mishaps

#Dakar 2015 stage 2: correction

Posted on Updated on

I’m sorry there has been confusing information about that Paul and I gave spare wheels to mate car 424 on the stage 2.
We could not give him any tyres, because we also had punctures and already used our spare wheels.
The initial info we got was from another site, but at that time we couldn’t know it was incorrect.

The original article is also edited, 2015/01/06/dakar2015-stage-2-unfortunate-team-partners.

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Rättelse till etapp 2

Det har varit förvirrande information om händelser på etapp 2.
Vår team-kompis bil 424 hade haft flera punkteringar och troligen fått reservhjul, dock inte av Annie. Hon hade redan använt sina för egna punkteringar.
Vi hade fått uppgifter via en annan sajt, men visste inte då att de var felaktiga.

Originalinlägget är också korrigerad, länk ovan.

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#Dakar 2015. After the broken race

Posted on Updated on

10 Jan.

Sammanfattning och funderingar kring årets Dakar rally

dakar2015-efter-rally-annie-packar-ihop-video_600
Youtu.be/TBCJVnar8eY
Video: Resumé av vad som gått fel.

Vi hann köra 5 etapper, sedan hann allt jävelskap ikapp – en massa tekniska problem, sena nätter, hann inte serva bilen – allt samlades på hög och slutade med straff för förseningar, och vi fick inte börja etapp 6.

En stor besvikelse förstås, eftersom jag alltid haft målet att komma i mål. Kanske Ökenkrigaren hade behövt mer kärlek…
Men utgången var nog rättvis, i Dakar får man inte göra så här många misstag. “Dakar väntar på ingen” – denna gång lämnades jag kvar.
Men jag är inte knäckt, jag är revanschsugen.

Jag kommer att ta med mig alla erfarenheterna och lära av dem. Körningen har gått bra, och dakar är rätt väg för mig. Men man måste träna mycket, köra in sig, ha en bra bil och ett stödjande team. Det är så många samverkande bitar jämfört med motorcykel.

Nu har bilen fått en stor service och är körbar igen. När de andra tävlande kört etappen färdigt, åkte vi ut på andra halvan av etappen. Jag “tröstkörde” lite. Senare var vi ute och “friåkte” lite mer.
Imorgon söndag ska vi ut och träna i sanddynerna. Måste passa på när jag ändå är här. Det är ju väldigt bra dakar-träning för framtiden!

Ett varmt tack till alla i team Rally Raid UK, de har varit fantastiska!

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Round-up and some thoughts on Dakar rally this year

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Youtu.be/h1vAYr9wa4o
Funderingar och framtidstankar.

We finished 5 stages, but lots of  difficulties had piled up – lots of technical problems, bad luck, late nights, no time to fix the car, even penalties for late arrivals etc – so we were not allowed to start stage 6.

Quite a disappointment of course, as I always had the idea of finishing the rally. Maybe my Desert Warrior would have needed more love…
Yet it was a fair outcome, Dakar does not accept that many mistakes. “Dakar waits for nobody” – this time I was left behind.
But I’m not broken, I’m eager for revenge…

This experience was extremely hard, but I will learn of these lessons. The driving was fairly good and I feel Dakar is the right path for me. But it takes a lot of training, becoming comfortable with the vehicle, a durable car and a supportive team. So many parts to fit together compared with racing a motorbike, so driving a car is a new and big challenge for me.

Now the car has got a full service and works just fine again. When all the other competitors had finished the stage, we took a “consolation ride”. Later we had some more “free riding”.
Tomorrow (sunday) we are going to train in the dunes. It’s a good opportunity as we are here anyway. And the best Dakar training for the future!

A warm thank you to everybody in the team Rally Raid UK, they have been fantastic!

dakar2015-annie-after-race_1000x660
Annie studying the Dakar guide – what to do after Dakar?

 

#Dakar 2015. All that fixing and repairing…

Posted on Updated on

How many mishaps and broken parts can one bear!?

