Two McRae Buggys from the ProDakar Team finish the 2010 Dakar to win the new FIA T1 Lightweight Class

January 18th, 2010

The McRae Buggies driven by Tim Coronel and Chris Leyds from the ProDakar Team crossed the Buenos Aries finish line in 50th and 54th positions, to scoop victory in the new FIA T1 Lightweight Class of the 2010 Dakar.

This year the rally was so hard that the race had a 50% abandon rate, proving that the concept of the Mcrae Buggy is valid and going in the right direction.

Conceived by the McRae team, with support from the FIA and the ASO, this new class was established in record time. ProDakar’s Chris Leyds is keen to point out that ‘Everyone should appreciate that the regulations were not confirmed until early May, and to get seven cars to the Dakar start was a major achievement. Bringing them to Dakar is such a short timeframe was always a bold step’.

‘It was a big gamble’, commented Charly Rodriguez. ‘We know we have a good concept. There was little time for the team to conduct proper testing, but thanks to our die hard and infatigable pilots we got two cars to the finish line. We’ve got a lot of things right, and importantly we know exactly what to fix and what to improve. It has not been easy, Murfy visited every day with vengeance, but we got the cars to finish every day, and that’s what matters’.

‘The main problem affecting the unique CVT-driven McRae 4×2s, was fesh-fesh invading the belt drive’, said Leyds. ‘The CVT works effectively in water, mud, and the dust of Dakar, but fine talc-like fesh-fesh defeated the engine bay’s over-pressure system on occasion. But this Dakar-specific issue will be overcome’

‘All pilots have expressed faith in the project and remain most enthusiastic. We will be working closely to develop the cars through the 2010 season. There is no better test than the Dakar, and we now have the lessons from 30,000 of the toughest test kilometres imaginable; the best test any new product could face’, assures Bibb and Leyds.

‘We’re quite exhausted now’, said Chris Leyds summing up. ‘But we know that the McRae Buggy is both competitive and offers extraordinary value to drivers. The speed and agility of the car is fantastic, so much fun to drive and easy too. I can’t wait for the FIA Bajas through 2010’.

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The last stage for the McRae’s: Santa Rosa > Buenos Aires

January 16th, 2010

Update 19.35: They did it, Chris and Tim have finished the Dakar 2010 in there McRae’s. Chris finished the last stage in the 49th place and Tim did it in 54th place. The overall places are 48th for Tim Coronel and the 54th place for Chris Leyds. It was a difficult rally for the McRae’s, but with hard working of the team, Tim and Chris reached the finish.

Yesterday the McRae’s had a nice day, Chris in 43rd and Tim in 44th place. A flat tire, was the biggest problem yesterday. With Buenos Aires in sight, the McRae’s will probably take it easy, to make sure finish this stage. In the 206 km long special, there are no major difficulties.


Starting times for Tim and Chris:

43 Coronel T. 012h54′30″

56 Leyds C. 013h05′30″

Dakar says:

707 km are on the menu of the 14th and last stage of this 32nd Dakar, that should be the stage of a nice show-down nevertheless as the gaps in the standings are still pretty small in cars and bikes… On the menu today: 206km of special stage on nice fast tracks without any major difficulty but the pressure of the last kilometers of the race. The finish line of the rally raid will be in San Carlos De Bolivar; after that the contenders will have a 335km liaison to get back to Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires, where the end of the rally raid will be celebrated on Sunday with a podium ceremony for all of those who finished the 2010 edition of the Dakar.


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Stage 13 San Rafael > Santa Rosa is coming up for McRae’s

January 15th, 2010

Update 23.09: The McRae’s also finished the 13th day. Chris is finished in 43rd place and Tim right behind him in the 44th place.

Update 18.01:  Both McRae’s are past point 165.0 km, Chris in 38th place and Tim in 42nd place. Looks like Tim had a flat tire between point 100.0 km and 165.0 km. At point 100.0 km, Tim was in 33rd place.

After a fairly good day for the McRae team, where Tim finished 43th (a day without any problems) and a 50th time for Chris, the McRae’s are now heading to Santa Rosa. This is again a long stage, counting 725 whole kilometers. The timed section is about 368 kilometers long, but the first fifty will really count, because they are the last dunes of the rally. Differences are made there. The rest of the timed section is very fast and hard to make a difference. Since this is the last ‘real’ stage, we expect some fireworks.

Starting times for Tim and Chris:

45 Coronel T. 009h55′30″

52 Leyds C. 010h04′00″

Dakar.com says:

725 km are on the menu for the 13th and penultimate stage of the 32nd Dakar, which will be the last opportunity for the leading competitors to change the rankings. In fact, although the timed section is 368-km long, the difference will probably be made over the first 50 kilometres, where they must cross an erg made up of the last dunes of the rally in the grey sands of Nihuil. After that, the competitors will have to tackle wide and very quick tracks, where it will be almost impossible to open up gaps, at least not without taking enormous risks.

