Loprais' crew got into a terrible accident at Dakar: Ardavichus 11 января 2012, 15:53
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Tatra of Ales Loprais. ©REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
One of the leaders of the world’s most prestigious rally Dakar, Czech racer Ales Loprais got into a terrible accident. The crew stayed alive by a by a hairbreadth, Kamazmaster.ru writes citing the pilot of Kazakhstan team Astana Arthur Ardavichus.
“Loprais’s truck way lying upside down. We could see than even from far away. We had a light shock in the beginning. I understood that the truck had rolled over from the road. We got out of our truck to help the crew. Ales was lying outside with his eyes open, he could move, but complained of pain in his back. One of them, their navigator, was walking around unhurt. They mechanic, who was driving, was not moving and had an open brain injury. There was a lot of blood,” Ardavichus said.
Kazakhstan racer said that Loprais is his friend. “The damaged car and everything around felt like a dream. I talked to Ales, took his hand. He had pulse, he was conscious and talked slowly. No delusion,” Kazakhstan pilot recalled.
It turned out that the mechanic was driving during that stage of the race. He fell asleep; the car fell off the road and rolled over several times. According to Ardavichus, the truck was smashed enormously: the wheels are broken, the part of the car were everywhere around.
Before the accident Loprais was the leader of Dakar. He won the eighth stage. “He was going to win. He was confident and fast. He had the truck capable of winning this race. Besides, he organized himself well. It’s his birthday today, the second one,” Ardavichus said.
Ardavichus said that the most difficult part of Dakar had begun. Racers were very tired and the route was becoming tougher with every stage. "This is where the moments that kill start to appear. The speed is growing. Everyone who is well positioned in the race is there to win it. Right now we are competing against the strongest races of the world. We cannot demonstrate our weaknesses. We will fight and take risks to the end. We are like a burr in the saddle for the other leaders. I hope we will reach the podium in the end," the Kazakh racer said.