On day three of the 2015 Dakar, the Monster Energy Rally Raid Team celebrated its second stage win. Argentinean pairing Orlando Terranova and Bernardo „Ronnie“ Graue, the winners of stage one, just refused to let yesterday’s multi-time rollover make an impact on their performance and added the second stage win to their tally. Meanwhile, Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn (FRA) keep on working their way back up. They started into the special stage from 22nd position but crossed the finish line in sixth. Unfortunately, the team had to cope with another dose of bad luck, nevertheless. This time, it was the turn of the blue and black MINI ALL4 Racing of Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) and Xavier Panseri (FRA).
Terranova started into today’s special stage with maximum fighting spirit and won the special stage although this means that he will have to again be the pathfinder, tomorrow. “Therefore, we can’t think about strategy in a situation like this but just have to push,” the Argentinean stressed. By winning today’s stage he leaped from tenth back to third position in the overall standings.
Holowczyc also proved to be in good shape and temporarily held a top-five position but then, he was hampered by a technical problem and dropped back more and more. “Some 100 kilometres after the start I realised that the rear-wheel drive didn’t work anymore,” the Pole revealed. “We checked everything but at the end of the day, we had to continue like that, with a front-wheel driven car. And there was Fech Fech waiting for us. Therefore, we nearly got stuck twice – but we made it!” In the overall standings, Holowczyc dropped back to sixth place but without losing touch with the front-runners.
Meanwhile, Roma and Périn are on the way to returning to their usual grid positions. “Today’s special stage was somewhat easier,” the Catalan said. “Our vision now isn’t so limited, now, and the driving is made more enjoyable by this fact. So let’s wait and see if we won’t be able to win a stage, every now and then.”
Tomorrow, the Dakar field will hit the road for its first Andes crossing. A 594-kilometre liaison section across the impressive mountains, taking the competitors up to 4,800 metres above sea level, will be followed by a 315-kilometre special stage ending right at the bivouac. And it will be another tough test for everybody as the special stage will feature open, sandy terrain and – during the final 40 kilometres – the dunes of Copiapo.