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McRae’s heading for Stage 12 San Juan > San Rafael

January 14th, 2010

Update 23.18: Tim is finished in the 43rd place. Chris is almost at finish, about 80 km to go, he is in the 51st place.

Update 20.51: Tim and Chris are about 80 kilometers before the finish. Riding a similar pace in place 49 and 51. The last part consists mostly out of sand (and a few kilometers of gravel).

Update 19.15: The next point has been passed by Tim and Chris. So now it’s 130 kilometer of tarmac, untill the next point. Tim is now in place 49 and Chris in 51. Looks like they have a steady pace. They’re expected to get to the next point any minute.

Update 17.42: Tim and Chris reached the 157.0 kilometer-point. Tim did this in 48th place and Chris two places below Tim. Not a bad start of this long special.

Today the longest stage of the Dakar Rally 2010 is going to start. Buggy’s are going to be tested during a 796 kilometer long track. The timed special is 496 kilometer, which also is a hell of a ride. Seems to become a technical track.

A good time to point out the service team of ProDakar. They again did a tremendous job. Here are some pictures of the team working very hard on the buggy’s.

Good start positions for both Chris and Tim.

48 Coronel T. 010h13′00″

55 Leyds C. 010h16′30″

Dakar.com says:

796 km are on the menu for the 12th stage, the longest on this 32nd Dakar, including a 476-km timed section. The distinctive feature of this special is the ‘neutralised’ part between the 204-km and 334-km points, where the competitors will have to return to the tarmac to pass through a listed natural site. For the rest, this third last stage has the following in store for the riders and drivers: a fairly quick and technical first half then, after the break in the special, several sandy but still quick areas with plenty of jumps to tackle as well. Enough to make man and machine suffer a few days before the final finishing line, especially since once they have completed the special stage, the competitors will still have to cover 276 km to reach the bivouac in San Rafael.

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Stage 11 Santiago > San Juan. McRae’s going back to Argentina

January 12th, 2010

Update 22.55: Tim has finished in 48th place and Chris did this in the 59th positions.

Update 21.57: Chris had some problems, because he has fallen to position 50. Oil leakage is the cause, he is now begin towed by the truck of the FlevoDakarTeam. Tim on the other hand did a good job going in to 42th place in the last checkpoint before the finish.

Update 18.48: After a delayed start Chris is going like a rocket, he is 40th place at the 102 kilometer-point. Coronel is in 48th place at the next point (148.0 kilometer).

Update 17.26: Chris start was delayed by an hour, because of a broken lager in the engine. The clutch was broken as well, this is fixed during the liaison.

Below some new pictures from stage nine and ten.

Update 11.39: Starting times for Chris and Tim. Chris is starting one minute ahead of Tim.

54 (347) Coronel T. 011h52′00″

52 (369) Leyds C. 011h51′00″

And a movie (in Dutch) from stage 10: Etappe 10 Tim Coronel telt af

After a few days in Chile and the Atacama desert, the McRae’s will follow their way to Argentina again. Yesterday both Chris and Tim finished in good positions.

Today we have a 434 kilometer, with a 220 kilometer timed special. Driving at a height between 2000 and 3000 meters before descending to Argentina.

We just heard (on Dutch television) that Pascal is out of the race. Hoping the buggies will perform good today as well.

Dakar says:

434 km are on the menu for the 11th stage of this 32nd Dakar during which the competitors will leave Chile and return to Argentina, where the 220-km timed section will take place. They will cross the border at an altitude of 3500 m, ever so slightly higher than the point at which starter’s orders for the special will be given. The competitors will have to tackle almost 100 km of narrow and winding tracks at an altitude of almost 2000 m before descending to the Argentine plains for the second half of the route. To get there, the riders and drivers must brave a descent measuring almost 20 km, which will be one of the major difficulties of the day for the cars and trucks, where they will have to avoid wear and tear on their brakes.

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Stage 10 La Serena > Santiago for McRae team

January 12th, 2010

Update 21.38: Chris and Tim are bothed finished. Chris in a nice 51st place and Tim tight behind him with a 52nd place.

Update 15.08: At the 42.0 kilometer point Tim is in 48th place and Chris in 54th.

Update 14.47: Pascal Baars is still in the desert, 5 kilometers before the finish of yesterday. Service MAN-truck is on his way to get Pascal Baars running again (two wheels are broken). Tim and Chris just started as well.

Update 10.37: Starting times announced!

42 (347) Coronel T. 010h06′00″

55 (369) Leyds C. 010h12′30″

One of the best starting times so far, hope they can continue this way.

After a rather good day yesterday, the McRae’s are heading for stage 10 today. Stage 10 runs from La Serena to Santiago and has a total of 586 kilometers. Saying goodbye to the Atacama desert, there will be a 238 kilometer special, with a very technical course.

Starting times have yet be announced.

