Haval faced longest stage of the Dakar 2014, Christian poised to soar

Lavielle strenghtening his position in top 10


January 8 saw Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally. Sainz won the stage against Mini, and topped the overall standings, followed by Roma and Attiyah. Christian of “Haval Dakar Team” finished this stage 8th, 26 minutes and 59 seconds behind Sainz. Following the stage, Christian was placed 7th overall.

The longest stage tests drivers’ stamina, Christian stays calm

Stage 4 stretches from San Juan to Chilecito. The motorcycle category and car category differed in schedule. The car category faced the longest special stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally. This category started first for the 657-kilometer special stage, which is the longest one since 2005. Facing the acid test from the tough track, the drivers had to work out proper tactics in the long special stage.

Experience determined results in such a long stage. Veterans Sainz, Peterhansel and Attiyah ranked among the top three. Christian of “Haval Dakar Team” paired with his co-driver Pierre who has won twice in the Dakar stayed calm, overcame the challenge from the long track and finished the stage 8th. “After Sousa’s withdrawal, we took more steady tactics. Such a long special stage today is an acid test to both cars and drivers.” Christian’s result proved the word. His car remained among the top 10 and his gap from the leader was nearly not widened at every CP point. The steadiness showed the maturation of “Haval Dakar Team”.

Weather continues making trouble, drivers face 1st great test

After finishing the longest special stage since 2005, the drivers will face Stage 5, the longest regular stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally. The 911-kilometer stage (including 527 kilometers for specials) will be as tough as Stage 4.

In Stage 5 stretching from Chilecito to Tucuma, the drivers will continue facing the test of the high-temperature track. Notably, after the car of a Kazakh driver ignited in Stage 2, the car of the French driver Chicherit also caught fire yesterday. Obviously, the severe weather was another challenge tougher than the track.

Located on the bed of the La Plata River at the foot of the Aconquija Mountains, Tucuman is a place where Argentina declared independence earliest. The stretches of mountains and eastward alluvial plain are a good test to the drivers’ strength. The leading group consisting of Mini’s five drivers: Peterhansel, Roma, Attiyah, Terranova and Horowitz, SMG’s Sainz, Toyota’s De Villiers and Haval’s Christian will face the first great test here.