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Stage 2. We are waiting for our team mates 411 and 424 and helping them.
424 quit on this stage, the same where we spent the night outdoors.

paul-cleans-airfilter_500x280 VIDEO Youtu.be/ujpFxwFHro0
Stage 2. Paul cleans the air filter.

dakar2015-s2-rallyraiduk-dw411-vurpa_540x540
Team mate 411 turned over on stage 3. The car was badly wrecked and beyond repairing.
s3-411-pulled-up-after-roll_1000x600
Nothing to do but leave the race 😦

VIDEO
Youtube.com/watch?v=VMS6kRd6xW8 (Polish speaker)
At 1:10 / Car 394 in bivouac for reparing. (Photo below)
At end of video / Car 411 after the crash.

dakar2015-394-repair-bivouac_1040x600
Our car 394 had several punctuations, wishbone cracked twice, power steering broken, overheated clutch etc…
Beacause all reparations took so long 394 was late for start on stage 6, and that was the end of this race.
Later everything was fixed and the car could roll on, but only as assistant for other competitors – and for fun and training.

But look here – this is where the mechanic expert seems to be hiding!
lady-mech-under-car_800x500

In this rally the sweeper truck was really busy, collecting all broken vehicules from the tracks – mostly at night.
dakar-sweeptruck_800X360

Unless even the sweeper truck needed a sweeper of its own…
sweepertruck-needs-sweeper_600

——————-
s3 NY POST till 6 jan (del B), kl 23.50:

#Dakar 2015, stage 6. The End of our race

Posted on Updated on

Jan 9, stage 6. Antofagasta

End of race, it’s over now… 
The Desert Warrior lost the battle

dakar2015-s5-annie-in-tent_640x480In the morning I had my first shower in days! It was cold in a “field shower closet” but felt just wonderful. Then I ate in the canteen together with my former race mates, the bikers. Strange feeling. We race in the same competition but it’s a huge difference, I barely see them. As it happens I have my dinner from yesterday while for them it’s breakfast today. Totally different time zones, and yet the same.

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Unfortunately we could not get everything ready for the days start. Too many parts were broken and too little time to repare all. It’s very sad, we worked so hard.

But Dakar is the toughest race in the world, you must manage every part of it. We had maximum bad luck, some good luck too when we could go on but did not get the last bit of good fortune.
“Dakar waits for no one” – as they say. Now we were left behind. 😦

These first days have been the toughests even when using the the Dakar yardstick. Considering that I was a rookie in car, and yet we got top 50 while 2 of 3 competitors quit already in the first part of the rally, this is for me a little victory. I was here to drive as an assistant and to learn as much as possible. I sure have learned a  lot! Every day had “extra of all” of damned technical problems, demanding driving, also tough physical and mental trials.

Paul thinks I did the driving super good, that feels encouranging and really great. I will embrace all good and bad experience, and will come back even stronger.

I’m not broken, Im eager for revenge…

dakar2015-s5-end-car394_960x640
Still racing on stage 5, our last to finish…

Nu är det slut på rejset…
Ökenkrigaren förlorade slaget.

På morgonen duschat första gången på ett antal dagar! Den var kall i en en “dusch”-bajamaja men kändes helt underbar. Åt sen middag i kantinen, tillsammans med mina forna tävlingskollegor, mc-förarna. Kändes konstigt. Vi kör samma tävling men det är milsvid skillnad, jag ser dem knappt. Råkar nu äta min kvällsmat för igår, medan det för dem är frukost idag. Helt olika tidszon fast ändå samma.
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Tyvärr hann vi inte få allt klart till start för dagens etapp. Det var för många delar som gått sönder och för lite tid att reparera allt. Så tråkigt när vi kämpat så hårt.
Men Dakar är världens hårdaste tävling, man måste klara alla moment. Vi har haft grym otur, lite tur ändå som kom vidare, men den sista biten tur saknades.
“Dakar waits for for no one” – som de säger. Nu blev vi kvarlämnade. 😦

De här första dagarna har varit bland de tuffaste även i dakar-mått mätt. Att vi ändå med mig som nybörjare i bil klarade oss till topp 50, när två tredjdelar brutit redan inledningsvis, tar jag som en liten seger. Jag var här för att köra som team assistans och lära mig så mycket som möjligt. Det har jag verkligen gjort! Varje dag har innehållit “extra allt” av teknisk jävelskap, tuff körning, samt både fysisk och mental prövning.

