Ardavichus accused Dakar leader of "dishonest game" 16 января 2012, 15:17
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Arthur Ardavichus. Screenshot of the team's video
Pilot of Kazakhstan team Astana Arthur Ardavichus accused Dakar leader Gerard De Rooy from Holland of a "dishonest game", Kamazmaster.ru writes.
According to him, the racer’s truck does not comply with the technical requirements of the race: its suspension travels are enlarged. “It turned out to be true. They have 42 cm where only 30 cm are allowed. Before I found this out I couldn’t understand why when we were driving side by side in the same conditions I was pressing the truck to the limits, risking the truck, and when we reached the limit, they still left us behind. That’s where the difference in suspension helps. That’s how they gained extra 10-15 minutes a day: while we were changing the tyres, they were moving ahead. We all thought it was their professional skills in the beginning. But yesterday I accidentally found out that they are cheating,” Ardavichus said.
Ardavichus said that De Rooy admitted the violation, but Astana will not file a protest. “We have never wrote and will never write the protests. When we found out about this situation, we asked him directly to see his reaction. He admitted his fault and told us to do whatever we saw fit . That was it. I think it is clear that his truck does not comply with the requirements. That’s why he has to get a score penalty or a withdrawal. Most probably, this will be dropped, but for me the results of this year have become doubtful,” Ardavichus added.
Earlier Tengrinews.kz English reported that Kazakhstan team Astana became one of top three leaders of the 14-stage Dakar race. The crew led by Arthur Ardavichus was fifth at the final stage of the race and third overall. The shortest 14th stage of Dakar was won by Italian racer Miki Biasion. He was followed by Ilgizar Mardeev from Russian and Dutch racer Hans Stacey.