert Horn (406) will race on GForce prototype.
Crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov. RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate
Crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Dmitriy Yugai. Photo by RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate
Crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn. Photo by RaceFace Sports Media Syndicate
Stage 1: Lima-Pisco
It won’t be long before competitors will be singled out, but for the moment, the mini special stage organized on the outskirts of Pisco will principally be used to divide up the drivers into categories according to their level, who in turn will reassemble during the rally. The initial stage won’t be as stiff as the drink that made the region famous, but the picture postcard landscape is especially appealing. The concentration required over the several timed kilometres will still allow the competitors to admire the scenery. Nevertheless, the light-hearted attitude and relaxed driving style adopted by the competitors during this first day must not mislead them: the Dakar has really begun.
The first stage of 263 kilometers with only 13km of special section went from Lima to Pisco. Arthur Ardavichus showed the best time among Kazakhstan crews. His truck was 10th after the first stage of the race (00:09:51).
Italian Miki Biasion on IVECO was ranked 9th after the first stage. According to Vesti.kz, the race's technical committee punished the racer with 1 minute of penalty and Kazakhstan team took his place in the ranking. The official website of the race, however, contains no trace or confirmation of such changes.
The third crew of Astana team - Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn driving GForce prototype - faced technical problems at the very beginning of the race and lost over 1.5 hours to the winner of the first stage.
Kazakhstan crews in Stage 1 Rankings:
Quote of the stage: “Things went well for me, as is always the case when I'm on my motorcycle with the Dakar stickers and, most importantly, race number 1! It was a short special, but you still need to be on the lookout at all times, and it was a good warm-up. I didn't pull out all the stops because it's not like the Dakar will be decided today, but strategy is as important a factor in this race as mechanics, navigational skills and physical condition, so with experience you learn how to make the most of strategy.” – Cyril Despres (Bike).
Dakar 2013 – Stage 1 – Car/Bike Stage Summary
Stage 2: Pisco-Pisco
Like every year, more than 25% of the competitors will discover the Dakar for the first time. With this stage, they will be immediately immersed in a sandy environment and cross gentler dunes. Their initial endeavours will allow them to test and adjust their driving techniques, but also to sample the delights of shovelling sand for some, while several engines will overheat for the first time. During this stage where there is only sand, the minor scares at the beginning of the special stage will not stop the majority of drivers and navigators from savouring a constant treat for the eyes. In terms of aesthetics, the scenery borders on perfection.
Arthur Ardavichus’ crew of Kazakhstan’s Astana team had some problems wtih their truck during the second stage of the race. The turbocharger of their KAMAZ failed which made the truck move slower than it should have.
“We expected to show good result on Sunday, because the track was our favorite style. But after the km 100 the pressure in in the turbocharger dropped: the engine stopped giving the required power and we got into the sands. In the sands we did our best: some of the sections took sevel attempts to pass. It was hard to get out of deep holes. It is a bit of a pity, but we will deal with our car. Monday is going to be better,” Championat.com cites Ardavichus.
Rakhimbayev-Ashimov crew also had problems with their car: its front axle failed. The crew somehow managed to get the car out of sands into the track, but had to make the technical finish in the 89th place, i.e. they managed to save the car and stay in Dakar, but were fined for non-passed checkpoints at the special section.
Kazakhstan crews in Stage 2 Rankings:
Quote of the stage: “A beautiful special which I think was designed with the trucks in mind, because it had nice dunes and we had loads of fun despite a few tricky moments during the descents. Unfortunately, we lost about 10 minutes looking for a waypoint until we finally found it as we went by a dune. Anyway, I'm quite happy, especially because we were able to drive flat out in the last few kilometres... Broadly speaking, everything went well.” – Gerard de Rooy (Truck).
Loss of the stage: Argentina's Pablo Alejandro Busin ran off the course 40 km into today's special. He emerged unscathed but his motorcycle was destroyed by fire.
Pablo Alejandro Busin. Photo courtesy of www.dakar.com
Dakar 2013 – Stage 2 – Car/Bike Stage Summary
Stage 3: Pisco-Nazca
Tempers are likely to flare inside the vehicles, as the level of stress increases. The recently formed pairs will have passed a major test during the first one hundred kilometres. The South Americans have adopted the term “Erg”, which accurately describes the sequence of dunes that they will have to negotiate in the small hours. All the competitors who go over them without getting stuck, including those in the lead, will be able to proudly breathe a sigh of relief. Their first reward will be to take advantage of the route along the seafront on the second half of the special stage. But the respite will be short-lived, as the tracks they will take at the end of the stage will also require skill and vigilance.
Speaking about the third stage of Dakar 2013 pilot of Kazakhstan's team Astana Arthur Ardavichus said:
“The technical problems that emerged at the second stage were eliminated during the night. The problem was caused by the failed turbocharger control system: its channels got clogged and sensors stopped responding properly. That’s why the turbo was not switching in time and the engine could not reach its maximum capacity. That meant that we were losing speed in the sands. We could not get on top of the dunes, had to go back and look for detours. We lost time. In one night we restored the system and tested the truck three times. In the morning we started the new stage.”
