Isidre Esteve is taking advantage of every kilometre of the Rallye du Maroc to prepare for Dakar 2020. This Tuesday, the Repsol Rally Team driver managed to complete, without any issues, the fourth stage of this tough challenge, which counts towards the World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. He finished in 20th place and has already climbed up to 14th in the general ranking with his 4X4 with adapted controls on the steering wheel.
Participants completed a very complex stage in terms of navigation thanks to the dunes and tracks that put a number of potential winners in check, including Dakar Rally winners Nasser Al Attiya (Toyota) and Stéphane Peterhansel (MINI), who have lost their chances. As for Isidre Esteve and Txema Villalobos, they passed the test with flying colours, completing the 311 timed kilometres in the top 20 in a total time of 4 hours, 54 minutes, and 22 seconds.
“It was an extremely difficult stage in terms of navigation and around kilometre 210 we found it very difficult to find the track, at a point where many people got lost. Despite this, we’re pleased because these experiences are of great help to get ready for the next Dakar,” the driver from Oliana explained.
In mechanical terms, the BV6 prototype has once again withstood the tough conditions of the Moroccan track, with the exception of a brief setback involving the alternator belt, which co-driver Txema Villalobos was able to fix in a matter of minutes. “It’s very satisfying to see that the car has improved in comparison to last season and that we’re now just behind the official teams,” Isidre optimistically comments.
Following today’s stage and, most importantly, after securing an impressive 10th place yesterday, the Repsol Rally Team has climbed up to 14th place in the general ranking and 2nd in the T1.2 category, reserved for off-road modified 4×4 vehicles. “Though the place we secured is very good, the reason we are happy is actually the great work the team has done to date,” the Repsol Rally Team driver acknowledged.
Isidre Esteve will attempt to top off his excellent performance in the Rallye du Maroc on Wednesday during the last stage of the challenge as the drivers return to Fez, covering 457 kilometres, 168 of which shall be timed. “We will try to take advantage of every single kilometre to continue improving, but without running unnecessary risks,” he concluded.