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Discussion Starter #1
I've always had the greatest respect for Dakar competitors and think that there must be as much specialized technique to shooting dunes and navigating all the surfaces as there is to drifting a rally car, probably more. But two things in tonight's broadcast were weird:

1. That Belgian Landrover that rolled 5 times - it takes them what seems like an eternity to get sideways and the driver, although he's shifting the wheel in his hands a bit, doesn't countersteer at all before they go over, and in fact appears to turn into the skid during the time it's all going pear-shaped. Is there something about sand I don't know, or something about basic skid control that he doesn't?

2. Is the codriver of the second VW explaining to Jutta Kleinschmidt what the SPARKPLUGS look like so that she can remove them to get the water out of the engine? I think so. When she first gets out of the car she doesn't even open the hood. Can you really be on a desert rally and not know how to remove sparkplugs? And Pons? She used to codrive for Michelle Mouton for heaven's sake. Surely some of the Audi rally team knowledge rubbed off as they were changing the doors of the Quattro to a fresh chase car on the Safari?

Sorry. Rant. Didn't know what conference to post in. World? Thought that any rallyist who's not watching the Dakar should be. It really is the most amazing event.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Yea,
Soul Impact Keith and I were dicussing those exact 2 topics just before I read your post! Not very impressive.

Just more evidence having plenty of $$$ to compete doesn't make the driver/codriver talented.

That said, I'm sure it's a very trying event :)
 

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>
>2. Is the codriver of the second VW explaining to Jutta
>Kleinschmidt what the SPARKPLUGS look like so that she can
>remove them to get the water out of the engine? I think so.
>When she first gets out of the car she doesn't even open the
>hood. Can you really be on a desert rally and not know how
>to remove sparkplugs? And Pons? She used to codrive for
>Michelle Mouton for heaven's sake. Surely some of the Audi
>rally team knowledge rubbed off as they were changing the
>doors of the Quattro to a fresh chase car on the Safari?

The VW that she is driving is a diesel, no sparkplugs.
:+

Rob
 

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I thought those very same things, but then I gave them all the benefit of the doubt and assumed Juta and her team mate were talking about the high pressure diesel injectors, not spark plugs. As for the team that rolled, it did kinda look like the guy was asleep at the wheel, but maybe he was actually trying to make a high speed swoopy turn (steering with the throttle, not the wheel), or maybe he was expecting the rear to catch and toss the truck back the other way but it never did..... pure speculation.
 

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About the roll. Sand can do strange things to vehicles, high or low speed.My thoughts were when I saw it, was, "Why is he trying to cross the smooth tracks already there for him to follow?". Going back to my original statement. Driving on a stage at Gorman one year, coming downhill, maybe 25 mph. Next thing I know, we're on our side. Silt/soft sand had grabbed the two passenger side wheels and threw us up the bank, absolutely no warning. Who knows where we might have ended up if it was at SPEED!
 

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dont forget that they have already driven thousands of miles already and a good chunk of that at speed. how about that italian biker that crashed so hard he didnt know the day and honestly couldnt remember where he lived or sainct w/the stitches in the arm. this is one of my favorite events to watch. hope nobody hits a land mine like last year!

greg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh god - I AM the idiot. Of course it's a diesel. Still doesn't show a lot of mechanical savvy, but not so awful then.

Deep sandy ruts can certainly flip a rally car - I've come close - but not countersteering on a high-speed drift I don't understand. The only possible explanation I can think of is that he wanted to go that way - maybe they didn't want to take the established tracks??


Looks like Kleinschmidt is out of it - towed to the end of the special (which is legal) she hasn't posted a time for today's 701km stage. McRae finished fifth on the stage as by far the fastest Nissan over Vatanen. Wow. With the dropping of the speeding penalty he's in third, now 40mins behind the dominant Mitsus. Man I love this guy - first time on a raid and he's the fastest guy without the dominant car, apparently hasn't made any major mistakes, and did a 701km stage that is already legendary in the whole history of the Dakar as one of the longest - twice as long on distance and time (6h40min) as a lot of stage rallies. Amazing.

And Sainct WON the stage for the bikes - with the stitches still in his forearm. And that damn privateer Australian whose 2000 villiagers raised 80,000AUS to send him on this event finished 9th again, WITH A BROKEN ANKLE SUSTAINED ON THE STAGE. Amazing.

I don't know how, but some day I will do this event.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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My roomate and I now have our "family time" where we gather at midnight with a beer and watch the Dakar. It has actually brought us closer together as friends, and we, too, are trying to fathom some way of doing this race.

I have a question on the trucks, though. I can't find any information on how that group started, or what the vehicles are like. At first I thought they were the supply trucks of the motorbikes/cars that were running ahead, but I realized that they wouldn't push so hard if they had a team depending on them.

If someone can point me in a direction answer my questions I would appreciate it.

