Thanks G Partners and Bell for the cool helmet!
Annie Seel till start i sitt sjätte Dakarrally – nu på fyra hjul
Den 4 januari 2014 startar svenska Annie Seel sitt sjätte Dakarrally, och för första gången som co-driver i bilklassen. Annie kommer tillsammans med Australiensaren Garry Connell genomföra rallyt i en Polaris Buggy.
- Dakarrallyt är min typ av rally, ett rally med det där extra och oväntade. Jag har varit borta ett par år och att få återvända som kartläsare i bil känns otroligt spännande, säger en glad Annie Seel.
Seel och Connell genomförde sitt första rally tillsammans för bara 2 veckor sedan i Merzougarallyt, Marocco, med ett lyckat resultat genom vinst i sin klass och en fjärdeplats totalt i bilklassen.
- Det var ett fantastiskt första genrep, ingen av oss visste hur det skulle gå, sträcksegrare ena dagen och fastborrade i sanden nästa. Båda två är vi nya på våra uppgifter, även om navigation alltid har varit en viktig del i mina tidigare ökenrallyn, men nya som team och samarbete så kunde vi aldrig drömma om att prestera det vi gjorde.
Anne Seel, 45 år, har tidigare tävlat i ökenrallysammanhang på MC, men en elak axelskada tvingade henne att lämna den karriären.
- Genom mina tidigare erfarenheten från tävlandet i öknen, navigeringen, terrängen, dynerna och rutinerna i Dakarrallyt så känner jag mig väl förberedd. Det krävs några ökenrallyn för att komma dit jag är nu, redo att ta mig an uppgiften som co-driver, säger Seel.
Fakta Dakarrallyt 2014:
36e upplagan (6e gången i Sydamerika)
4 jan Ceremoniell start i Rosario, Argentina
5-18 jan Rallyt pågår med vilodag 11 jan i Salta, Argentina
18 jan Mål i Valparaiso, Chile
Dakarrallyt är världens största motortävling i terräng.
Länder 2014: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile
Antal tävlande: ca 750
Mer info på Dakars officiella webbsida: Dakar.com
Sportradion 7 nov, 30 sek in i prog
GARRY CONNELL and ANNIE SEEL with the trophy
SSV-Rally Class winners with the Polaris RZR Xtreme+ 900 XP40
“The rally is finished and I am so grateful that I got a shot as a co-driver in Garry’s buggy. We did well. Two newbies to the vehicle and to our tasks, as well as being in a team, the Connell/Seel team. Both of us very experienced on the motorcycle back, but it is different to do racing in a buggy and doing it together. A win in our class, and a fourth in the total, a result of our teamwork. Makes me proud.
It has truly been yet another great adventure and competition which has given me more experience of desert rallying, a lot of new first-time situations technically, mechanically and physically. Those flat tires really wears you out, let me tell you. But all in all I feel that I am still learning and developing for the future.
I really don’t think that I’ve realized just how much I’ve been missing it all until I arrived here last weekend. I do believe this is me – the rally, the desert, the race. It will always be a part of me. And I want more of it.”
“When we took the start, we started ‘attacking’ the soft sand small dunes… Everything was going well until I took a hole a bit fast and got trapped in the sand… We lost about 25 minutes, but happy to have made it in spite of the problems.
In front of the dunes of Merzouga, we deflated our tires. But… one of us pushed a button with the helmet and launched the fire extinguisher and we took a shower of dust!
The Rally of Merzouga was a great training for the Dakar, last week I was in the Rally of Morocco – makes two continued races. Next goal: The Dakar, next January!”
This has been a great experience for both,
learning a lot, much training – and preparing for The Dakar…
Breaking the finish line
The start, last stage – quite a show off:
Cars at 2:20 min (total 3:30 min)
Connel – Seel: “Day after day I’m getting more comfortable on the dunes and I’m happy because my riding technique on the big dunes of Merzouga is getting more accurate also thanks to the precious support of Annie (Seel) my co-driver. For sure it’s a great experience and a good preparation for Dakar”.
A few mishaps, like a snapped drive belt and getting stuck in the sand a few times, caused quite much time loss. Nothing serious though.
