Dakar 2023: Stage 12 - Joan Font comes out of the Empty Quarter intact

Dakar 2023: Stage 12 - Joan Font comes out of the Empty Quarter intact

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  • The driver from Vic and Themis López complete the second part of the marathon stage in the immense Saudi desert without setbacks.
  • The Can-Am number 318 of the FN Speed Team maintains an excellent 16th position overall in T3 (light prototypes).
  • "We had to overcome very high dunes, some of the most difficult I've ever seen, taking care of the mechanics as much as possible."

The Dakar is not over until it's over, but Joan Font continues to overcome all the challenges of the toughest rally in the world and is steadily approaching the long-awaited finish in Dammam. The rider from Vic has completed without setbacks the penultimate stage of the race, with a 185-kilometer special stage in the Empty Quarter, in the middle of the Saudi desert. After 3 hours and 15 minutes in the dunes, the FN Speed Team rider and Themis Lopez finished 30th in the T3 category (light prototypes), 57 minutes behind the leader. In the overall standings, they maintain an excellent 16th place.

Friday's route was the second part of the marathon stage and took the participants back to Shaybah, after having entered the immense Rub al-Jali desert, better known as the "empty place". Circumstances made Font take extreme precautions to reach the finish line in one piece. "We came from a stage without assistance and we had to take care of the mechanics as much as possible. It was the second day without having been able to overhaul the car and we were very vigilant, taking special care to maintain a regular pace", he explains.

However, the terrain didn't make it easy: "It was a very complicated stage. We had to overcome very high dunes, some of the most difficult I've ever seen. They were so high that it was difficult to climb them with the side-by-side," Font said. It was not easy to achieve the delicate balance between the necessary speed to overcome the obstacles and the caution needed to avoid overtaxing the mechanics, but the Catalan driver and his Aragonese co-driver have succeeded: the Can-Am Maverick number 318 with the colors of Doga, Racing Oil and FN Speed is in Shaybah and, as if that were not enough, very well placed in the classification of its category.

With less than 300 timed kilometers to go before the end of the Dakar 2023, the goal is close, but it is not a good idea to let your guard down. For the moment, this Saturday's penultimate stage includes a short 153-kilometer special stage, still in the desert (south of Shaybah), followed by a long liaison of more than 500 kilometers to Al-Hofuf.

Automatic translation from the original Spanish version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source FN Speed

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