Dakar 2024: French bomb out of the blue
The penultimate day of the Dakar Rally between Al Ula and Yanbu was once again anything but easy. During the 420 km long special stage, Toyota Gazoo Racing Czech crew Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal experienced both good and bad moments. Despite some problems, they clocked the 30th time on the stage, allowing them to move up one position in the overall classification, where they now hold the 39th position.
“We started well. At first, it was very dusty and dirty, but after a few moments, we got a nice clear view. Later, we encountered five cars that were searching for a waypoint. For David, it was clear, so we found the right way, and everyone was following us. There were really many cars, and we passed maybe five or six cars at once.
However, there was a slow Can-Am in front of us. We tried to signal the driver with the Sentinel, but he didn't stop. We arrived in a canyon with some vegetation, and there was thick dust. We had to stop and kind of got stuck among some trees. We couldn’t move, so David got out of the car to warn another car that was approaching us. However, they didn’t pay attention and bumped into our car, damaging the rear part. None of us was able to move; we couldn’t go forward, and they couldn’t go backward. Finally, another car arrived and pulled both of us out. It was quite a crazy situation, and we lost about twenty minutes there, if not more.
We continued, trying to make up for at least some of the time lost. But then we saw two Toyotas on the side of the track. One of them was Lucas Moraes, but he didn’t need help, so we drove on. A bit later, we received a Sentinel signal. It was Lucas Moraes, and I let him pass. However, as he accelerated, his car threw a big stone right into our windscreen and damaged it.
It was a day of damage, but finally, we are here. Our Toyota Hilux T1+ performed perfectly. When we had a clean run, our pace was good. Our mechanics will have a long night again, and we hope we’ll complete the last 180 kilometers successfully,” Tomas Ourednicek said about their challenging journey on Stage 11.
Friday marks the last day of the 46th Dakar Rally, featuring a 175 km long special stage around Yanbu.