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The 2019 Dakar quest of David Bensadoun and his co-driver Patrick Beaulé of the ALDO Racing Team, is over. The difficult terrain and multiple traps set for the 41st edition of the rally-raid were some of the most brutal ever seen. Adding to this was the fact that ALDO Racing was breaking in their new car, which was twice afflicted by mechanical woes. These afflictions are no fault of South African car manufacturer Century Racing, as the car spent too much time on the ocean blue travelling from South Africa to America, then a return trip from America to Asia for participation in the Silk Way Rally, that did not materialize. Finally, a trip to France before the last ocean cruise to Peru. The moist ocean air will have done most of the work to corrode the ignition distributor. The corrosion eventually caused the team's retirement on Day 3.

"Unfortunately, we had major electrical/fuelling problems starting at race kilometre 50 of Special Stage 3 and when we entered the dunes at kilometre 60, it just got worse," said David Bensadoun. "Engine power kept cutting out. We tore the car apart looking for the problem but could not immediately find the source".

30th in the car class prior to their retirement

Starting from Lima in 66th position in the car class, ALDO Racing lost six spots when they reached Pisco at the end of the first Special Stage. On day 2, the Canadian team made a giant leap, jumping to 38th position in class after checking in correctly at the eight Way Points on its way to San Juan de Marcona. After clocking in on Way Point 2 on Day 3, Bensadoun and Beaulé were 30th in class before encountering the problem that led to their retirement.
Because this Dakar is so tough on the cars, event organizers allowed participants who had retired from the rally in the first week, to re-enter the race after rest day on Saturday, January 12. Well rested, David and Patrick were back on the road on Sunday for a semi-marathon race with its own standings.

Dakar, Take 2

The ALDO Racing CR6 was back on the sandy trails of Peru to compete in the second half of the Dakar.

"We entered Special Sector 6 at 1 p.m. on Sunday and had a clutch failure in the Tanaka desert around 2 p.m.," continued Bensadoun. "With the help of our team, we removed the transmission and replaced the broken clutch pressure plate. We then had to navigate our way out of the desert in pitch black around 9:30 p.m.! Because of the crazy dunes and soft sand, it took us two hours to drive four kilometres in the dark before reaching a highway. Since we received help from our crew, we knew we would be excluded.
"We wanted adventure and we got it. It's always sad to be out but we have new stories to tell and we feel we tried everything to stay in. The Dakar is always tough, but this year's edition is just brutal."

The 2019 Dakar continues until Thursday, January 17 when a festive crowd in the Capital City of Lima will acclaim the grand winners.

The participation of ALDO Racing in the Dakar 2019 is the result of a partnership with the ALDO Group, E.F. Walters, Stingray, SAJO, Vitesse Transport Corporation, the OEC Group and Fesh-Fesh Investments.

Source Aldo Racing's official press release
Photo Victore Leuter

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