- The KH-7 rider was satisfied with her riding in the dunes, although a snag while dodging another vehicle caused her to lose 10 minutes.
- "We are very happy with how we did today, even though the result doesn't reflect it".
- "We went very well and got through all the tricky parts, even though we got snagged once in a place that wasn't difficult so as not to hit a Can-Am."
The second part of the marathon stage ended with good feelings for Laia Sanz. The KH-7 rider played her cards right to overcome the demands of two special stages in a row between which the mechanics were not allowed to help. The rider from Corbera de Llobregat has thus completed another day in a Dakar Rally 2023 in which she has had to overcome one challenge or another every day.
In this 12th stage -the antepenultimate stage of this edition-, the biggest difficulty was again the huge dunes that defined part of the 185 kilometers of the timed route. If on the previous day Sanz struggled and suffered three snags, this Friday she rode with more ease and confidence, with the determination not to lose time pulling a shovel.
The Catalan and her co-driver Maurizio Gerini started well, with a solid pace, and rode in times in the top 15 in the first 42 kilometers, which presaged a good comeback. But shortly after the first reference point, the Spanish-Italian duo got stuck in a dune after being obstructed by a light buggy, a small setback that caused them to lose about 10 minutes. In a short stage like today's, this delay caused them to drop about thirty positions to 49th place after crossing the finish line, 34'58" behind the leader.
Despite the result, the KH-7 driver made a positive reading of the day: "We are very happy with how we did today, although the result does not reflect it. Today we started with more pace than yesterday, but taking care of the car, which was already a bit touched from the first part of the marathon. We went very well and we overcame all the complicated parts, although we got stuck once in a place that was not difficult not to hit a Can-Am. The downside is that the hydraulic jack didn't work and it took us a little longer than usual, but we're satisfied".
This Saturday, the Dakar will enter its 13th and penultimate stage, which will take the riders from Shaybah to Al-Hofuf, with a total of 673, of which 153 will correspond to the timed special stage, mostly over dunes.
1. Sebastien Loeb (Prodrive) 1h 56’21”
2. Mattias Ekström (Audi) +03’19”
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) +03’31”
4. Guerlain Chicherit (Prodrive) +07’13”
5. Jakub Przygonski (Mini) +08’02”
49. Laia Sanz (ASTARA) +34’58”
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) 41h 16’25”
2. Sebastien Loeb (Prodrive) +1h 27’10”
3. Lucas Moraes (Toyota) +1h 29’11”
4. Giniel de Villiers (Toyota) +2h 22’21”
5. Henk Lategan (Toyota) +2h 34’21”
69. Laia Sanz (ASTARA) +18h 49’05”
Automatic translation from the original Portuguese version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source KH-7 / Laia Sanz