2nd Stage The two Aero Autofactoria pilots have enjoyed a smoother ride than yesterday and posted a time inside the SxS Top 10 on Stage 2. Cyril Despres: “The stage started really well for us. Mike (Horn) was on fire. Racing alongside him was like being on a really huge horse that just wanted to go, go, go. Unfortunately we hit a rock at one point and the system to change the wheel was completely destroyed. We spent six minutes repairing this and then after that we could lift the car. We tried to fix the wheel, but we couldn’t get it totally fixed.” Tomorrow sends the Dakar convoy on a loop stage that will start and finish at the bivouac in Neom. The majority of the 414-kilometre special stage will be over sandy ground as the rally continues to acquaint itself with the deserts of Saudi Arabia. 🗓 Result SS2 8. Cyril Despres (FRA) / Mike Horn (CH) – 04H 35′ 32” – + 00H 22′ 02” 🗓 Overall result after SS2 1. Francisco Lopez Contardo / Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre – 08H 21′ 15” Source: @redbullmotorsports  

📷 Marcelo Maragni
Red Bull Content Pool

📷 Flavien Duhamel
Red Bull Content Pool

A better day for Mike and Cyril who took the 8th place on this 2nd stage! 👍🏻 Even with a puncture and a missed waypoint (they had to turn back) because Mike was distracted by the beauty of the landscapes! 😜
📷 Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

RACING PROGRAM OF THE DAY
Stage 2 from Al Wajh > Neom
➡ Total stage: 401km
⏱ Total timed section: 367km
⏸ Total liaison: 34km

📷 Marcelo MaragniRed Bull Content Pool

The coaching crew of Cyril Despres (FRA) and Mike Horn (SUI) were placed in the Top 5 of the SxS race in their 1000cc OT3 buggy up until kilometre 254 of the stage. For the final 60 kilometres of the stage their progress was hampered by overheating issues, but they battled on to cross the finish line.


Mike Horn: “I have to say the terrain was beautiful; mountains, rocky areas, riverbeds and the most amazing passage through the dunes. You could really see the variation of the terrain that makes this rally so special.”


Cyril Despres: “We had trouble with the car. Starting and stopping, starting and stopping. We were doing well for the first 250 kilometres, but then had some problems with things overheating. The sand was too much for the ventilator. We stopped to clean out all of the sand so we could bring down the temperature. However, the problem kept coming back during the last 60 kilometres of the stage.”

 

Mike Horn: “Today was my first experience of being a co-pilot at a rally. I had to learn the roadbook very quickly, but once you start you get used to it. With Cyril (Despres) knowing the type of terrain we were on quite well helped us a lot. We were able to keep up a good speed and move away from the others. Then we ran into a little bit of trouble. I have to say the terrain was beautiful; mountains, rocky areas, riverbeds and the most amazing passage through the dunes. You could really see the variation of the terrain that makes this rally so special.”


After an overnight stay in the Al Wajh bivouac, the Dakar moves off to Neom in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The timed special stage of 367 kilometres will offer the riders spectacular views of the Red Sea as well as plenty of navigational challenges along the way.

Première étape difficile pour les équipes! Départ tranquille mais ça s’est compliqué, trois crevaisons, un ventilateur qui ne fonctionne pas correctement donc le moteur trop chaud…déçus mais plus déterminés que jamais 💪🏻 – Cyril et Mike
First images of the team #403

📷 Marcelo MaragniRed Bull Content Pool

📷 Flavien DuhamelRed Bull Content Pool

📷 Marcelo MaragniRed Bull Content Pool

Today’s the big day!   1st Stage for the team!  #403

The opening stage of the is underway Liaison> 433 km – Special> 319 km – Total> 752 km 28 % sand 35 % soil 6 % tarmac 25 % stones 5 % dunes

 

Cyril Despres Mike Horn, passage remarqué aux verifs!
Cyril Despres Mike Horn, passage remarqué aux verifs

 

First laps! for Cyril Despres & Mike Horn
Firsts laps for Cyril and Mike
📷Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

First day for our two pilots! After Mike’s arrival this morning, it was already time to take part to shakedown   Saudi Arabia

Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool