Ourednicek and Kripal bring Ford home after final stage drama
12th and last stage of the 42nd edition of Dakar Rally from Haradh to Qiddiyah was shortened, however, problems didn’t avoid the crew of Ultimate Dakar. Czech Republic’s Tomas Ourednicek and David Kripal had to cope with a cooler failure and gearbox worries. They finished the last timed section with 31st time and the rally in 37th position.
The organisers had to shorten the last special stage, originally 374 km long, to a mere 167 km due to construction works. This should have made life easier for Tomas and David, but some problems on their faithful Ford Ranger that has endured so much during the past two weeks gave them some last-minute worries with the finish line already in sight. It all started with the main cooling fan not working in the morning, but thanks to the help of South Racing they were able to start in the last stage.
“After the fan problem, we decided to drive very carefully – especially when we saw several cars and trucks broken. It’s a horrible feeling on the last day. At the end, there was a special race, the Qiddiya Grand Prix, the result of which was not included in the classification but the penalties were and it was compulsory to complete it. It was very bumpy with a lot of dust, we just wanted to get through it without damaging the car, so I drove rather slowly. Before the podium, while we were waiting we noticed that we were losing oil from the gearbox, so we felt extremely lucky to have been able to finish the race. The podium ceremony was amazing, maybe the most spectacular I’ve ever seen, we really enjoyed it. We are very happy that we finished this Dakar and would like to say thanks to all of those who supported us through this long and eventful journey,” Tomas said in Qiddiya.
Tomas and David leave Saudi Arabia early morning on Saturday, while their mechanics take the team’s vehicles to the port of Jeddah before returning to Europe.