Contestants of Africa Eco Race 2017 passed the 8th stage of the race and came closer for 450 km to the finish. As Andrey Karginov told, the sand tracks turned into dunes today.
“The sand area was quite short, approximately 10 km. Frankly speaking, we expected today’s route to be similar to the yesterday’s one, as even the legends were a bit alike. However, the route turned out completely different. If yesterday it was a usual track with rough sand, today there were dunes. Not big, not small, average”, - explained Andrey Karginov.
The sportsman mentinoed that he passed the special without any problems, though the truck was at the limit.
“Due to the loose sand the engine and transmission felt a big load”, - explained Andrey Karginov.
The crew of Karginov entered sands with the other KAMAZ-master crew of Sergey Kuprianov. The sportsmen backed up each other on the challenging section. “The thing is that nobody can guarantee you to pass sands without problems”, - noticed Karginov.
According to the words of the pilot Sergey Kuprianov, despite that the current stage was successful for his crew, it was challenging as well.
“The temperature in the cab was not high, only +33, but the stage itself was hot. We had to catch up, therefore we drove as fast as we could and we reduced speed only in really difficult places. We outran Tomecek quite fast, but then there was a dangerous moment: we didn’t have enough speed to climb up a dune, we drove down and then stopped. The truck was standing at a big incline, it could keep its balance and didn’t turn over only because the wheels had already been turned towards the incline. Otherwise we were lying on one side. So, we were fine, we managed to continue our way, but that moment was really dangerous”, - told Sergey Kuprianov.
Also, Kuprianov added that he didn’t see much difference between Mauritanian stages of Africa Eco Race-2017 and similar parts of the recent rally-marathons in 2015 and 2016.
“The sand was very loose, but we expected it. Now we are waiting for the similar to the last year tracks. Not high dunes, only 800-900 meters in height, where a half of the contestants get stuck. If there are such areas and we don’t get at a standstill there, it will be very good,” - added the sportsman.
“We slightly shortened the gap with Valtr, but anyway, it is still big. Today there were quite fast tracks, where it was difficult to catch up. However, we managed to win back 2 min. We also won back approximately 30 minutes from Tomecek and in the truck category managed to take the third position”, - said Sergey Kuprianov.
Andrey Karginov still takes the lead in his category. The pilot said that he liked the African tracks and noted their variety.
“Here one can find stony tracks. Today, for example, nobody waited for the stones in the end of the special. The stones were so big, that KAMAZ-master couldn’t jump them over, they had to travel around. There were very sharp rocks that we risked to puncture our wheels while passing them. There are killing straight tracks: with cross ditches, where you can hit and jump. There are fast tracks, where you drive at the allowed speed limit, but nobody guarantees that you don’t meet any balks. There are areas with grass, some are with camel-grass, across which KAMAZ can go but it is very difficult to stand physically. As a result, you have to go aside and along the road. There are sands. Just a full variety”, - told the pilot Andrey Karginov.
Tomorrow on 10 January the team has to pass 425 km of SS and several dozens of km on a liaison section to reach the next bivouac near the place Akjoujt. There the sportsmen will stay for two days as the stage on 11 January will be a loop. In general a bit more than 1000 km are left to pass to reach Lake Rose in Dakar, where the finish ceremony of Africa Eco Race will be held.
Results of the 8th Leg:
2.Kuprianov +12: 7
4.Tomecek +43: 31
6.Darazsi + 1: 41: 00
7.Gonzalez +2: 23: 36