Dakar 2023: Joan Font keeps the pace despite the untimely rain

Dakar 2023: Joan Font keeps the pace despite the untimely rain

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  • The FN Speed driver and his co-driver Themis Lopez overcome the difficulties caused by a downpour.
  • The conditions force the neutralization of the end of the third special stage of the Dakar, which is shortened by 100 kilometers."We
  • managed to maintain a good pace on a very tough stage and we are happy with the performance of the car."

The rain was an added difficulty for Joan Font and Themis Lopez on the third stage of the Dakar, between Al-Ula and Ha'il. The FN Speed Team crew managed to overcome the very tough conditions to finish the special stage with a good pace, shortened from 447 km to 335 km. They took 4 hours and a half to complete it, in 28th position in the T3 category (light prototypes), one hour behind the winner of the day. A lot of hours of driving, but... half of what they needed on Monday (9 hours) to complete the second stage!

The Dakar is synonymous with desert, sand, dunes, rocks... When it was run in South America (from 2009 to 2019) rain was sporadically added to this "dry" menu, and the liquid element reappeared this Tuesday for the 2023 edition in Saudi Arabia. Navigation was expected to be very important on a special stage with half of the mileage on sand, but the rain eclipsed the forecasts. For safety reasons, the conditions forced the organizers to neutralize the stage from kilometer 335 onwards.

The organization had promised dreamlike scenery along the route, but the downpour did not allow the riders to enjoy the scenery. Neither did Joan Font, who, as if that wasn't enough, had problems with the windshield wipers on the Can-Am number 318. "They stopped us when there were just over a hundred kilometers to the end of the special stage", explained the driver from Vic. "The truth is that with so much rain the stage was being very hard. But we managed to keep a good pace, and we were also able to help a teammate who had a puncture", added the FN Speed team rider.

Despite the difficulties, both expected and unforeseen, Font and Themis Lopez from Aragon continue with their plan to tackle this Dakar stage by stage, kilometer by kilometer, with regularity and taking care of the mechanics. In this sense, the Catalan rider praises the performance of the FN Speed Team's Can-Am Maverick, sponsored by Doga and Racing Oil: "The truth is that we are very happy with the performance of the car, which allows us to ride at a safe pace".

The next two stages of the Dakar will be loops around Ha'il. This Wednesday, the first of them will include another long 425-kilometer special stage. The route changes substantially compared to the previous days and the first important strips of dunes and a lot of sand take center stage, although it remains to be seen if the rain stays on the menu of the toughest rally in the world.

Automatic translation from the original Spanish version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source: FN Speed Team official press release

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