Sensational results for Women racing Dakar Rally Stage One- Cristina Guteirrez takes win in T3 section

Sensational results for Women racing Dakar Rally Stage One- Cristina Guteirrez takes win in T3 section

Sensational results from Women racing Dakar Rally Stage One – Jeddah to Bisha with Cristina Guteirrez taking the win in T3 section with co-pilot Francois Cazalet (Red Bull Off-Road Team USA). Completing the timed special of 277kms in 3 hours 35′ 56 seconds, Cristina becomes the first female to win a Dakar Stage since Jutta Kleinschmidt won in 2001.

Kristen Matlock Stage One Polaris RZR Factory Racing Photo Credit: ASO

Equally impressive was Kristen Matlock and co-pilot Max Eddy’s performance in SSV category T4.1 Turbo section completing the first special in 10th place – 3 hours 59′ 55 seconds. With top 10 positions separated by mere 17 seconds, and fellow Team-mates Wayne Matlock and Sam Hayes standing 2 seconds behind- the rookie Team look set to fight competitive battle in every Stage.

Original by Motul competitor Sara Garcia proved the Spanish wonder-woman has plenty of fire under that calm exterior when faced with time penalty from missed wayward marker during Prologue. Not one to let mistakes have any bearing on result, the Pont Grup Yamaha rider finished Stage One special in 67th place.

Sara: ‘First 90 kms I rode strong, overtaking a lot of people, to try to get back the lost time from a penalty yesterday by skipping a waypOint, But between km 90 and 120 it was death, a lot of stones, it cost a lot. Came in with the handlebars of the gOrda tOrcido but got it fixed and ready for the next stage. Let’s go for stage 2′.

Equally, Laia Sanz made strong headway through the sand-stone-tricky navigating tracks, finishing the day in 33rd place with Audrey Rosset and Sara Jugla completing their first ever Dakar Stage in 92nd and 95th places respectively.

Monica Plaza and Manolo Plaza Dakar Rally Stage One Photo Credit ASO

Laia: ‘I went quite well at the start, with a good safety margin and without wanting to take risks in the rocky area with a lot to lose if I fell down. At the last part, I lost the way for about 15 minutes. I am quite upset, but I am sure there will be difficult days where I will be able to recover the lost time’.

Legend driver Camelia Liparoti and co-pilot Annett Fischer made uphill climb in rankings completing first special in 8th position. Racing on board Yamaha’s YXZ1000R Lightweight prototype, same class as Cristina, the presence of female competitors is never more evident than watching Camelia and Annett race Dakar.

South Africa’s duo Taye Perry and Bryan Baragwanath herald maximum efficiency to overcome a few challenges during first leg Jeddah-to-Bisha. One being, swarm of locusts hitting the radiator, next flat tyre, few navigational changes, then back on track to finish 4th position in T1.3 2-wheel petrol drive section.

Taye: ‘First we had a bit of an overheating problem, thanks to us flying through a locust swarm, clogging the radiators. Then the rocky sections began, we had one flat to deal with. From there a couple navigational errors cost us even more time. But other than some of the CR6’s body being chewed on by the local “WADI’s” solid bushes, Brian managed to make up some time when the track opened up a bit, and we and the car are still in one piece and so ready to take on Stage 2!!

Dakar Rally Stage 2 Bisha> Wadi Ad-Dawasir January 4th, liaison 228kms and timed special 457kms.

Header Photo Cristina Guteirrez Credit: ASO/Charly Lopez. Words: Sharon Cox.

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