Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz criticized the complexity of navigating the 2021 Dakar, the primary having given up after encountering quite a few issues and the Spaniard having positioned in third place, one hour behind the winner Stéphane Peterhansel. Sainz stated to himself “demoralized and upset” after losing time following navigation errors, evoking a “gymkhana” and an “lottery”, whereas Loeb estimated that the Dakar 2021 was the “co-pilot race” and never pilots.
The difficulties have been accentuated by the distribution of the roadbook simply 15 minutes earlier than the beginning of every stage and even when they have been extra detailed, this new rule typically sophisticated the preparation of the crews. On the sidelines of the announcement of the important thing phases of the 2022 route, David Castera, director of the rally-raid, warned the pilots that navigation will stay important, even when it means displeasing the 2 World Rally Champions, whereas acknowledging that a good steadiness should be discovered.
“Critics come from one in 300 folks on a Dakar [rires]”, Castera informed a number of media shops, together with Motorsport.com. “No, they got here from two individuals who raced within the WRC, Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz. I’m the guardian of the temple, […] which maintains the spirit of the rally-raid: endurance, extra journey, extra piloting, extra navigation. I’m right here to discover a steadiness between these pillars of the rally-raid spirit. Sure, typically one among them can take priority over the others, and that was the case with navigation within the final edit. “
“This yr I need to discover a higher steadiness, however what the riders do not perceive is that I am not attempting to make it extraordinarily troublesome. Once we do the reconnaissance in October, the roads are completely seen, however earlier than the race, it is raining, it is windy, lots of people move on a parallel highway … so it may be much more troublesome when the motive force is competing within the particular, however typically it may also be simpler. “
“It is rather laborious to search out that steadiness, however it’s my position and I’ll attempt to make changes, however I’ll by no means take away the pillar of navigation, that might be betraying this self-discipline. Loeb, Sainz and the others should be nicely. perceive it, in any other case they don’t have anything to do on the Dakar. “
Earlier than taking the top of the Dakar in March 2019, David Castera was the co-driver of Stéphane Peterhansel and he additionally held this position alongside Cyril Despres from 2016 to 2018. He subsequently participated within the final three editions in South America, the place navigation was not of ample significance to him. Castera wished to search out this ingredient in Saudi Arabia, which can host the complete occasion once more in January 2022, and he believes that the crews should adapt.
“It had grow to be very simple in South America, I do know that as a result of I organized ten Dakar there and I additionally did it as a co-driver, there was little or no navigation. However Carlos additionally had a giant downside [sur le Dakar 2021]. These photos the place he was going in a single path then within the different like a remote-controlled automobile … It is unattainable, no one does that. I did a Dakar with Peterhansel and three or 4 with Despres and once we had an issue, we stopped, we mentioned and we decided collectively. “
“We have been profitable phases even when we had stopped for a minute or two. It is one thing that Carlos and Sébastien should additionally perceive, it is a part of the race, it is very completely different from the previous philosophy in Saudi Arabia. and so they have to vary their mindset. Crusing is a part of the Dakar and can stay so. What I perceive very nicely is that it should not be a lottery and that’s my job. “
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