Stage 5 appears devilish, Great Wall ascends to 6th overall

The Great Wall driver finished thirteen, securing sixth place overall, in front of Sainz.

10.01.2014

Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally wound up. Roma won this stage and regained the lead. Christian of “Haval Dakar Team”, the Great Wall team, finished this stage 13th, ascending to the 6th overall.

Stage 5 is the longest one of the  Dakar Rally 2014. Though the 527-kilometer special section was much shorter than 657 kilometers yesterday, the total distance of 911 kilometers was 50 kilometers more. This stage stretched from Chilecito to Tucuman and wound northwards along the Andes. In the scorching sun, the drivers who had to overcome two consecutive ultra-long stages experienced the devilishness of the Dakar Rally.

Sainz who shrugged off the strong challenge from Mini yesterday were caught in troubles today, finished this stage 28th only and dropped to the 8th overall. Roma who lost the lead yesterday won the stage and regained the lead.

Like Sainz, Haval’s Christian also got into a lot of small troubles in the long-distance course, but finished this stage safe and sound with the help of the seasoned co-driver Pierre, nearly 5 minutes faster than Sainz. “This stage was very complicated, luckily Pierre is a seasoned mentor, being with him, I could always find ways out under any circumstance and the optimal solutions in complex situation,” Christian remained to be tense and voiced his heartfelt thanks to Pierre after the competition.

Continuous long-distance competition not only exhausted the drivers, but also fatigued their cars. The good news is that there will be a short break after Stage 6 tomorrow. Stage 6 will stretch from Tucuman to Salta, a wine country of Argentina. The competition will be increasingly white-hot as the rally is almost halfway, the cruelty of the Dakar Rally has disappointed many drivers, over 50 car drivers like Haval’s Sousa have withdrawn regretfully, and how many more will follow in their steps amid the fierce competition is yet to be seen.

Withdrawal is a hot topic in the Dakar Rally, but results are also worthy of attention. There were small changes to the leading group following Stage 5, Mini’s Horowitz who lost much time today has been left far behind and tumbled out of the top 10, Roma, Attiyah, Terranova, Peterhansel and De Villiers led the first camp, and Haval’s Christian remained stable. Though the Dakar Rally is filled with uncertainties, the champion will be among the drivers without a big accident  and we will not be surprised that they will move into the top 10.