We were doing really well until we got a puncture in one tyre and the other three came off the rims. We didn't have any more spares but, thankfully, Balocchi lent us one so that we could get to the finish linetwittear
Isidre Esteve continues to make progress in Dakar 2018. The Repsol Rally Team driver has experienced all sorts of setbacks in an extremely difficult stage, which he finished in 35th place overall and 4th in the T1.S category with his BV6 with adapted controls on the steering wheel. "It has been a really difficult day, but we've had a great time", summed up the Lérida-born driver.
Isidre Esteve has gone through the special at a very good pace. He was in 27th place at CP2. However, he got a puncture in one tyre and the other three came off the rims in the final few kilometres, making him drop several positions on the leader board.
"We were going at a really good pace and then we got a puncture. Just after that, the three other tyres came off the rims because we had to drop the pressure to avoid getting stuck on the soft dunes in this zone. We didn't have any more spares but, thankfully, our Sodicars Racing team-mate Francis Balocchi came to our rescue and lent us a tyre. It's a shame that later on he got stuck and we couldn't return the favour", said the driver, who is sponsored by Repsol and Onyx Seguros.
Despite these setbacks, Isidre Esteve once again had nothing but praise for his Mitsubishi Pajero: "The car worked perfectly throughout this really difficult stage, in which we started out as a group on the beach and then drove on hard track and incredible dunes.....it has been great. The navigation was quite complex but my co-driver Txema Villalobos was once again on top form".
After slogging it out for 7 hours 15 minutes on Tuesday, the Repsol Rally Team has managed to climb into the 30th spot in the current overall car ranking and 4th place in the T1.2 category (4x4 off-road modified diesel cars), with a total accumulated time of 18:22:08.
A marathon stage from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa is awaiting him tomorrow (Wednesday). The vehicles must cover almost a thousand kilometres (660 km liaison and 268 km special). "This will be yet another demanding day where we will say goodbye to the dunes of Peru, but I'm certain they will cause us a few last problems", predicts Isidre Esteve.