Mark Miller call in from Stage 10

Hey! It’s Mark calling in after the Nema to Nema stage. It was a fast track today, in the driver briefing last night they said it would be monotonous, so that was pretty much what it was. It was (laughs) it was just kind of a boring day. It was a sandy track and really fast. It was kind of different, really different than anything I have really ever done before, but a unique experience. I missed my set up a little bit. I went back to a Morocco set up which created a little under steer problem so I think that is probably the difference between me and the stage win today. But it looks like we finished third. In the beginning we stopped for Carlos Sousa, he had broken a rear differential, so we talked to him for a little bit so we lost a little bit of time there but not enough to make a difference.

Mark Miller und Ralph Pitchford

Anyway, not too bad, Matsuoka finished right in front of me and he is the guy in the general standing just in front of me, the Mitsubishi driver. So now tomorrow I have got to figure out some way to put four or five minuets on him. He is two minuets ahead of me. So, that will be the big plan. He starts right in front of me so if I can just pass him tomorrow then ah, or the next day. Tomorrow actually is going to be just a liaison, no special not times taken. Because of the terrorist threat they canceled the normal planned stage. There was some Al Quida something or another, sot they are making us liaison on the freeway, not a freeway, a one lane tar road to the next bivouac and then we will start racing again the next day. So anyway on that day I will do what I can to get ahead of Matsuoka and move up in the standings. I’m sixth over all now two minuets out of fifth and that will be my next goal. Then we will see if I can move higher after that. Anyway, that is about it, everything else is going good. They have got my car completely apart right now. The engine is out, the transmission is out, the differentials are out, (laughs). Basically it looks like something you would be re-prepping and it would take three to four weeks to do. But they are going to change a bunch of stuff and put the motor and transmission back in and have that thing back together and ready to go by one when we start the liaison. It is an unbelievable feat. These guys are a great team, they are really amazing, with all the trouble with Giniel and Carlos, and the troubles I had at the beginning they have never given up. So it is a real tribute to the Volkswagen people. Anyway, thanks for checking in and I will report back in two days. Bye bye.

2 Responses to "Mark Miller call in from Stage 10"

  1. Helge Siems sagt:

    Mark und Ralph sind noch gut im Rennen … Wie Mark sagt: Es ist unglaublich was die Techniker auf der Dakar leisten. Die sitzen den ganzen Tag im LKW und müssen nachts dann auch noch schrauben und „schnell mal“ zwei Motoren überholen. Respekt! Und wenn man dann an die Privatteams denkt, die machen tagsüber das Rennen und schrauben nachts selber. Dafür einen dreifachen Doppel-Respekt!

  2. Siegfried sagt:

    The mechanics are the unsung heroes of the event. Yes, hat’s off to the privateers that have to do their own work or with minimal assistance.

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