Dakar Rally: CS Santosh aims for good show in crucial seventh stage
The Dakar Rally heads into the crucial seventh stage, in which the total distance covered will be 622 kms.Updated: Jan 08, 2017 22:36 IST
The seventh stage of Dakar 2017 on Monday could separate the contenders from the pretender.
Though there are five more stages to go and anything can happen, the seventh stage will make or break the fortunes of many participants, as it involves the first marathon stage of this year’s rally.
The marathon is basically two stages run one after the other without a break, but what makes it extremely tough is that they are without any assistance --- which means, they will get no help from teammates, mechanics and crew members.
The total distance covered in this stage will be 622km as the participants race from La Pa to Uyuni and from there to Salta. The assistance crew will move straight to Salta, leaving the drivers to fend for themselves. The stage includes long sections of sandy tracks and participants have to rely heavily on their road books and speed controls.
India’s CS Santosh feels he has done his best in this Dakar but somehow that is not reflected in his standings. “I feel I have driven the best in the three Dakar editions I have participated in… haven’t made many mistakes. But, unfortunately, my position does not reflect that,” Santosh said on Saturday as the riders reached La Paz.
The steady start by the Hero MotoSports Team Rally co-rider was ruined by a hefty time penalty after the third stage. The 1 hour 20 minutes penalty pushed him to the bottom of the standings from where he climbed to 70th position.
Santosh believes the rest day has come at a crucial juncture for him and his fortune will change as the Dakar Rally winds its way through the Bolivian ‘altiplano’ back into Argentina.
“It’s a new day and new stage and, hopefully, things will turn for the better for me,” said Santosh hoped.
First Published: Jan 08, 2017 22:27 IST