Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dakar 2011: First Week

Team Chinook had a hell of a first week in the Dakar.

They lost the alternator on stage 4 (January 5) but scrounged one from Robby Gordon's crew! (I assume this was after Gordon dropped out and didn't need the spare any more.) The Team Chinook race crew slept in the desert on stage 5, unable to to make it to the finish before it closed. They completed the stage the following morning and made the start of stage 6.

Near the end of the special stage, they lost the radiator! With a radiator to repair, a 100km of special stage to race, and another 200km of liaison section to complete, they were never going to make it before the finish closed, so they spent another night in the dunes. Because January 8 was a rest day, the stage 6 finish was open until the evening, and even then Team Chinook just made it. Phew!

The good news is they are still in it! The bad news is there's another week to go and it gets harder. This is the Dakar and it always gets tougher in week two. But, based on their performance in the first week, it will take a major mechanical failure to stop these guys. They were awesome!

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