Valvoline blog

Stage 9 was the longest special stage of the Dakar 2012. Stage 9 was also famous for the big sand dune at the end of the stage in Iquique, where you can go full speed downhill from a huge dune, speeds are reached of up to 200km/h! Again it was a problem free day and it hopefully the first days of suffering and problems are now being rewarded with a good push forward. Martin in Dakar truck #510 finished in 11th position and climbing in the overall standing to the 14th position. Fingers crossed Martin can push forward a little bit more and match the 2011 result. A shock for the trucks competition was of course the crash of number 2 Ales Loprais, the truck was upside down and the whole front axle was missing after the crash, it was on a normal road not during the special stage. There are rumours that say that Ales didn't drive the truck himself during the connection part and that the driver fell asleep behind the wheel.

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On Saturday, the 2011 Dakar Rally came to a close after a long two weeks of weathering the elements and the unforgiving desert and mountainous terrain of the South American course.

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A long and boring 686 kilometer connection route wore the team down before the start of the 176 kilometer special stage. Even with the long connection route, the very extreme conditions during the special and difficulties in navigating the team finished eleventh of the day.

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Day 2 of Dakar started of as a dream, Martin was very quick and passed waypoint1 in second position! The second day of Dakar started of amazing, passing Waypoint 1 in second position. Martin hit a rock and a tire blew. Normally not much of a problem, but the ring holding the tire in place was bend and so they couldn't drive on and had to wait for the quick assistant Martien to come with spare parts It had put them back in 24th position :-(. Lets hope for a better day on day 3.

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The longest stage of the Dakar yesterday has not passed without problems for the Valvoline sponsored Dakar truck from van den Brink. The first 150 kilometers passed without any problems, but then the back spring cylinder broke and forced them to stop.

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