“A few simple words wouldn't be able to describe the adventure and challenge that this Dakar rally has provided, nor could it explain the feeling of proudly achieving a finish on my first attempt here in Argentina,” explained Moscatt from the finish of the marathon event.
“It has been a funny Dakar and not a conventional one,” Jerie also admitted. “But we are happy to be here at the finish in Rosario. It was my first Dakar with Dale and he was magic and gave his all. The blisters on his hands are proof of that. We had no problems with the car during the stages and that is a testament to the hard work of our mechanics.”
It completes a mammoth fifteen days of fierce competition, totaling just under 4,800 competitive kilometres, through Argentina into Bolivia and back again. Having fallen to 47th outright on the very opening day the pair clawed their way back to complete the event in 32nd position.
Jerie described the past few days of competition. “Stages 10 and 11. We had quite a difficult time in Fiambala (Belen to La Rioja) after losing time in previous 2 stages and starting behind some 40+ trucks, that's not ideal when you have a full day of dune crossings.”
“We had quite a clean run up to CP1 and were progressing quite well but then got badly wedged between two smaller dunes and couldn't get out for over an hour, it was insane digging and lifting the car up on sand boards, moving some 5 inches each time and eventually freeing the car after 10-15 attempts.”
“By this time even more trucks got ahead of us and most run ups to big dunes with waypoints were all chewed up. We got bogged several times and finished the stage just before sunset with long 300km transport section to bivouac still to cover.”
“We arrived very late, time is always the biggest enemy at Dakar, no time for dinner, no time for breakfast next morning, just happy to get 2-3 hours sleep and carry on with next stage.”
“Stage 11 from La Rioja to San Juan was re-run in reverse of last year's stage 2 with endless sections of fesh fesh throughout the stage. It was again very hot and dusty stage, we made good progress initially and managed to overtake some trucks and cars but then our steering rod snapped.”
“While this was a quick repair we lost more time overtaking same cars and trucks again for the second time. The last 4 days were not ideal and we lost quite a bit of time but lost only one position in overall standing and are currently 32nd.”
“On Stage 12, San Juan to Carlos Paz, not much to say, very long transport and very long stage, arrived very late again. Stage was quite easy, just very long. Cruising home now, one more to go.”
And with the final stage left to complete, the 180-kilometre test from Villa Carlos Paz to Rosario, Jerie and Moscatt kept their cool to bring their Hilux home to the finish line in one piece.
“So sitting down now with our team celebrate is the first thing to do and I will get back to everyone who has contacted me and share some stories as soon as possible. Thanks so much for the support!” Dale added.
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Australian Rally Championship®