Hard charging off road endurance racer Nani Roma is fast zeroing in on a podium at the 2017 Dakar Rally.
After a week of flat out competition ripping through the dirt, rain, dust and sand of Latin America, Roma and co-driver Alex Haro-Bravo have clocked-in consistently in the top five spots at the end of each day’s grueling stage.
In fact with a whopping 4,621km now behind them, spanning across the Argentinean, Bolivian and Paraguay borders, Roma and Haro-Bravo are only 23 minutes off snapping at the heels of rival race leading crew Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret.
The ultra consistent stage finishes by the 44-year old Spaniard, at the wheel of his V8 powered Team Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, have included a second place, two third, and two fifth places.
Although there is still a long way to go, the results prime him for a perfect run down to the podium in Buenos Aires on the 14th January. Speaking during the mid-event rest day - Nani said: "We have been consistent every day, we have not made mistakes, we have not lost much time, and I think that we have done a good job. I think we have potentially done what we need to do to win the Dakar; and that is not to make mistakes, and to be there every day.”
Week two of the 39th edition of the Dakar sees the competitors effectively begin their return trip south to Argentina; having reached the most northerly point of the rally, in the world’s highest capital; La Paz, Bolivia.
Initially striking out across a shortened version of the route along the salt flats, the route tracks parallel down the South American spine – the Andes Mountains range.
Stages 8 to 12 will call in at Uyuni, Salta, Chilecito and San Juan. After this the final two stages track east across the San Luis province through Rio Cuarto and finally Buenos Aires.
Sounds easy right? Not when you consider that even with the last minute cancellation of the marathon “Super Belen” stage – due to torrential weather and rock slides – the second week of competition packs in nearly 4000km; inclusive of 1625km of timed/selective sections.
Check out the photo gallery below of exclusive shots of Nani and Alex in action on the Dakar 2017, and stay tuned for further updates.