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Shots from Stage 3 of Dakar of Casey Currie and the Monster Energy Can-Am Team.
Stage 3 - San Juan De Mercano to Arequipa SxS Results
1st - Gerard Farres
4th - Casey Currie
6th - Reinaldo Varella
NEWS

Dakar Stage 4, 5 and 6

Jan 142019

Stage 4 | Arequipa to Tacna

Stage 4 began the marathon stage. Racers were without assistance from the mechanics for this stage as well as the next stage. If they were to run into any problems they had to fix it themselves or be helped from a fellow competitor. 

Another interesting aspect of this stage is that the bikes and cars will end up in two different locations after the 406km special the cars will head south 172km to Tacna while the bikes will stay up north in Moquegua a shorter 20km liaison.

Casey Currie was the 27th vehicle and 4th SxS off the line. The stage was filled with massive dunes and a new challenge Fesh-Fesh, what looks like solid ground is actually 3 foot deep soft silt. Normally as a racer when encountering silt, it’s from multiple vehicles stirring up the dirt creating soft patches. With Fesh-Fesh you can be the first vehicle to arrive with no line broken into the terrain and sink 2-5 feet. Even tougher is that under the silt there can be rocks scattered throughout with no visual warnings of where they might be. This mix makes a perfect storm for flat tires. 

Multiple flats along with some navigation errors made for a long tough stage for Casey.

“Keeping it real - my co-driver and I are struggling to find rhythm. We keep talking and working to make things better. It’s very difficult as all we want to do is have perfect days and he barely speaks English. We had some navigation issues today. It’s super easy to follow the tracks which isn’t the right thing to do. We also had some punctures. I ran tires to low sf pressure for the terrain. Definitely a bad call on my part. This race is grueling, and now we are in marathon stage so the guys can sleep and relax and we get to work on the cars tonight and be ready to race tomorrow.” - Casey

Casey finished 9th on stage 4 and is 9th overall after the first half of the marathon stage. 

Stage 5 | Tacna to Arequipa

 

Stage 5 brought similar terrain as the race started to head back north. Today is a multiple special day due to a 5km highway section in the middle. It was a short 42km liaison to the start of special A which was 314km of a lot of the rough Fesh-Fesh and tall dunes. As well, every two cars would start side by side off the line for the start of Special A.

 

Early in the race there was a turned over T4 truck in the bottom of a canyon that caused a traffic jam that took 5-7 minutes to get turned right side up and the race to get back moving. 

 

It was a better day for navigation for Casey and his co-driver and by the end of Special A, Casey was in 6th and headed back into the dirt for Special B.

 

Things were going really well for Casey as he started moving forward in the second special and was up to 4th when race organization made the call to end the stage early. Fog had rolled in making visibility nearly impossible. For safety Dakar made the finish of the stage at checkpoint 3, 60km early. Casey would hold on to 4th place for stage 5 going into a much needed rest day.

Stage 6 | Arequipa to San Juan De Marcona

 

Today started the second half of the rally and in Dakar style it’s the longest stage of the rally. It’s also a double special stage, giving the competitors a break in the middle to reevaluate the first half of the day. The day began with a early 3am wake up and a 443km liaison on the same tight windy cliffside road we drove down a few days earlier.

 

Arriving up to the start of the first special the wind was howling. A couple last minute checks of the Can-Ams and they were off. Things started very well for Casey as he worked his way through the field of other vehicles. However, nearing the end of the special he would get a puncture which would put him down 5 minutes. 

 

Coming out of the special he would be in 5th, 00:09:31 behind the stage leader. A quick drive through a local town and a stop for gas and he was back in the desert battling to move ahead.

 

Todays stage would wind between the inland dunes and coastline sandy beaches. It also had sections the inter weaved with stage 3 making navigation difficult as tracks can be very misleading. Co-drivers must stick to their guns and use the road book to keep themselves on track. As the stage would push on Casey would run into some navigational errors that would leave him short from contending for the stage win. He would finish 3rd on the stage 00:16:56 behind the stage winner. He would also move up in the overall rankings into 5th. 

 

Stage 7 will be the first loop stage of the rally, starting and finishing in San Juan De Marcona. It’ll have a quick 57km liaison to start the day, which leads into a long 323km loop ending in a 6km liaison to the bivouac. The loop will also have the same difficulty of having previous tracks burned in from other stages so navigation will be key. The terrain will feature dunes, gravel, soft terrain, and over half of the stage will be HP. HP is fresh untouched terrain where drivers will be tested to find the safest and quickest route. As the rally nears its final stages, stamina and vehicle preservation will start to play factor in who will come out on top.

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