Today’s Stage 9 took the competitors from Iquique to Calama, both in Chile. The day started off with a 51 kilometer transit to the DSS where the competitors embarked on a 450 kilometer competitive stage. The competitive stage was followed by a short 37 kilometer transit into Calama, Chile.
Stage 9 Route
The profile of this route is shown below. As can be seen the rally route rose substantially into the Andes as the competitors approached Calama.
Stage 9 Profile
Today’s Car Class stage was won by Nani Roma in his Mini. He finished a whopping 6 minutes ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah, who in turn was about 9 minutes ahead of third place finisher, Valsilyev. The top three finishers were all in Minis. Coming in fourth was the Toyota of Gineil DeVilliers. The times were a little spread out today which suggests that many teams had some problems to a certain extent. Devilliers’ stage time was about 16 minutes behind Al-Attiyah. Apparently DeVilliers lost a lot of time looking for a waypoint. Navigation is always very important in the Dakar Rally.
Nani Roma Winning Stage 9
The results in Stage 9 of the Car Class are as shown below.
2015 Dakar Rally Car Class – Stage 9 Results
|1||ROMA (ESP)PERIN (FRA)||MINI||04:41:56||–|
|2||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||04:48:23||00:06:27|
|3||VASILYEV (RUS)ZHILTSOV (RUS)||MINI||04:57:48||00:15:52|
|4||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||05:03:54||00:21:58|
|5||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||05:09:12||00:27:16|
|6||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||05:11:26||00:29:30|
|7||TERRANOVA (ARG)GRAUE (ARG)||MINI||05:12:30||00:30:34|
|8||GORDON (USA)CAMPBELL (USA)||GORDINI||05:17:55||00:35:59|
|9||DESPRES (FRA)PICARD (FRA)||PEUGEOT||05:27:18||00:45:22|
|10||LACHAUME (FRA)BRUCY (FRA)||OPTIMUS||05:27:31||00:45:35|
I am not impressed at all by Roma winning this stage. I have mentioned this before, but his role, following a 7 hour time loss on the first stage, is to carry parts and act as fast service for the other Mini entrants. This quite important. Al-Attiyah in a Mini is leading, but behind him are two very capable Toyota entrants. If Al-Attiyah runs into trouble, then it is highly likely that a Toyota will win. So from a Mini perspective, the team must get Al-Attiyah to the finish line. Under no circumstances should Roma be running ahead of Al-Attiyah and preferably would be running right with him to assist mechanically or offer input should some navigational arise where input from Roma’s navigator might be helpful. Roma just doesn’t seem to get it. If I was in the Mini Team management, then I would be thinking very hard about this behavior when filling seats next year.
Why is Nani Roma Smiling? He Soiled Himself Today
Al-Attiyah has opened up a 24 minute lead on Devilliers. At this point in the rally this is becoming a significant lead.
The overall Car Class standings after Stage 9 are shown below.
2015 Dakar Rally Car Class – Standings After Stage 9
|1||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||31:29:38||–||00:02:00|
|2||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||31:53:36||00:23:58||–|
|3||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||32:09:07||00:39:29||–|
|4||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||32:47:19||01:17:41||–|
|5||VAN LOON (NLD)ROSEGAAR (NLD)||MINI||34:11:24||02:41:46||00:40:00|
|6||LAVIEILLE (FRA)MAIMON (FRA)||TOYOTA||34:21:17||02:51:39||–|
|7||VASILYEV (RUS)ZHILTSOV (RUS)||MINI||34:32:19||03:02:41||–|
|8||SOUSA (PRT)FIUZA (PRT)||MITSUBISHI||35:03:13||03:33:35||00:40:00|
|9||TEN BRINKE (NLD)COLSOUL (BEL)||TOYOTA||35:03:45||03:34:07||–|
|10||RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ)NIKOLAEV (RUS)||MINI||35:11:02||03:41:24||00:00:30|
In the Bike Class Rodrigues had a nice win on his Honda. This was special because Rodriques had spent much of the previous stage giving Joan Barreda a tow.
Rodrigues Won Stage 9
Goncalves on his Honda is starting to put the heat on Coma. Goncalves finished a little over 3 1/2 minutes ahead of Coma. So up until a couple of days ago Coma had to look ahead to see Barreda, now he has to look over his shoulder at Goncalves.
The top 10 results of Stage 9 in the Bike Class are shown below.
2015 Dakar Rally Bike Class – Stage 9 Results
|10||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HONDA||05:41:01||00:34:47||00:15:00|
The picture below shows Rodrigues enjoying his Stage 9 victory.
Rodrigues Enjoying His Stage Victory
Looking at the top rungs in the overall standings in the Bike Class there is a sea of KTM riders and one Honda rider, Goncalves. This must be a little nerve-wracking for the KTM people. Winning is very important. Having six of the top seven riders be KTM bikes is impressive, but unless the top one is a KTM, I think the KTM people would consider this a mediocre showing.
2015 Dakar Rally Bike Class – Standings After Stage 9
|8||SANZ PLA-GIRIBERT (ESP)||HONDA||35:59:37||01:54:37||–|
I am curious how the factory teams manage the remainder of the event from their various perspectives.