James
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The truck racing started between the true support trucks - essentially they were having their own side event to get to the services first. The absurdity of having racing support trucks spawned the truck class. The real support vehicles are overloaded 6-wheelers that plod to the service points by the shortest routes.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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>My roomate and I now have our "family time" where we gather
>at midnight with a beer and watch the Dakar. It has
>actually brought us closer together as friends, and we, too,
>are trying to fathom some way of doing this race.
>
>I have a question on the trucks, though. I can't find any
>information on how that group started, or what the vehicles
>are like. At first I thought they were the supply trucks of
>the motorbikes/cars that were running ahead, but I realized
>that they wouldn't push so hard if they had a team depending
>on them.
>
>If someone can point me in a direction answer my questions I
>would appreciate it.
>
>James

The support trucks are entered in the race. But there are trucks who run it as a competitive class (such as De Rooy).

Some of the most awesome support trucks were Porsche's in '84 - '86. It had 8 wheel drive, cabs on both ends, and 2 1200bhp DAF Turbo Diesel's; the trucks were fast enough to keep up with and even pass most of the cars (there's some awesome video footage of this), full of spares for the 959's and 6 crew members }>
 

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I watched that roll a couple of times, it almost looked to me like he had a broken steering shaft, the car really moved a lot with no steering input. I know sand can pull you like that, but sometimes the right thing to do on sand is let the car direct you a bit to follow the sand. He may have been doing that when it went right around and rolled. Tire pressures could have been wrong....

As someone who has submarined a SWB Pajero (in the Pacific ocean no less) getting a car running after ingesting water can take quite a while, regardless of engine type and your mechanical inclination.

Glenn
 

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>I watched that roll a couple of times, it almost looked to
>me like he had a broken steering shaft, the car really moved
>a lot with no steering input. I know sand can pull you like
>that, but sometimes the right thing to do on sand is let the
>car direct you a bit to follow the sand. He may have been
>doing that when it went right around and rolled. Tire
>pressures could have been wrong....

You hit something soft at speed and the car can go around regardless of your actions. It did look like he didn't react, though.

>As someone who has submarined a SWB Pajero (in the Pacific
>ocean no less) getting a car running after ingesting water
>can take quite a while, regardless of engine type and your
>mechanical inclination.

And that is assuming that you haven't bent anything. Pete Pollard used to have a bent rod mounted on his service vehicle from the year he DNF'd at the end of Stage 1 at STPR after beating Tim O'Neil's P-class record. Water doesn't compress very well...

Adrian
 

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Water doesn't
>compress very well...
>
>Adrian

It's worse in a diesel engine, compression ratio's in the neighborhood of 17 to 1. Cylinder pressures average 400psi.

Add water and something will very likely bend or break.

That and most diesel injectors do not come out very easily, usually requires pullers to keep from damaging the injectors.

Rob

Edit: Dakar site says she started stage 8 with a new motor.
 

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As mentioned earlier, water and engines inners don't mix very well. Especially diesels due to the much higher compression ratios. In a previous job, I saw a 6.2L GM diesel come in that had broken through the ice while crossing a river. The guy apparently floored it when the ice started to break. The only thing he managed to do was injust more water under pressure and actually snap a few head bolts on one bank. The engine was toast, pretzeled rods, seriously carved (not scored)pistons and sleeves, and the crank was a mess.
I have done dozens and dozens of river crossings on quads (2 stroke and 4)and trucks, some more successful than others :eek:. It's not a big deal to get any of these engines going again, if you know what you are doing and are prepared (engine oil).
Being that the VW of Jutta Kleinschidt's is a diesel, her options were limited. It was announced last night that the team changed the engine block and other components while in service, so the damage must have been extensive. The only question is: will she get a penalty? I have no idea what the Dakar rulebook states for this type of situation.
I find this race fascinating, go like hell until you can't hold your head up any longer (or crash/break/die).
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They mentioned that she might be excluded for changing the engine block, which is a controlled component. They were awaiting the ruling. Rules are in FIA's Appendix J, same as rally rules.

Every challenge in the book - yesterday was navigational and rock-crawling. And McRae broke a centre diff or something in the deep sand. Arrrgh!

ACP
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Only on the Dakar:

"Information received by both the French and Mali authorities that armed gangs could be present in the area gave the organisers no alternative but to cancel the two stages for security reasons."
 

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We can attest that TDI's do not like to drink water. After chugging a fair amount at STPR in 2002 the turbo died on stage 9 and postmortem on the engine found a bent rod.

http://rallyvw.com/images/rally/2002gallery/stpr2.jpg

It must have been confusing for her to look at a motor with no sparkplugs or ignition system. Although the glow plgs and there harness does bear remarkable resemblance.

So we think that it is impressive that Subaru can change a tranny in 17 min or less! Anyone know how long it took to swap out a engine block?

Jon Hamilton
#72 2000 Golf TDI
2002 SCCA ProRally Production Champion
 

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>So we think that it is impressive that Subaru can change a
>tranny in 17 min or less! Anyone know how long it took to
>swap out a engine block?

Well, they had probably close to 8 hours and all available VW crew. I'm mildly surprised that they had a spare since the rules would tend to indicate that it wouldn't be necessary.

Adrian
 

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Oh it was probably just sitting in a barn somewhere or maybe they just swapped out doors. No wait, that was some other rally closer to home wasn't it?

Kent Gardam
 

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VW

Spectator car (donor) ?


>Well, they had probably close to 8 hours and all available
>VW crew. I'm mildly surprised that they had a spare since
>the rules would tend to indicate that it wouldn't be
>necessary.
 
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