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.