After leaving cool and rainy Brazil, the participants of the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally were forced to quickly adapt to opposite weather conditions. Argentina got hot and almost every competitor spent over 10 hours on the road. This difficult aura didn’t stop Kamil Wiśniewski from completing the stage with the 13th time and moving up three places in the general standings.
After the cancellation of the 9th stage, which had brought about an accidental day off, the Dakar bunch rushed back to the competition. Ignacio Casale consistently confirms his dominant position in the race and did not have to step on the gas much this time either. The Chilean was third on the stretch from Salta to Belen, but still remains almost two hours ahead of his next rival. Unless he makes a mistake, he will walk away with his second win in the super-marathon. Tuesday stage was taken over by a novice racer, Nicolas Cavigliasso. It was also the final episode for Simon Vitse and Gustavo Gallego, who dropped of the race due to accidents.
Kamil Wiśniewski took a huge step towards repeating the last year’s success which was the first place in the 4-wheel drive quads category. The Pole has outraced his main rival, Daniel Mazzucco, gaining 16-minute advantage.
“It was so hot right from the beginning of the SS that my fuel actually boiled, first time in my life. Initially, I thought I ran out of gas, but then I realized it was a different kind of problem. I had to move gas tanks around, and keep pouring water on the back tank to cool it. Only after the temperature fell a bit at the end of the SS, was I able to speed up, because I was riding quite slowly up to that point,” admits the rider.
All participants were affected by the heat. At the same time, it is only a foretaste of what’s in store for them during the second marathon stage in the infamous region of Fiambala. However, our representative in the class of 4-wheelers remains as optimistic as always. “I spent 14 hours on my quad today. Tomorrow will be 17, but my butt’s got used to it already, so it should be just fine”, jokes Wiśniewski.
Meanwhile, Rafał Sonik underwent a complicated surgery of his knee joint in Szczecin. “If I was to evaluate the difficulty of this procedure on the scale from 1 to 10, I’d say 8+”, says Dariusz Larysz MD, who operated on the Dakar champion for almost two hours.
“Mr. Sonik is a very strong and disciplined man, so I’m optimistic about his recovery and comeback. It was the first step. We rebuilt the auricular surfaces and joined it back with screws and plates. Now it’s the time for long and arduous rehabilitation”, reports the lead surgeon.
Consequently, it may be even six months before “SuperSonik” can train again. Although his condition after the surgery was good, he had to deal with massive pain. The Cracovian will most likely return home on Saturday. On the same day, the Dakar party will finish their struggles in Cordoba. There are still four challenging stages ahead before they can enter the Dakar finish ramp.
Stage 10 results
1. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) 6:35.26
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +2.06
3. Ignacio Casale (CHL) +6.23
13. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +1:05.51
1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 40:34.52
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) +1:41.03
3. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) +1:42.56
14. Kamil Wiśniewski (POL) +9:44.15