Isidre Esteve continues to overcome obstacles in this demanding Morocco Rally, today finishing 20th and rising up to 23rd place in the general ranking of this prestigious challenge, which counts toward the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. And he accomplished this after completing over half a stage without a working clutch in his BV6 prototype with controls adapted to the steering wheel, a hitch that set him back several places.
The second stage took place between Erfoud and Aoufous, spanning a total of 386 timed kilometres and an additional 49 liaison ones. The track again took drivers down difficult rocky areas which, coupled with several dune crossings, made life difficult for most participants.
Isidre Esteve, who left in 31st place in the morning, skirted all of obstacles without issue, moving up more than 10 places. But, as he reached kilometre 185, he experienced an unexpected problem that set him back nearly half an hour: "The car stalled at a complicated area and, in my haste to get going, I stressed the clutch system so much I broke it. It was my fault. The bright side of this is that it made me understand how to properly handle the wheel controls, which work very well thanks to the fine work of Guidosimplex."
As a result of this incident, the Repsol Rally Team was forced to complete the remaining 200 kilometres of the special stage without a working clutch, making the final result even more praise-worthy. "It was a very long, tough, and demanding stage in terms of navigation, with tracks in very bad shape, dunes...ultimately, all of the ingredients a rally raid should have. Truth is, despite the problems we had, we're very much enjoying this race which, as was announced, has proven a great appetiser for the upcoming Dakar Rally," a tired Isidre Esteve stated, after 7 hours, 7 minutes, and 41 seconds of intense driving.
Monday's stage will also be a genuine trial by fire for the Repsol Rally Team led by Isidre Esteve and his co-driver, Txema Villalobos, as it is the longest in terms of timed distance, spanning a total of 440 kilometres. In addition, the stage will entail the added challenge of employing the new road-book system to be used in the upcoming Dakar Rally for the first time.
”Tomorrow, they will give us the roadmap a few minutes before the start, already sketched out. But this is nothing new to us, as we've been practising using this system since day one, to adapt as best we can to it, and we are confident, because, thanks to the changes made to our car, now we can get out of harm's way more quickly," Isidre Esteve explained.