- The FN Speed rider has got through the penultimate stage of the toughest rally in the world without any setbacks.
- The driver from Vic and his co-driver Themis Lopez finished 22nd in T3 in a special stage entirely over dunes and remains 16th overall.
- "The mechanics are very tired and it's a matter of regulating to the maximum to reach the objective, which is to finish and work at full speed for the team".
Penultimate challenge, overcome. Joan Font has completed without setbacks the 13th stage of the Dakar, which this Saturday took the survivors from Shaybah to Al-Hofuf, very close to the finish in Dammam, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The penultimate special stage consisted of 153 kilometers in the desert. After 3 hours and 17 minutes surfing in the dunes, Font and Themis Lopez finished in a positive 22nd position in the T3 category, 36 minutes behind the day's winner. In the general classification of the light prototypes, the FN Speed Team team is in an excellent 16th place.
Although at first glance the special stage may have seemed easy due to its contained mileage, the terrain made it very complicated. For the fourth consecutive day, the stage was pure desert. "You shouldn't think that 150 kilometers is not enough, because it was all dunes. There are 150 kilometers of dunes; you leave one and join another, and that makes progress slow and difficult," explains Font. In addition, the riders then had to tackle a long 500-kilometer liaison to Al-Hofuf, which brought the total distance of the day to almost 700 kilometers.
A considerable beating for mechanics already very punished, after two weeks of competition (the prologue stage was disputed two Saturdays ago). "The mechanics are very tired and, at this stage of the race, it's all about regulating to the maximum to reach the goal, which is to finish and always working at full speed for the team", says the Doga, Racing Oil and FN Speed rider. "But we already see the light at the end of the race", dares to venture the Catalan rider, convinced and confident of stepping on the podium with his Aragonese co-driver Themis Lopez, at the wheel of the Can-Am Maverick number 318.
Before that, however, he will have to overcome the last stage of the toughest rally in the world, which this Sunday will take the caravan from Al-Hofuf to the long-awaited finish in Dammam. On the menu for the day is a final 138-kilometer special stage. At first glance, it also looks short and easy, but the Dakar demands maximum concentration right to the end.
Automatic translation from the original Spanish version available on www.todoterreno.pt
Source FN Speed Team