STAGE 4 Khettara “traditional wells”
Liaison 5,15 km – SS 200,85 km – Total 206 km
SS4 Provisional Classification SSV
1 HENRICY F – BERSEY E
2 FIDEL MEDERO J – VENTAJA CRUZ J
3 CONNELL G – SEEL A
4 CULUS E – BONNEAUDEAU N
“During the first 30 or 40 kilometers, navigation was very difficult and we overtook a number of cars that were ahead of us. At km 50 we were the first SSV. We kept the pace for more than half of the race. There were some small dunes, sandy tracks and lots of fesh-fesh… We crossed a lake and went on an oued, all that over fesh-fesh,” tells Garry, pleased with the stages outcome for his crew.
Tonight, all competitors will sleep under the stars at the dunes of Merzouga. It will be a magic moment where the assistances do not have access and are not allowed to work in the parc ferme.
Live tracking during rally
Already early in the stage we had a flat tyre in the rocky terrain. Quick wheel change but passed by some. Getting into the dunes we had high tyre pressure so before starting to climb the big ones we stopped to let pressure down. Unfortunately we were already stuck and had to jack the car up. Then tried to get out but still didn’t move so we jacked it up again, and now used sand ladders. Finally Garry could drive to a more solid ground and I ran behind with the ladders! Lost more than one hour in the dunes.
Rest of the day went well until one roadbook direction was a bit unclear (wrong) and we were backtracking to find the right way.
At the cp4 the organisers cut the stage so we headed back.
All in all, a lot of dune experience of the sweaty kind.
Well… if the tires fail, skis may be the solution!
Report by: Judith Tomaselli.
A hell of a special stage!
Stage 2: JAMALUN 2013-10-22
Road connection: 3.43 km – Special Stage: 191.69 km – Road connection: 6.07 km – TOTAL: 201.19
As announced yesterday by the organizer, todays stage of the Merzouga Rally was not meant to be taken lightly. In fact, narrow uphill tracks, small dunes and camel herb required competitors to be 100% focused and prove their technical driving skills. Garry Connell and Annie Seel (N°205) managed to earn their first victory on the Polaris RZR XT+ 900 XP40, leaving an important gap between the second place.
“Today was very difficult, tells Garry at the bivouac in Erfoud, and very technical too. We went on goats tracks, so steep I had to lower my gear, three times, to “short speeds”. The roads were stony and went up in only one way, like enduro racing tracks, and our wheels were outside the track. The dunes were so technical that we did some slalom between the camel herbs. The day was long but I am glad and satisfied because Annie taught me many things for the Dakar.”
Annie Seel also had her moment of glory because navigation was difficult today. “I was focused on the road book, tells the Swede, and I did my best to share my experience in the desert with Garry, especially at the moment we crossed the erg. You have to learn how to read the dunes when you arrive to them and then, they open up your path like the Red Sea in the Old Testament. It was a great learning day for the Dakar and Garry has done an excellent job.”
Follow Garry Connell and Annie Seel on the track:
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Garry Connell och jag tog sträcksegern idag!
Dagens sträcka var drygt 20 mil med svår navigation och mycket stökig terräng med sand blandat med sand, kamelgrästuvor (hårda som betong) och mycket steniga partier.
redan under de första 10 milen hade vi kört till oss 20 minuters ledning från vår 7 startposition.
en punktering tog lite tid, men det hade vi råd med.
känner att min erfarenhet från all dakar-navigering tillsammans med Garrys förståndiga körning så säkrade vi dagens framgång.
Imorgon SS3: 30 mil.
VIDEO Day 1 youtube.com/watch?v=MtKYeNSs0k4 (4 min)
Annie & Garry starting, at 1:30 (the rest is mostly bikes and a long interview with Verhoeven)
First day of the rally included a 130 km warm up with some big dunes. And in the evening a time qualification prologue race. During the warm up we had two flat tyres and also rolled. But no damages or drama. Prologue 7th place, not pushing it.
VIDEO Intro, check-in, warm-up etc (7:13) youtube.com/watch?v=RERaToMn42Q
Annie & Garry presentation at 4:20