Kazakhstan crew 15th after 5 days of Dakar 10 января 2014, 17:12
Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Vladimir Demyanenko. Photo courtesy of press-service of the Astana Motorsports
Kazakhstan's crew of Rakhimbayev and Demyanenko is in the overall Top 20 after the fifth stage of Dakar, the most prestigious and dangerous marathon rally on the Earth, Tengrinews reports. The car crew of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Vladimir Demyanenko on Proto Overdrive #342 finished the fifth stage in the 16th place. This brought them to the 14th place in the general ranking of the race. According to Rakhimbayev, the fifth stage was even harder than the fourth one. “We like sand, we can 'walk' it well, and we expected to take advantage of it and improve our position at this stage, but this time everything was different. We reduced the pressure in the tires down to 1.8 atm as usual before entering the sand. But were forgot one detail: we had almost 500 liters of gasoline in our gas tank. This was the longest stage of the race - 912km - so the mechanics filled it to the brim. This half a tone of extra weight was pressing the car deeper into the sand than we expected and in the end we got stuck in the sand in the worst possible place for it. "It took us 12 minutes to get the car our using self-powered hydraulic ramps (they take 8 seconds to raise the car when it is stuck in soft sand to enable easy use of sand ladders or to change a wheel without the need for a traditional jack) and shovels. As we were deflating the tires a little more - down to 1.5 atm - to compensate the extra weight we were watching out competitors fly by... We resumed the race and caught up with 3 cars out of those 7 during the next 100 km. But then punctured a tire on a bush in fesh-fesh (fine sand that looks solid but feels like mud when driven on). "It usually takes a minute and a half to replace a wheel, but there we found out that the hydraulic ramps sprung a leak and would not raise the car because we failed to turn off the hydraulic pump on time in a hurry in the dunes. Our traditional jack also happened to be "glitchy" and we had to fix it. In the end we were fighting with the flat tire for 40 minutes watching 3 Kamaz trucks, 2 Tatras and De Rooy on Iveko rush by like a herd of mad bulls roaring all together by along different tracks. This left us a new complication: the track broken by trucks. "In the end the small mistake of 0.3 atm cost us 42 minutes and at list 8 lines in the ranking that we worked hard to win during the previous stage. We realized all this only later, when we were driving the liaison between two special sections, and were searching for causes of our lagging. It is sad that we are learning the hard way... We won back several positions later that day and finished 18th and retained the 15th place in the overall," Rakhimbayev posted on Facebook. Another crew of Denis Berezovsky and Ignat Falkov (#413) completed the the fifth stage in the 41st place progressing to the 40th line in the overall. The crew of pilot Arthur Ardavichus, navigator Alexey Nikizhev and mechanic Radim Kaplanek, driving Tatra truck #542 finished the fifth stage in the 4th place, gaining the 25th place in the general ranking of the Dakar rally after five stages. This was a huge leap from their standing after the 4th stage when they were 32nd in the overall. The racers covered the distance from Chilecito to Tukuman in 5 hours 8 minutes and 49 seconds.