Today’s route of the 2015 Dakar Rally included some very high elevations in Bolivia, where the competitors were up as high as 3,900 meters above seal level. The day started near sea level in Iquique, Chile with a 392 kilometer Transit Section, taking the competitors into the competitive stage start in Bolivia. After a 321 competitive stage the competitors had a short 4 kilometer transit into the bivouac in Uyuni, Bolivia. The day’s route is shown below with the transits shown in green and the competitive stage shown in red.
Stage 7 Route
A profile of the competitive stage is shown below. The stage start (DSS) is shown on the left with the stage finish (ASS) shown on the right. Note that all of the stage is above elevation 3,700 meters!
Stage 7 Profile
The height of today’s stage played a role in the results. Al-Attiyah said: “The stage wasn’t difficult, it was the altitude. I had to stop three times to vomit and I had a terrible headache every time we went over a bump. I’ve lost some time, but it’s no big deal.”
We’ll see if Al-Attiyah’s lost time was a big deal or not. Gineil DeVilliers, the fellow who is chasing Al-Attiyah also struggled with the height. He said: “I’ve got quite a headache too… The altitude didn’t make it easy and, furthermore, it was a tricky stage where you had to be focused. We managed to catch Nasser after roughly 150 kilometres, and then he made a mistake and we overtook him. We then opened the way and we made three or four mistakes, but we got back on track before he caught up with us. It was good, and we took three minutes back from Nasser. Anything can happen. There’s still loads of racing left, including difficult stages after the rest day. Now, the closer we get, the more pressure he’ll feel.”
The thing that would concern me is the performance of Nani Roma, who finished 5th on today’s stage, ahead of two other Mini team mates – Al-Attiyah and Vasilyev. Roma is acting as fast service and carries a number of spare parts for the Mini team. He is not going to do his Mini team mates any good if he is running way out in front of them. Roma has no chance of the good finish in this year’s Dakar. I think that he should be reminded of his role.
Tough Day For Terranova But He Still Wins Stage 7
The top 10 results of today’s stage are shown below.
2015 Dakar Rally Car Class Stage 7 Results
|1||TERRANOVA (ARG)GRAUE (ARG)||MINI||03:31:18||–|
|2||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||03:33:38||00:02:20|
|3||TEN BRINKE (NLD)COLSOUL (BEL)||TOYOTA||03:33:46||00:02:28|
|4||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||03:34:15||00:02:57|
|5||ROMA (ESP)PERIN (FRA)||MINI||03:35:20||00:04:02|
|6||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||03:38:08||00:06:50|
|7||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||03:41:06||00:09:48|
|8||PETERHANSEL (FRA)COTTRET (FRA)||PEUGEOT||03:42:01||00:10:43|
|9||GORDON (USA)CAMPBELL (USA)||GORDINI||03:42:06||00:10:48|
|10||VASILYEV (RUS)ZHILTSOV (RUS)||MINI||03:44:50||00:13:32|
Gordon’s 8th place stage finish today brought him up to 23rd. Terranova’s stage victory only moved him up to 24th Overall. Roma, who seems to be forgetting his role this year is in 35th position, one place behind the Canadian team of Benasdoun/Beule.
DeVilliers did manage to cur into Al-Attiyah’s lead and now finds himself just over 8 minutes behind the Al-Attiyah. DeVilliers still has time and distance to really put the pressure on Al-Attiyah.
Al-Attiyah Arrives In Uyuni, Bolivia
The Overall standings in the Car Class after Stage 7 are as follows:
2015 Dakar Rally Overall Car Class Standings After Stage 7
|1||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||23:11:50||–||00:02:00|
|2||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||23:20:04||00:08:14||–|
|3||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||23:33:06||00:21:16||–|
|4||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||24:05:52||00:54:02||–|
|5||TEN BRINKE (NLD)COLSOUL (BEL)||TOYOTA||24:08:53||00:57:03||–|
|6||VAN LOON (NLD)ROSEGAAR (NLD)||MINI||24:27:01||01:15:11||–|
|7||LAVIEILLE (FRA)MAIMON (FRA)||TOYOTA||24:49:40||01:37:50||–|
|8||PETERHANSEL (FRA)COTTRET (FRA)||PEUGEOT||25:02:26||01:50:36||–|
|9||SOUSA (PRT)FIUZA (PRT)||MITSUBISHI||25:10:22||01:58:32||–|
|10||CHABOT (FRA)PILLOT (FRA)||SMG||25:22:35||02:10:45||–|
The Bike Class had the day off and will tackle this stage tomorrow.