Red-Lined Motoring Adventures’ pair of Nissan Navaras enjoyed a positive day in Dakar 2020’s fifth stage race to Ha’il on Thursday. British Sabertooth duo Thomas Bell and Patrick McMurren delivered their best Dakar day yet as they powered from second last to 33rd on the day, while South African TreasuryOne crew Hennie de Klerk and Johan Smalberger were satisfied with their run in spite of a few challenges along the way.
“We were delighted to bounce back today — our best Dakar stage so far this year — in fact it’s our best ever,” a most satisfied Thomas Bell explained. “Best of all, it comes right after yesterday’s nightmare, so we had to start second from last and work our way past the trucks and side-by-sides too and then lost a little time in navigation this morning, but then we were into the dunes, which we really enjoy.
“Still we were not quite expecting to get up to 33rd this afternoon, but most importantly, we are back in the game and back in the bivouac nice and early. “We also had no punctures for once today after changing the type of tyre we used for the sand and we also never had any major trouble with plenty of time to prepare the car ahead of another big day tomorrow, so bring it on!”
“Today was not our best day,” Hennie de Klerk owned up. “We made some mistakes and could have planned a bit better and then we had a few little problems too, but hey we are still in it and just a day away from the rest day in Riyadh. “Now we are looking forward to staging a comeback and making up some lost ground from here on in, so let’s hope that we’ve used up all of our bad luck already!”
“All in all, the guys had a great day,” Red-Lined team boss Terence Marsh concluded. “Our Dubai-based Sabertooth desert masters Thomas and Patrick bounced back beautifully from a tough one yesterday — 40% of today being sand did play into their hands, but that was a truly exceptional drive to 33rd from right at the back this morning. “Hennie and Johann had their challenges, but they brought it home in one piece, “Tomorrow we race to Riyadh for the rest day, which is job half done, but remember, this is Dakar and it can all be over in the blink of an eye — let the adventure continue!”