Linked in categories: 2018 | Dakar 2018 | Rallyraid

Dakar Rally 2018: Esteve is narrowing in on the top 20 in spite of the water

lang Editor: Hansy Schekahn lang Photos: See credits under article   lang In database since January 16, 2018

Spanish Sodicars-driver Isidre Esteve - driving with his hands only - is just getting better as Dakar 2018 unfolds. Last Sunday, the Spaniard has once again taught us a lesson about self-achievement by finishing the marathon stage in 28th place with faulty brakes and a speed limit of 100 km/h. In spite of it all, the Repsol Rally Team race driver is ploughing ahead in the Sodicars Racing BV6, edging closer to his big goal: The top 20.

The first part of the marathon stage was raced on Saturday and took its toll on the mechanics of the prototype driven by Isidre Esteve and his co-pilot, Txema Villalobos. The water and the mud damaged the 4x4's control unit and brakes. But through it all, the Spanish racer managed to overcome the obstacles and score his best partial result so far in this edition: 24th place.

With no assistance to help him on camp, Isidre Esteve was unable to solve the problem, meaning that he had no choice but to race the next 498 timed kilometers between Uyuni and Tupiza as best he could. So coming 28th at the end and managing a time of 07:05:44 hours was no mean feat and is a telling sign of his stamina and skill behind the wheel.

"Adding to the electronic issues that prevented us from doing more than 100 km/h yesterday came our trouble with the brakes today because of the all the mud," the Spaniard said. "We had to change the chip and focus on making it to camp somehow. We managed to get there accident-free and even climbed a few places in the overall rank... What more could we ask?"

Regarding Sunday's stage, Isidre Esteve recalled that "it was fast and complicated, but with some slow parts. The most important thing is that we are moving forward, we have made it through the marathon and now the mechanics will have time to get the car back into perfect condition."

Past the half-way point, the Repsol Rally Team stands 23rd in the temporary rank with an overall 3rd in its category T1.2 (off-road modified diesel 4x4), scoring a total time of 41:06:02 hours. So far, the team is managing to stick to the original plan of making it through the first half in the top 30 to then try and climb higher in week two.

Photos: Repsol


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