Day 5. Out of race
The mechanics were still working this morning to repair the car. But we ran out of time, the start control closed at 9:05.
Sadly, we are now out of race.
– Engine won’t turn. Piston rods big end ceased, overheated brakes etc. Cause of death: hole in oil line. –
Garry and me are sobbing and having the “post mortem” talk. He is devastated, this was his go for a dakar finish, and we know that we could have made it when it was up to our ability and race strategy. “The turtle” failed us as victim of the “fesh-fesh death”.
My first withdrawal ever.
So disappointing for both of us not to continue the race. Just because of a bloody little hole, that we fixed out there on the course. But later it caused the major engine breakdown.
Our mechanics had a very busy night as also our team partner world champion Nico Duclos was towed in with a broken gearbox.
The same problem hit Yasir Saedan earlier on this stage.
Garry and me slept only 2 hours but were ready to take off on stage 5 at 7:30. But the time was too short to make all repairs, it’s not allowed to change the whole engine like on bikes.
Below: Dakar rules 32P Engine change
We also had a coffee session with #320 Chicherit’s codriver Brucy – their car went up in flames completely.
So we’re better off, we still have a buggy (yet in pieces). 😉
VIDEOs by Marie Hessel (images are screenshots).
1) Annie tells about the terrible stage 4 at 3:20 in the morning, after 20 hrs riding in the car (swedish)
* Also on TheDakar.blogspot.se/2014/01/dakar-2014-annie-seel-efter-fjarde.html
2) Annie in the morning about failing to start stage 5 (swedish): “nobody gives up the dakar dream…”
* Also on TheDakar.blogspot.se/2014/01/dakar-2014-annie-seel-and-her-thoughts.html
Bye bye “Turtle buggy”! #366 crossed out. And we are as cross as two sticks.
Stage 4. A long way to ride
San Juan – Chilecito. First a 211 km timed section, then a 111 km neutralised sector raced at a link section pace, and then another timed section 205 km long. Specials in total 657 km. Highest point to reach is at over 3200 m.
“The longest special stage since 2005 for the cars and a really demanding route in the countryside! Rivers and canyons will offer terrains with interesting possibilities to overtake fellow competitors!”
Standings this stage: pos 83, 12:21:39 (+7:01:07)
Total pos 75.
This was a nightmare stage! Never ending course, in total 868 km. Mainly the same track as in 2011 when I got big problems – leaking oil and engine stopped.
Already at 133 km the engine stopped, loosing all oil. We worked hard to find the leak. It was 35dgr, the sun burning, we stood in a dusty floodbed. The engine is cramped for space, hard to get hands on the problem. Our team partner Yasir passed by, but couldn’t help.
At last the “angel of salvation” team boss Marco Piana came in his rally truck #552, also our service truck just in case. After a long time we found the leaking oil line. We fixed a bypass disconnecting the oil cooler.
Then we could get on the road again, but very slowly so the oil wouldn’t overheat. We were rolling quite well even when it got late night when approaching the finish.
But the last waypoint was tricky! Many cars and trucks were driving around lost in the darkness. Really no fun, we just wanted this to end. And we did reach the finish at last, then only 167 km connection to drive. But after only a few km all oil pressure was gone. Luckily Marco was just behind us and towed us to the bivouac.
So great to have a service truck of your own, always taking you home! I wish I’d had one when racing alone on my bike encountering all those mishaps.
We arrived at the bivouac around 3 in the morning.
Bodily damage: my butt was quite sore after this 20 hours sitting on a bumpy ride.
The mechanichs did their best to fix the oil line and engine, all night and morning.
Too bad Yasir must quit the race halfway of the stage due to broken gearbox.