Körningen har jag klarat med bravur enligt Paul, och det känns ju kanonbra och uppmuntrande. Jag tar med mig allt bra och dåligt, och kommer igen ännu starkare.

Jag är inte knäckt, jag är revanschsugen…

dakar2015-the-camp_1632x480
The camp: our service truck 736 to the left, race truck 556 in the middle. Rear part of 394 in between. 

 

#Dakar2015 stage 4 – over the Andes

Posted on Updated on

Jan 7, Stage 4. Chilecito – Copiapo
From Argentina climb up to 4,800 meter in altitude over the Andes to Chile. Special 315 km, total 909 km.

Dakar info:
Cars start about 14.30 (local time). 96 cars starting, 6 cars stayed in the bivouac and 2 were allowed back into the race.

No results available yet other than for the top drivers.
Seems the record system still works lousy.

dakar2015-s3-349rear-dust_960x640

A long stage and a late start means driving all night to finish.
It is also tough to cope the thin air high in the mountains, and it is chilly too.

The Dakar nightmare goes on…
We have slept only 3 hours in the past 3 days! This is killing any car driver.

On stage 4 we arrived into bivouac at 5 in the morning. The start was late, so it was an evening race – a night ride to finish.

As there was so much trouble managing the car, because the power steering doesn’t work, big muscles are needed to make a 2 ton rally car turn. My arms are not strong enough to handle the steering wheel very quickly, so Paul and I have shared driving. I ride the easier parts and Paul the tracks with lots of fast turns.

We have had lots of technical mishaps, punctures etc.

Paul hit some whoops hard, and then fixing the rear wishbone again – twice now – and we were loosing time. We have spare parts, but so much to fix takes time. Night will fall before we can continue in the dunes.

dakar2015-s4-fixing-wishbone_1000x540
The wishbone broken – again

Now there are not many cars still racing, and we are the last to arrive to finish every night/morning. All behind us are out there stuck in the tracks.
The thin air in the high mountains and the chilly weather did not make driving easier.

Also the other cars in our team have encountered lots of difficulties.
411 turned over on stage 3 in the morning. We tried to help as soon as we got out on the road, without the time card. But the car was badly wrecked and they quit the race.
424 quit on stage 2, the same where we spent the night outdoors. Our assistance car was transporting spare wheels for them but the engine broke and the car must be left on the track.
The rally truck 566/race support/ waited for our last driver and thus arrived too late to finish and was not allowed to start the next stage.

Now only I and Paul are left of the team.
Two mechanics wait for us in the bivouac. But we barely see each other as we are on the tracks all the time. The few hours we are in the bivouac are not enough for full service, only the most urgent problems get fixed. And we feel it – the car is suffering.
This is more than maximum shit.

video-dakar2015-s4-prep-night-annie_200VIDEO

http://youtu.be/z4nEiK4XlOM
Annie preparing for stage 4 in the night. (in swedish)
Annie förbereder etapp 4 på natten.

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Mardröms-dakar fortsätter…
Vi har sovit 3 timmar på 3 dygn! Mördande hårt i år för bilförarna.
Den tunna luften och kylan i de höga bergen har inte gjort körningen lättare.

På S4 kom vi in kl 5 på morgonen. Etappen hade startat sent, det blev en kvällstur – och nattkörning mot mål.

Eftersom det varit så mycket problem med styrning på bilen, servon krånglar, krävs det mycket muskelkraft att svänga två ton rallybil. Paul och jag har därför delat på körningen, jag orkar fysiskt inte vrida ratten tillräckligt fort. Så jag har kört de lättkörda delarna och Paul när det är mycket svänga hit och dit.

