Setback for GWM/Haval in Stage 2 of Dakar 2014
Following the celebrations of a surprise Stage 1 win, the Dakar once again proved what a cruel mistress she can be when Carlos Sousa’s lead GWM/Haval* H8 suffered turbo problems 33 km into the arduous Stage 2 which took competitors from San Luis to San Rafael.
Pengcheng Su (Team Manager): “What a pity for Carlos. When we got the news that the turbo had stopped working, we asked him to wait for the T4 assistance vehicle in order to avoid deeper engine damages. The mechanic will repair the car tonight, and Carlos will continue tomorrow.”
Sadly, having lost many hours due to this problem, Sousa is unlikely to be able to stage a comeback into the top ten. The team’s hopes for a top five placing now rests on the shoulders of its new recruit, Frenchman Christian Lavieille. The GWM/Haval team aims to improve on the two 6th places achieved by Sousa in 2012 and 2013.
Following a top ten finish in Stage 1 and driving the number 315 car, Lavieille continued with his solid performance thus far, finishing the stage in 8th place and moving up to 7th place overall. He is therefore well-placed to achieve the team’s goals. “Christian Lavieille’s race is good, we hope he can continue like that,” said Su.
The Dakar 2014 standings following Stage 2:
Peterhansel/Cottret #300 (Mini) = 6 hours 17 minutes 02 seconds
Sainz/Gottschalk #303 (SMG) + 28 seconds
Al-Attiyah/Cruz #301 (Mini) + 4 minute 10 seconds
Roma/Perin #304 (Mini) + 4 minute 19 seconds
Terranova/Fiuza #307 (Mini) + 8 minutes 31 seconds
De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz #302 + 17 minutes 10 seconds
Lavieille/Garcin #315 (GWM/Haval) + 20 minutes 59 seconds
* Haval is the premium SUV division of GWM.