The rally racing legend put yesterday’s troubles behind him to come out fighting on the trail towards Tucuman.
Carlos Sainz and co-driver Timo Gottschalk showed no signs of feeling sorry for themselves after a problematic previous stage. Instead the duo were in determined mood as they got back behind the controls of their Buggy and sped through Stage Six of the 2014 Dakar Rally.
Hampered by mechanical and navigation glitches on Stage Five, it meant that Carlos and Timo started out on today’s track to Tucuman with a plenty of traffic in their way. Against the backdrop of northern Argentina’s stunning landscape the Red Bull SMG Rally Team pair overtook car after car to stay in touch with the leading pack.
The day ended with a fifth place finish on the stage for Carlos and Timo as they battled to get themselves back into the thick of the action. The final results showed that they gave up just over six minutes to stage winner Stéphane Peterhansel. Given that the stage was far kinder to Peterhansel’s four-wheel drive vehicle the timings proved that Carlos had put in another remarkable drive.
Buggy #303 belonging to Carlos and Timo will now receive a full service from the Red Bull SMG Rally Team mechanics after pulling into the Rest Day bivouac at Salta. When racing resumes the twosome will be out to show the potential of the Buggy during the desert stages to come.
Also checking in for a well-earned Rest Day is Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot in Buggy #312. The Frenchmen have had their fair share of ups and down in the first week of the Dakar but have never come close to throwing in the towel. Ronan and Gilles’ fighting spirit will be back on the road during the second week of the 2014 Dakar Rally.
Kicking off the Rest Day for the Red Bull SMG Rally Team was a surprise visit from Sébastien Loeb following Stage Six. The nine-time WRC champion was in Salta to live out a long-term ambition of paying a visit to the Dakar Rally.
Carlos Sainz #303 Driver – Red Bull SMG Rally Team: “It’s impossible to be 100% happy after the week that we had because the result on yesterday’s stage has such a big impact on our Dakar. We will continue to put all our effort into each stage because there are still seven stages remaining that are there to be won. I still believe this Buggy has the potential to fight for those victories.”
Timo Gottschalk #303 Co-driver – Red Bull SMG Rally Team: “It was a nice stage today, especially the first part that was really technical. It was very much like a WRC stage so not exactly ideal for our Buggy but it was still an enjoyable day. We started behind lots of cars and a few trucks due to yesterday’s problems so this complicated things a little with the dust. It was a hard fight to come through the traffic in front of us but we managed. It was satisfying to be back in the race and making a good performance like we did today.”
Philippe Gache – Red Bull SMG Rally Team Manager: “Carlos and Timo did a great job again today to keep pace with the four-wheel drive cars on another fast stony stage that was not suited to the Buggy. For the guys to lose only around six minutes to the stage winner is the best result we can expect. We had a normal stage and compared to yesterday that gives us a much better feeling ahead of the Rest Day. We have lost two hours but we will not give up fighting and showing what the Buggy is capable of at this race.”