– Al-Rajhi lands in the Pacific
– Przygonski now eighth in the overall standings
Stage five took the competitors to Arequipa, the last stop in Peru before the entire Dakar train will leave the country and cross the border to Bolivia. The stage once again featured sand and dunes and represented a massive challenge for the drivers.
In the end, Orlando Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (both ARG) finished sixth with their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. The two MINI JCW Rally pairings Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) and Boris Garafulic (CHI) / Filipe Palmeiro (POR) came eighth and 10th respectively.
After the bad luck they had to cope with yesterday, Terranova and Graue used today’s stage for working their way up in fine style. They were the 20th pairing to start into the stage and finished sixth. In the overall standings they now hold 12th place. Like many others, Przygonski, Garafulic and Mikko Hirvonen got stuck in the Tanaca dunes. But while the Pole and the Chilean succeeded in getting their cars going again quickly, the Finn needed more than an hour before he could rejoin the action.
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) were racing at an impressive pace in the early stages and won the first part of the special stage. But short before the end of the special stage they drove along the ocean when a high wave hit them and dragged them into the Pacific. Garafulic and Palmeiro could pull the buggy out of the water, then Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (GER) towed the buggy to the finish and in the end it was towed to the bivouac by an X-raid service truck. “There were two tracks in the sand, unfortunately we opted for using the wrong one,