In a stage that was not so difficult as most of the competitors expected it to be, especially due to the famous white dunes of Fiambalá, Carlos Sousa stood out once more, getting the seventh best time in the stage and moving up to the same position overall, gaining almost ten minutes to the winner of the last edition, Nasser Al-Attiyah.
The temperature finally dropped during this fifth and last stage in Argentinian territory. In fact, the Organization was forced to shorten the first 24 km of the stage – expected to be 177 km long – due to the heavy rain that fell the day before on this usually arid zone.
“I have already done this stage in 2010 and at that time it was all much more complicated. Fortunately, it wasn’t so hot today as it had been on the last few days, and even crossing the dunes was calm. I decided to be cautious – sometimes too cautious -, so that the engine didn’t overheat, as it happened to Zhou Young on the first day”, revealed the Portuguese driver when he arrived at Fiambalá.
“This situation has been concerning the team, because we had the same problem when we were testing the car in Morocco. In short, it is something we have to deal with caution throughout the race. After coming to this position overall, it will be very difficult to do much better, considering the potential of the other teams and cars” added Carlos Sousa, at the end of a day that he won more than 5 minutes to Giniel de Villiers (Toyota) and got even further from the drivers behind him.
After almost one third of the race, the Portuguese driver of Great Wall is now a little more than 40 minutes behind the leader Stéphane Peterhansel and less than 10 minutes behind Leonid Novitskiy, who is sixth overall.
Also moving up is his team mate Zhou Yong, who after the delay in the opening stage, has been improving his position and was 19th in today’s stage.