Austin Jones and Gustavo Gugelmin found the penultimate stage of the 2023 Dakar Rally tougher than expected, but the American driver of Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team and his Brazilian co-driver brought their Can-Am home safely. Clocking the 9th time in the stage, they keep the overall lead firmly in their hands, with a gap of over fifty minutes before the last day.
“Just finished up stage 13, one more to go, happy about that. It was a hard day, I would say, probably one of the hardest days so far. We cruised along, we took a bit of extra time to be extra careful, and got to the finish. We are going into tomorrow with a 54-minute lead or something like that, hoping to close this one out. I hope tomorrow will be nicer to us stage-wise, but you never know. They’ve made this Dakar super hard, not expecting too much other than a tough stage. We are happy that we are here, cruising along,“
Austin Jones said after the penultimate stage.
“Tough stage today, for me one of the most difficult ones because of the dunes, but we are, you know, in a fast and safe pace. We have some minutes of the leading, so it's good,”
Gustavo Gugelmin said about Stage 13. The Brazilian co-driver then talked about his compatriots, who are also shining in the 2023 edition of the Dakar Rally.
“There are a lot of Brazilians who are doing quite well. We have Lucas Moraes in the T1. He's third overall, and it's really good. He's a rookie, it’s his first time in the Dakar. We also have Marcelo Medeiros in quads, who is doing well, he won one or two special stages.
We got a Brazilian female driver, Pamela Bozzano, and her husband, Enio Bozzano. We have Luppi, who won stages, we have Cristiano Batista in T4, who also won stages. So, the Brazilians are outstanding in the Dakar which is really good. It's nice to see more Brazilians winning stages and being in top 3, top 5, top 10 overall.”
Text: Rita Kónya
Interviews: Sveta Amelichkina