The KH-7 Epsilon Team continues one more day in the Dakar 2019, after having passed this Thursday the first part of the marathon stage, which has taken the trucks from Arequipa to Tacna, with a very hard special of 405 kilometers. Jordi Juvanteny, José Luis Criado and Xavi Domènech arrived to the finnish line after ten hours of effort without having hardly slept and with a new puncture on the track. In addition, faithful to his style, the veteran MAN 6x6 with the famous orange color of KH-7 has returned to act as guardian angel of the caravan. The Catalan driver and his companions have lent their help to numerous participants in distress and, despite everything, they retain the leadership in the categories of Production and 6x6.
This stage has presented a lot of variety, this time with the appearance of the feared fesh-fesh (very fine and very soft dust) but without the dunes of the previous days and, instead, the presence of many broken tracks and stones. The special has been a challenge for the survivors of the Dakar 2019, some of whom have been able to move forward thanks to the help of the KH-7 Epsilon Team on the ground. "The stage has become very long and demanding because we have spent a lot of time helping participants who had many difficulties, from trucks to side-by-side [light buggies]," explains Jordi Juvanteny.
"Even when the night has fallen, we have been accompanying a boy on a motorcycle for many kilometres, because he hardly had any light," adds debutant Xavi Domènech, who acknowledges that this first part of the marathon stage has meant an accelerated course for him of the true spirit of the Dakar that moves the KH-7 Epsilon Team. His teammates are already battled in a thousand similar battles, since José Luis Criado disputes this year his 29th edition of the toughest motor race, while the driver Jordi Juvanteny has 27.
Of course, in addition to all these vicissitudes on the track, the crew of the MAN 6x6 has had to deal with the difficulties of the special, with a very hard terrain that has caused the puncture of a truck wheel for the second consecutive day. "We had to wait until they brought us another tire, because we did not have any more," confesses José Luis Criado. In addition, all this effort to complete the day and move forward as leaders in their categories has come after a night without practically sleep, since on Wednesday they had arrived at the Arequipa camp well into the early hours. "The previous night we had not been able to sleep more than an hour and a half or two, but we are happy because we have passed one more stage. The team is tired but fresh, eager to continue facing stages, "says Domènech. This Friday is the second part of the marathon stage, which will take cars and trucks from Tacna to Arequipa, where on Saturday will be the expected rest day of Dakar 2019. Before, however, the KH-7 Epsilon Team will have to overcome another 519 kilometres of special, of a total distance of 715.