Dakar 2022: Loprais is settled in top 5


Ales Loprais and his crew finished the second stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally in fifth place. The Praga V4S DKR truck of InstaForex Loprais Team is now holding fifth place in the trucks overall standings as well.

3rd and 4th stage

Loprais dropped to fifth place last night already after several Dakar participants were given a 15-minute time penalty for missing a hidden waypoint, located around 70 kilometres from the finish line of the opening stage. That put the Praga #508 right behind four factory Kamaz trucks for the start of the second stage of the event, with a gap around 25 minutes behind leading Dmitry Sotnikov.

On Monday, January 3, the Dakar Rally was supposed to offer the first one of its two marathon stages. However, those plans had to be cancelled, following Sunday’s heavy rain and local flooding that saw a planned bivouac at Al Artawiyah getting damaged. Instead, the organisers sent competitors to Al Qaisumah, and because the place was not prepared for marathon rules, the second and third stages were turned into classic stages. That means that the Dakar competitors can now use all the help and support from their teams during the night.

Monday’s stage took place as planned, with a 338-kilometre-long timed section. However, the rain had affected the route, and especially the terrain, that from two-thirds was sand.

But Ales Loprais with Jaroslav Valtr jr. and Petr Pokora handled all the challenges perfectly, and they finished in fifth place, just seven minutes behind the winner Andrey Karginov, who was followed by his three Kamaz teammates. For a long time, the Instaforex Loprais Praga Team was battling for every second with Janus van Kasteren (Iveco). However, in the end, Loprais managed to gain over two minutes on the Team De Rooy’s driver.

3rd and 4th stage

“Another very jumpy stage and our necks and backs are suffering. There was a lot of camel grass, jumps and holes. At the finish line, I spoke to van Kasteren, who told me that he was on the limit with his back. But actually, I like such segments. The tougher, the better for me. Big thanks to Bohouš Jukl, who is putting me back together every day,” describes Ales Loprais the challenges of the opening part of the 44th editions of the famous event.

3rd and 4th stage


“We ran on 99 percent, but we’ll probably have to add that one last percent as well. We actually didn’t make any mistakes, but Kamaz has a brutal pace. We’re trying to keep up and even add a little bit, but today, we lost our dampers in the final fourth of the stage and ended up jumping much higher and longer than we should. It’s clear that we’re all rallying to the limit here and the vehicles are being tested. I’m curious to see how it’s going to affect the others. As for us, I can say that since the start, it’s been a big challenge for the chassis, and the crew as well.”

In the current standings, Loprais sits in fifth place, around 31 minutes behind the leader Dmitry Sotnikov. And just eight and half minutes behind Anton Shibalov in fourth position, both with Kamaz trucks. Van Kasteren is in sixth place and around 15 minutes behind the Czech driver.

On Tuesday, January 4, the 2022 Dakar Rally continues with its third stage, which is a loop around Al Qaisumah. The crews have to do 368 kilometres, though only 255 kilometres will be timed, while 113 kilometres serve for neutralisation. The special stage is going to take place from three quarters in sand and dunes, with faster gravel tracks filling up the rest. Once again, the organisers are warning everyone to be very careful with navigation.

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