Vi har haft en massa tekniska missöden, förutom punkteringar.
Paul slog rejält i några guppar, så det blev att laga bärarmen (som håller hjulet) igen – andra gången nu – och vi förlorade tid. Vi har reservdelar men reparationer tar ju tid. Det blir natt innan vi kan fortsätta i dynerna.

Nu är det inte många bilar kvar i rejset, och vi är sist in varje natt/morgon. Alla bakom oss är fast ute på sträckorna.

dakar2015-s2-rallyraiduk-dw411-vurpa_540x540Våra team-kompisar har också haft stora problem.
Bil 411 voltade på morgonen s3, som vi försökte hjälpa efter att vi äntligen kommit ut på sträckan utan tidkort. Men skadorna på bilen var för stora så de bröt.
Bil 424 bröt under sträcka 2, då också vi blev kvar ute över natten.
Vår assistansbil skulle köra ut däck till dem men motorn havererade så bilen måste lämnas kvar därute.
Teamets tävlingstruck 566/racesupport/ väntade på vår sista förare, och kom därför för sent i mål och fick inte starta nästa etapp.

Nu är det bara Paul och jag kvar i teamet.
Två meckar väntar i bivacken med stora service-lastbilen. Men vi ses knappt eftersom vi är ute på sträckorna hela tiden. De få timmar vi är inne hinner de inte serva bilen helt, utan fixar bara det mest akuta. Det märks – bilen börjar ta stryk.
Överjävligt är ordet.

#Dakar2015 Stage 2. Unfortunate team partners

Posted on Updated on

Jan 5, stage 2.

Sadly, our Rally Raid UK team mates must quit the race after stage 2.

Copied from the team’s Facebook:

Jesus Navarro in the Desert Warrior 3, car 424, had six punctures on stage 2 and didn’t complete the stage so has retired.
Ernesto and his son in the Desert Warrior 1 XLR, car 411, rolled on stage and decided to retire.
No drivers were injured in any way, luckily.
Annie Seel in the Desert Warrior 2/car 394, finished stage 3 yesterday with no major problems.

Our team boss Paul comments:
It takes us 6 months to build a car and it takes Dakar rally 2 days to wreck it. This edition of the Dakar is taking its toll early on, seems that everyone has tales to tell and experiences to share. The event is already living up to its fierce reputation.
Indeed, a car burned into ashes and a competitor died, so far.

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Other accidents:
One car burnt down totally, and a biker has died, so far.

dakar2015-s2-dw411-rollover_800x550
Game over… 😦

Kopierat från teamets Facebook:

Våra vänner i team RallyRaid UK har tyvärr avbrutit efter etapp 2.
Jesus Navarro i Desert Warrior 3/bil 424, hade sex punkteringar och kunde inte slutföra sträckan och fick bryta.
Ernesto med sin son i Desert Warrior 1 XLR, bil 411, kraschade på S2 och måste bryta. Förarna klarade sig utan skador, som tur.
Annie i Desert Warrior 2/bil394, kom i mål på etapp 3 utan större problem.

Team-boss Paul kommenterar:
Det tar 6 månader att bygga en bil, men för Dakar 2 dagar att krascha den. Årets Dakar har krävt sina offer redan tidigt, många deltagare berättar om sina upplevelser, strapatser och olyckor. Tävlingen lever redan upp till sitt våldsamma rykte.

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Andra haverier:
En bil brann upp totalt och en motorcyklist har dött, hittills.

Many riders are gone, others are going on…

Posted on Updated on

Annie & Garry #366 were unfortunate in this rally, as the engine died just after finishing stage 5.
So was our team mate #386 Yasir & Lauren, the gear box broke half way on stage 5.

