Women dealt with fast sections in Dakar Rally Stage 4

Women dealt with fast sections in Dakar Rally Stage 4

Women overcame challenges of racing special Stage 4 of Dakar Rally covering 337kms- timed from Wadi Ad-Dawasir to Riyadh. Managing fast sections, navigating through canyons and desert vegetation along with sighting local villages as the riders and drivers made their way closer to city of Riyadh made for special experience on what racing Dakar actually represents.

Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer Dakar Rally Stage 4 Photo Credit: X Raid.

For Motul by Original rider Sara Garcia, Stage 4 proved super special with the only female rider in ‘Unassisted’ category finishing in 53rd place. Completing timed section in 3 hours 46’and 32 seconds, the Pont Grup Yamaha rider has plenty to be proud about given fast sections remain on the ‘not that keen list’

Sara: ‘Today has been a very long day. The special was very fast. Up to 125kms, I enjoyed it a lot, and the last section too. In the middle it really scared me, we really went very fast, and there were places where the terrain was not clear. Very beautiful stage- we have gone through canyons with a lot of vegetation, and lots of people too, which is different to see around here. Let’s see what tomorrow’s Stage holds for us. They have warned us that it will be very difficult’.

Laia Sanz resumed exemplary performance in Bike category finishing 27th in 3 hours 6′ and 38 seconds. The only Gas Gas Factory Team rider stands 30th Overall in General category, stating that Dakar is long, each day is different, and time can be made up when opportunity strikes. ‘Just as these past few days, today’s stage was very fast. It went well and I’m happy because I keep holding on and getting better with each day. Now we just have to see if we have tricky stages coming with dunes or where navigation is complex, so we can make some big gains in terms of time’.

Sauny Martinez Dakar Rally Quad Stage 4 Photo Credit: Sauny

Pair of French rookie riders, Audrey Rossat and Sara Jugla handled Stage 4 with utmost admiration- Audrey finishing in 82nd place in 4 hours, 49′ and 55 seconds. Sara took command of her race performance completing 4th leg in 7 hours, 13′ and 16 seconds for 89th place.

Sole female Quad competitor Sauny Martinez battled again with challenges, not least tyre issue. Sauny: ‘I started the Stage and after few kilometres the pump warmed up and wouldn’t let me accelerate. I waited a lot of times for it to cool down so I could continue, then I had break in tyre. I got to the finish line late. There have been 2 days out of 4 with mishaps, moving up in position is already lost. I just have to turn this around and enjoy the experience’.

Light-weight vehicle duo Cristina Guteirrez and co-pilot Francois Cazalet also encountered problems with mechanical break-down in dunes, losing an hour of race-time. Taye Perry and driver Bryan Baragwanath really inspire all watching on what can be accomplished in most daunting of race.

Taye: ‘P12. Longest day so far, at 813km. The special stage had its technical, rocky and canyon bits, but it was mostly fast open racing with equally fast paced complex navigation, which meant making up time wasn’t going to be easy, as in the auto class we’re limited to 180kph, which is exactly where we were for a lot of the day… on the edge of speeding penalties and fines, along with everyone else. Today we had another puncture to deal with, and in all the heavy dust trying to pass multiple people at a time we missed 1 or 2 notes, having to circle back. But considering all, we had a really consistent and clean day. Everyday is experience and everyday is improvement in one way or another. I’m excited to keep working on it with Brian. Bring on stage 5!’

Yamaha Powered X Raid Team of Camelia Liporati and Annett Fischer took another notch up Lightweight vehicle General rankings, standing in 22nd place with Polaris RZR Factory Racing duo Kristen Matlock and Max Eddy holding 38th Overall racing in ‘Dakar Experience’ category.

Dakar Rally Stage 5 January 7th Riyadh- Al Qaisumah Liaison 205kms Special 456kms.

Header Photo Sara Garcia credit: Horacio Cabilla. Words: Sharon Cox.

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