With only two days to go in the 2023 edition of Dakar Rally, Austin Jones and Gustavo Gugelmin further strengthened their lead in the T3 category. The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team crew had a smooth run in the second part of the marathon stage and clocked the 5th time in the special stage, increasing their lead in the overall classification to over an hour over their closest rival.
“I just finished up stage number 12 out here at the Dakar. The second half of the last marathon day was really good. We had a good time on the marathon day last night, set up the tents, everybody staying in tents and hanging out, it was really cool. And then today's stage, it was pretty fast with a lot of chotts. Mostly just kind of pulling gas all day, but some of the dune crossings that we had to go through were really tough like level three, level two, out of that kind of stuff. So if you weren't careful, you could get stuck or have a real issue. We did a decent job, I think we're P5 in the stage today and we gained more time on the lead. Now I think our gap to second place is about an hour and five minutes or something like that. So, next two days, just keep everything going the way it is and try to bring this one home,”
Austin Jones said after finishing the marathon stage.
“We just finished the marathon stage. It was two days out there. It was night sleeping in the tent. No Wi Fi, no internet, nothing. So it was really good talk to friends, old friends, new friends. So it was a pleasure to be in the marathon stage. The car runs perfectly, we’ve brought it home. We're leading by an hour and now it's changed our mind, our heart. We were like taking more care of the car on the dunes. Two more days almost in the end. Let's keep doing like this and it's going to be perfect for us,”
co-driver Gustavo Gugelmin said before the penultimate stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally.
Text: Rita Kónya
Interviews: Sveta Amelichkina