“The truck is now on the run and we managed to save some time at the third stage,” the Astana’s pilot said. We are now in Top-10, which is very respectable. Now our task is to stay in the top 10. I am happy with the truck of the third stage. There were no technical problems. There should be no repairs after it. The guys will check the car after the finish and even if there is anything to repair, it should be little things and we will start the fourth stage like new.”
Kazakhstan crews in Stage 2 Rankings:
Quote of the stage: “Today was anything but good for us! It wasn't the car's fault, it's just that we made a huge navigational mistake which added almost 20 km to our tally. It got so bad that Dirk had to get out several times to see where we were and what direction we had to take. This is one of those mistakes which cost you dearly and in the end we must have lost roughly 25 minutes. That's the way it is... This is just the third special and there's still a long road before us, so we'll stay focused and try to do much better tomorrow. In the last few days we've already seen that things can change overnight at the Dakar...” – Giniel de Villiers (Car)
Dakar 2013 – Stage 3 – Car/Bike Stage Summary
The rankings of Kazakhstan crews after Stage 3
The crew of Arthur Adravichus, Aleksey Nikizhev and Nurlan Turlubayev:
The crew of Andrey Cherednikov and Albert Horn:
The crew of Bauyrzhan Issabayev and Dmitriy Yugai:
The crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov
Bike 195 - Zumarán's petrol problems
First Dakar, first mishaps. It didn't take long for the saying to come true for César Zumarán, Tarapaca's Chilean rider. He encountered the first problems 200 km into the first link section of the first stage. "No petrol came out when I tried to fill the forward tanks. The pump wasn't working." He needed a Good Samaritan. It was his fellow countryman Rodrigo Illanes, 85th last year, who towed him to the Pisco bivouac. Now, he had to repair the problem in time to start the special. A new race against the clock began for Zumarán, who saw time fly by and his rivals finish the stage. In the end, contender relations manager Marie gave the unlucky rookie a glimmer of hope: he'd be allowed to start if he repaired the problem before the first car entered the special. "I thought that was the end of my Dakar...", admitted the Chilean after being saved by his assistants, before finishing in 119th place in 10'46". Far from Chaleco, first with a time of 7'51", but still in the race.
César Zumarán. Photo courtesy of www.dakar.com
Car 388 - Tarek says "yes, I do"... to the Dakar
He earned his place, but he had nothing to do there. Tarek El Erian was the first of the Dakar Challenge drivers at the Rallye des Pharaons, unlocking his path to the January rally. Although he'd won a place in the race, he still had to find sponsors to complete his budget and, even more importantly, he had to tell his girlfriend. But she also happens to be his fiancée, and he was due to marry her during the Dakar! "It's unbelievable that I'm here, because marriage is extremely important in Egypt", explains Tarek. "I had to postpone everything although we'd invited 900 people, which is a small wedding in our country! So, after the first stage, I'm obviously thinking of her, because she gave me all the necessary support for me to be here." Love has clearly given this 24-year-old wings. The first Egyptian in the Dakar finished 25th in today's special: "I wanted to take things calmly, and I was actually quite surprised when I saw a lot of drivers pulling out all the stops despite the fact that we've still got 13 long days of racing ahead of us. All I want is to make it to Santiago."
Tarek El Erian. Photo courtesy of www.dakar.com
Car 394 Juan Fernando enjoys his helicopter ride (despite the circumstances)
Last year's stats cast him in a good light and made him proud. "Only 10% of rookies finish the Dakar", he repeated yesterday in the catering tent, as he told his story to the Peruvian local radios which took turns to interview him. After finishing 59th in his debut in 2012, Juan Fernando López was expecting to do better than last year and, most importantly, not to make rookie mistakes. And it's certainly not his fault that this engineer and father of three is travelling back to Lima prematurely. "We got stuck at the bottom of a dune and I got out to have a look at our tyres. A driver who was stuck at the top tried to free his vehicle at all costs and he slipped to the bottom. I was sandwiched between his vehicle and my door. I was trapped there for ten minutes before they got me out. My helmet protected me well, but my left leg hurt a lot." "I'm angry because a good driver would have never lost control of his car like this... The good thing about being evacuated by helicopter is that you get an awesome view of the Dakar!"
Juan Fernando. Photo courtesy of www.dakar.com
Bike 176 Paul Jay won't be waiting another 24 years
The fun lasted 73 kilometres: 13 in the first special and 60 out of 242 in the second one. Paul Jay was expecting something more, which is quite understandable knowing that he's wanted to race in the Dakar for 24 years. It's not an amazing ratio, but the doc wisely sent him home with a dislocated shoulder. "It was quite silly. I got to the top of a dune at full speed and I didn't quite like the sheer drop just behind it...". Paul Jay's tumble on the sand left him with a broken dream and a misplaced shoulder. And the small dose of misadventure he needs to start his personal saga. "I was evacuated by helicopter and when I got there the doc put my shoulder back into place straight away..." Nevertheless, Paul Jay's already plotting his comeback, and he won't be waiting another 24 years: "I'll pay back my debts and come back next year", explained the proud 46-year-old Brit, who spends his spare time helping out in an organisation whose mission is to train assistance dogs for the disabled (Canine Partners).
Paul Jay. Photo courtesy of www.dakar.com
Stage 3 - Top Moment