The writing is on the wall for Przygoński
Dakar 2023 |
Stage 2 |
January 3 rd 2023 - 07:41 [GMT + 3]
Having taken eleven hours to complete the second stage of the 45th edition of the Dakar, Jakub Przygoński saw his dreams of a podium finish crushed even before arrival in AlUla, though the Polish driver is not the only person to have suffered such bad luck.
It was night-time when Mini JCW Plus number 203 rolled up to Alpha 3, the location of the finishing line for the special. Eleven hours and four minutes after having started, Jakub Przygoński and Armand Monleon finished the second stage of the rally between the Sea Camp and AlUla in 129th position. In the morning, they were in sixth place in the general rankings, but now they have sunk down into the depths of a hierarchy that has seen complete upheaval during a single day. Once he had crossed the finishing line, Jakub took a quick look at the journalists awaiting him under the awning of the timing point. “Yes? No?” After a brief exchange of glances, the Polish driver parked his vehicle, removed his helmet and made his misfortune known. “I hesitated,” he admitted, “and then I thought that I could lose even more time…” Despite the sledgehammer blow that he received, Przygoński remained the perfect gentlemen and dignified, as is his reputation. “This stage was really difficult for us,” he summed up. It was likewise for other leading drivers and in particular those racing for the BRX team. Indeed, Przygoński suffered the effects of the terrain covered with sharp almost razor-like stones. “We got one puncture after another,” he continued to explain, without his smile disappearing from his face. “We spent our time repairing our tyres, but after 100 km, we had no more spare wheels. We were forced to wait for our assistance team. It was very difficult to understand where to go to avoid these mishaps. Perhaps I was too quick at the start, but after that I slowed down and was more careful…” But it was not sufficient. Although he had finished in the top 7 on five of the last six editions of the Dakar and was dreaming of a podium finish thanks to his new car and new team-mate, Jakub Przygoński has seen his dreams crumble to dust. “It will probably take me two or three days to get over the disappointment,” he said. “In spite of it all, we’ll try to race some good stages, but for us the Dakar is finished in terms of our goals”. However, he is not blaming the organisers, as other competitors have. “The terrain is the same for everybody,” he pointed out. “It’s true that it was very rocky, but that’s the Dakar”.