Dakar.com says:

586 km are on the menu for the 10th stage of the 32nd Dakar, including a timed section of 238 kilometres in which the competitors will bid farewell to the Atacama and say hello to a more technical, bending and undulating route that winds through the fine landscapes of the mountains. It will be a tricky special, where competitors must be especially careful of the vegetation and in particular the many cactuses dotted over the route.

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Stage 9 for McRae buggies (Copiapo > La Serena)

January 11th, 2010

Update 9.25: Chris finished in 56th place.

Update 23.09: Tim has finished with a provisional 42th place.

Update 21.32: Tim took off like a rocket. Untill 71.0 kilometers he was around the 20th place. After that he presumably got some problems, because Tim lost some time and is now in 42th place (at the 135.0 kilometer point).

Chris just passed the first checkpoint (117.0 kilometers) in 52th place, so it looks the dunes are treating the McRae’s well.

Here are some extra pictures from Gaby from this special stage.

Update 11.32: Starting times announced!
61 (347) Coronel T. 013h03′00″
65 (369) Leyds C. 013h07′30″

Hopefully both McRae buggies are at the finish, but as far as we know only Tim have reached the finish. Chris was 60 kilometers behind, so we hope to hear from him soon.

On stage 8 both Tim and Chris had a great deal of problems with their McRae’s. Broken clutches and changing 7 tires! Pascal said that the crew had to stop every 15 minutes to service something. Pascal drove into a little canyon, but worked his way out of there.

Last 50 km were an one-man-show for Tim. Alone in the dark through the dunes. A personal victory. Probably explains his happy face above.

For the new stage only 170 kilometer of the 354 kilometer special will be driven, due to heavy fog in the morning. Because of the fog the start is prosponed. Now the stage consist entirely out of dunes.

Dakar.com says:

354 km, but with a timed section of only 170, are on the menu for the 9th stage. Indeed, alerted by the presence over the last few days of significant amounts of fog during the morning at Copiapo, the organisers have announced that they will be postponing the start times for the 9th special stage (11.00, instead of 7.15) and will shorten the route in order to avoid stragglers arriving too late at the bivouac in La Serena. However, this is nothing for the competitors to rejoice about, because as a result the 9th special will be a 100% sandy route, since it will wind its way through the ranges of dunes above Copiapo. Another original aspect of this 9th special stage, the last to be contested in the Atacama Desert, is a side-by-side start for the bikers, in groups of 20…

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Stage 8 Antofagasta > Copiapo. McRae’s still in the race after “a day off”

January 10th, 2010

http://www.volkskrantreizen.nl/

Update 23.40: CP3 has been reached by Tim and Chris. Tim is 4′39 hours behind the leader in place 60 and Chris is 5′26 hours behind in 61th place.

Update 21.30: Tim reached the 245.0 kilometer point in 61th place.

Update 21.23: Tim passed CP2 in 62th place. Leyds gained some places passing a few cars in 60th place.

Update 18.31: Problem is solved apparently, since Tim has crossed the first checkpoint in 56th place.

Update 18.22: Tim has problems with his support-bars and oil leakage. Pascal de Baars is not far from him to help.

Update 16.29: Tim came by the 48.0 km marker in 48th place. Leyds did this in 57th place.

After a rest day the McRae’s are going on. The rest day was not particulary a rest day for the McRae buggy team, since they finished the previous stage rather late.

But they are still competiting in today’s stage. Stage 8 exists out of 568 kilometers, where the special (timed) part of the race is 472 kilometers. The stage will begin with a hard surface (with tricky parts), where the speeds can get pretty high, but after that there will be 90 kilometers of beautiful white sanddunes.

Starting times for Tim and Chris are:

62 (347) Coronel T. 010h45′30″

67 (369) Leyds C. 010h52′00″

Dakar.com says:

568 km including a 472-km timed section are on the menu of the 8th stage. Following on from the rest day, the competitors will have been wise to enjoy it, because the race resumes with another “biggie”. For this penultimate stage in the Atacama, the remaining competitors in the 32nd Dakar will have to pick their way through terrain at the start of a special stage that is full of stones and extremely tricky, with in particular several zones of fesh-fesh. Afterwards, the pace will quicken dramatically as the competitors gobble up some 300 km of winding and fast tracks that will lead the caravan through the ranges of dunes above Copiapo, before a final 90 km of “total sand”.

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McRae buggies finish stage 7 (Photo’s)

January 10th, 2010

After a very, very long drive, the McRae buggies finish stage 7.

Some pictures of the finish with some really tired drivers.

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Rest Day for Mcrae Buggy Divers

January 9th, 2010

Its been a really long stage that has taken our drivers nearly 2 Days, but they have finally reached the bivouac.  Its now 2.oo in the afternoon in Chile. So they have the rest of the day to sleep and rest while the mechanics go mental on the cars.

17:46 pm – Tim is also just finally arrived in the camp.

17:10 pm – Chris Leyds just arrived in the camp, and now Tim is with Pascal.

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