But our Team XtremePlus is still in the race! The cars #350 William and #364 Nicolas & Sebastien, are stable on positions around 48-50.

dakar2014-polaris350_340x200 dakar2014-polaris364_340x200
#350 William (solo) #364 Nicolas & Sebastien

dakar2014-truck552_640x420#350 had problems with the front suspension on stage 7. #364 tried to help but luckily the truck came to rescue – again – so everybody could continue. But they finished a little too late. It was very windy and dusty.
It seems they are driving together and thus “sharing” the codriver Sebastien, as William drives solo.
The truck #552 (Piana, Cangani, Trote) is also still in the game, position around 42. 

Recently noticed:
There are a couple of Estonian bikers doing quite well. Nice to see other riders from northern Europe in Dakar! These Dakar rookies are #117 Meeru, pos 42, and #133 Triisa, pos 59, both taking it easy and safe – very wise.

dakar2014-bike117-meeru_220x200 dakar2014-bike133-triisa_220x200
#117 Mart Meeru #133 Toomas Triisa

Good luck to all of them, and the others struggeling in the dunes and mountains , enduring heat, sandstorms, cold, rain… and even suffering from painful injuries.

dakar2014-s9-dunes-vehicles-e-vargioulu_640x420

Day 5. Out of race

Posted on Updated on

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. –

smiley-big-cry_150Garry 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.

dakar2014-byggy-repair-top_640So 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.

dakar2014-byggy-repair-under_640Our 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

dakar2014-rules-no-engine-change_580x440

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). 😉

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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)
Video.Eurosport.se/rally-raid/annie-seel-efter-fjarde-etappen_vid308741/video.shtml
* Also on TheDakar.blogspot.se/2014/01/dakar-2014-annie-seel-efter-fjarde.html

dakar2014-buggy-repair-annie_640

2) Annie in the morning about failing to start stage 5 (swedish): “nobody gives up the dakar dream…”
Video.Eurosport.se/rally-raid/ingen-ger-upp-dakardrommen-pa-riktigt-bara-ett-litet-tag_vid308771/video.shtml
* Also on TheDakar.blogspot.se/2014/01/dakar-2014-annie-seel-and-her-thoughts.html

dakar2014-outofrace-annie_640

Bye bye “Turtle buggy”! #366 crossed out.  And we are as cross as two sticks.

dakar2014-buggy-broken-on-trailer_n

Stage 4. A long way to ride

Posted on Updated on

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!”

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The connection road. 

Standings this stage: pos 83, 12:21:39 (+7:01:07)
Total pos 75.

annie-garry-check-car_crop
Photo by Marie Hessel

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.

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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.

Stage 2. Flat tyres – 3 times

Posted on Updated on

San Luis – San Rafael, SS Cars 433 km. It’s been long and tough for most competitors. Quite speedy tracks and parts through rough stone areas and over great dunes.

Annie & Garry finished the stage at about 21:15 local time, timed on the special stage 8:31:35 (var +4:39:30). Position 83.  

dakar2014-fesh-buggy_640x360

Annie: “Only 50-60 km into the stage we got a flat tyre, and then another… we have only 2 spare wheels. So we had to slow down and drive cautiously, the stones are very edgy and hidden in the sand! Then there was that really nasty fesh-fesh, that blew all over us – everywhere – couldn’t see anything.
And then 40 km from finish one more flat tyre. So annoying, but we managed to fix one of the other flatties with a vulcanite plug. 

Many riders stood along the track with flat tyres, including our team mate Saedan. One car was totally burnt out, also a truck upside-down in the ditch. 

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Fesh-wash at night

This track was in the same soft dunes where I fell badly in 2009, broke my nose and got the handlebar bent – then it was raining and hailing all night. (*)” 

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Look back in this blog 2009-Jan Dakar:
2009/01/08/stage-5-jan-7-neuquen-san-rafael-a-disaster-2/
2009/01/11/smashing-stage-5/ (pictures)

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Anticipations on this day – before start. Video transmitted by Marie Hessel:
video.eurosport.se/rally-raid/seel-och-connell-infor-etapp-2-av-dakarrallyt_vid308122/video.shtml

dakar2014-s2-buggy-through-water_640x340
Cooling off in the hot weather. And look at the dog! (hot or in heat?) 

Photos by Judith Tomaselli