Searching for clues in the peruvian sandbox: dakar rally

Searching for clues in the Peruvian sandbox: dakar rally

Before the torture through the peruvian sandbox, "monsieur dakar" stephane peterhansel took a trip to machu picchu.

Sitting on the dry stone walls, the french record winner of the grueling off-road adventure enjoyed the impressive panoramic view over the world-famous inca city. To peterhansel, last year’s winner carlos sainz, challenger sebastien loeb& co. Waits for the start of the 41. The second edition of the rally dakar on sunday in peru’s capital lima an obscure challenge. "You have to find the right passages in the midst of this sea of dunes, these mountains of dunes," peterhansel proclaimed.

The odyssey, which has been reduced to around 5,000 kilometers and only ten stages, has a total of five stages until the finale in lima on 17 june. January the ride readers asked. 70 percent of the dangerous horsepower chase, held for the first time in only one country, the pilots drove through sand. "I like the dunes," said nine-time world rally champion loeb. "The key to winning on this type of surface is not getting stuck in the sand."

No question. And the frenchman has no desire for jerks anymore. Loeb wants to finally win the dakar in his fourth participation. The man from the alsace led the standings both at its premiere in 2016 and 2017. In 2016 he finished the rally in ninth place after a crash, and in 2017 he narrowly missed out on overall victory in the classic event, which has repeatedly claimed human lives, after a technical defect left him in second place. Last year loeb was forced to retire after an injury to his co-driver daniel elena, leaving him in second place in the overall standings.

"I’m still hungry for the win," loeb asserted. After the withdrawal of peugeot, the rally star no longer competes for a factory racing team. Together with his co-pilot elena, he competes for the private team PH sport, which once again provides him with a peugeot.

New teams after french withdrawal also have peterhansel and sainz, who are now under contract to the mini-team X-raid from hesse. The sudafrican giniel de villiers and his german co-pilot dirk von zitzewitz will again start for toyota. "This will certainly not be an easy dakar and we will have to work hard for ten stages. We’ll have a lot of sand in our shoes and also swallow a lot of dust," said von zitzewitz.

Since 2009, the rally, which was originally held in africa, has been held in south america – also for security reasons and because of the danger of terrorism in africa. 9000 security personnel are to ensure that everything runs smoothly in peru.

And then there is a team of over 120 archaeologists and experts as well as 400 helpers trained in the past months, as tourism minister rogers valencia explained. These people will monitor the route to prevent damage to the 17 archaeological sites along the way. It is to be a "culturally sustainable" wustenhatz.

For the drivers and their co-pilots, this is just a marginal phenomenon. After all, you want to finish way out in front. Experience helps with orientation and dealing with extreme conditions, but earlier merits don’t pay off. "Just because i won the dakar last year, it won’t earn me an extra minute," says the spanish sainz. But at the rally you can simply "never predict what will happen."

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