Artikel i korthet, publicerad på nätet 17 december 2013:
Seel tillbaka i Dakarrallyt
En svår axelskada såg ut att stoppa motorcykelföraren Annie Seel från att ställa upp i fler Dakarrallyn.
Men efter nyår står den 45-åriga svenskan på startlinjen igen, den här gången som kartläsare i en buggy tillsammans med den australiske föraren Garry Connell.
Sammanlagt 9 374 kilometer – för den som mot förmodan hela tiden lyckas hålla sig till kortaste vägen – ska avverkas i nära 50-gradig ökenvärme, längs slingriga bergsvägar och i isande kyla på 4 500 meters höjd i Anderna.
– Det blir sjätte rallyt för mig och jag har aldrig brutit, så mål nummer ett är att komma i mål, säger Seel inför tävlingen som börjar i Argentina den 5 januari och avslutas i Chile 13 dagar senare.
– Men om allt går riktigt bra hoppas vi på en femteplats i vår klass.
Sveriges Television VIDEO clips
Från pressvisningen dec 2013:
Svt Gomorron Sverige 2013-12-19:
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…
Det är ju inte helt fel att få medverka i senaste numret av BMW Magasin. Även reportage från TTA och Swedish GT där bla Richard Göransson och Janne “Flash” Nilsson kör. Nu skulle man ju bara ha en egen BMW racebil också…
Today was a “marathon stage” where we are not allowed to get service from our crew during the fuel stop. We have to fix everything ourselves. For me this is normal, like during Dakar. Rule number one: TAKE CARE.
Another fast sandy stage, through very varied terrain. Very fun and very fast. This stage was also the same as I did back in 2009, when a stick hit my foot so hard it pierced through my boot and leg. Bearing this in mind I was extra cautious.
Very cold morning and a 86 kilometer liasion to the start. All frozen when I arrived. Started the stage at quite fast travelling speed, “happy speed” I call it. Just the speed to feel safe and have fun. Then when warmed up paced up a bit and passed my team mate Aussie #26 Ben O, who had some bike problem.
At kilometer 125 I passed my team mate Italian Manuel Lucchese who crashed at 150 kmph in a rutted washout. The helicopter was there to help him so nothing I could do. But I sure rolled off the gas after this. Continued the whole stage not pushing it and mostly relying on visual judgment of the track not trusting the roadbook too much. Basically just cruising along, but still quite fast.
When back in the bivouack I heard about many crashes and broken bikes today. And many of my Husaberg team mates: Mick Heuchan #73 bounced big off his bike landing in a tree, Team boss Garry Connell #14 crashed at exactly the same spot as Manuel, lucky to be able to continue. And #26 Ben O also came off hard. Damien Grabham #73 still suffering from a big crash two days ago, did well until his engine stopped just a couple of kms from the finish, and Mick towed him as the good team mate he is!
I guess my decision to roll off the gas today was a good move.
Sam Sunderland Husaberg #10 had a really good stage, finishing second – well done!
Now I’ve moved up to 18th general, and I plan to continue my “cruise” to the finish.
Video of the day. Annie at 1:50 min:
This is how every rally day should be – so much fun!
Done some 450 kms of special stage and this was the best track so far… Just my kind of terrain, sandy narrow trails, then winding through bushes and woodland, open fast winding tracks.
Hands were very sore after hanging on to the handlebars all day. Also had an off in a deep rut, twisted handlebars a little but could straighten at service stop.
Now in 20th position overall. It was tough getting there… More challenging days to come. Stage 5 will be a “marathon day” = no service allowed during the entire stage. Note to self: DON’T CRASH!
Article on marathonrally.com:
Annie Seel from Sweden, yesterday unhappy with the stage, arrived with a big smile in her beautiful Scandinavian face. “A day like it should be here, I´m happy about this day, it was again fast, but not only on fence-lines. You have to navigate, then some rocky regions, then the sand. I enjoyed it.”
Now the going gets tough. A crazy long and dangerous stage. More than 550 kilometers of special… And super fast and dangerous in many sections.
The roadbook was very unpredictable, some warnings for dangers – and then NO warnings for even worse dangers. Also some navigation notes (tulips) were totally off, could be up to a kilometer off distance. This made navigation VERY difficult, and all riders ended up making big mistakes, riding around trying to find the route, meeting each other backtracking. Even top riders lost some 20-30 minutes when missing turnoffs!!
Most dangerous were the fast straights along barbed fences doing some 160 kms/hour. Hitting a rock, rut or a kangaroo at this speed is not good. So I decided it was not worth pushing.
But I had a plunge today, when letting #75 on a big KTM 950 (super fast bike! 178 kms/hour on the straight) overtake me. In his dust I hit a deep rut (not marked in the roadbook) and tumbled over. Lucky I wasn’t going fast, so nothing damaged.
Last section my hands were really tired and sore, and forced me to slow down. Came in 22nd – safe and sound!
Article on marathonrally.com:
Annie Seel from Sweden had a bad experience with a roadbook-mistake in the second part. “It was only fast, very fast. Especially in the second stage, for this speed the roadbook wasn’t detailed enough. Big stones were not marked, deep creeks not signed. You came with 160 km/h through a curve, hit a unmarked stone in the middle of the road, jump and… uff, I had luck! The Rally is great, especially the organisation. But in my mind they should make the stages more different, not only fast – like last year. That was great!”
Today stage 2: Good stage, very fast going. Kept a nice pace, trapped in some dust. Decided not to take any risks. Garry had a fall today, got little winded. Sam was not starting today because he hit a kangaroo badly yesterday and got a concussion. David, Damien, Manuel and Mick are all going strong.
My fuel problem is hopefully solved! The mechanics worked late night and found what was wrong. The extra tank was not connected properly, and therefore I was short on fuel on stage 1. Would have been among the top 20 if not losing all that time… Well the race continues.
Stage 2 – 23
Stage 1 – 25
We have 2 mechanics from Sweden, my very good friends: Magnus (Mange) Arnalid serving Team Husaberg and Rikard Epstein taking care of my bike and me :-).
The Safari rally has kicked off with a long day. Good riding but very tricky navigation. Made lots of time and positions, starting from 33rd position (due to nav error on prologue).
But the good going ended 25 km from the finish where I ran out of fuel. Very surprised to see there was still some fuel left in the tank! Tried to figure out the fuelsystem of the extra tanks on the Husaberg. Laid it down on the side, lifted the rear, tilted, shaked, but still couldn’t get the fuel. Waited for riders behind to stop and perhaps give me some fuel. First to arrive was #75, but he couldn’t get enough out of his bike. Then #89 arrived and I got 2,5 liters – just about to get me to the finish riding very slow and gently. #89 followed me all the way and ended up towing me on a rope to the bivouack.
Finished 27th today, despite losing about 25-30 minutes on the fuel stop. Would haver been within top 20 otherwise.
Well the race continues, many days to go!
Team Husaberg summary:
Garry Connell had a fantastioc day, came in 10th.
Sam Sunderland hit a kangaroo and crashed through a fence, concussion.
Finally some sunshine in Geraldton where the prologue of the Oz Safari 2011 will take place. There’s been too much rain in Perth, not the warmup I was thinking of for a desert race.
Always a bit weary taking off on the prologue, so decided to ride carefully. Still, riding and navigating as carefully I can, I missed a turnoff leading through high grass. I wasn’t the only one… Lost some time and finished 33rd. No need to stress, many dayus to get it right…
Feel sorry for my team mate Sam Sunderland who had a big off and got a little bruised. No big worries, he will race!
All these blue flower fields and hills!!!!