First Top 3 stage result for Loprais and Praga

13.01.2020

Instaforex Loprais Teams' Praga V4S DKR took its first-ever Top 3 result. Aleš Loprais, Khalid Alkendi and Petr Pokora were classified third in the eighth stage of Dakar Rally 2020.

2020 Dakar

On Monday, January 13, the Dakar Rally 2020 continued with a loop stage that started and finished at Wadi Al Dawasir. The eighth stage of the event offered more challenges in navigation and difficult dunes. But that is exactly what Aleš Loprais and the red, white and black Praga like – as they proved in the 477-kilometre long timed stage.

“We had a beautiful stage today. The crew worked great together. Butul did a fabulous job with under-inflating the tyres, while Khalid managed the navigation perfectly,” said Aleš Loprais, who did not forget to praise his cabin mechanic Petr Pokora and navigator Khalid Alkendi.

“It was ultimate Dakar today. I’ve got calluses on my hands from a steering wheel and we finished the special stage with a broken rear right shock absorber. However, that’s how Dakar should be.”

“But this result doesn’t belong just to the team, but also to all our partners and fans. I’m delighted that we can also successfully represent the colours of the Czech automobile association as one of their Dakar ambassadors,” added Loprais.

Only Andrey Karginov and Anton Shibalov set faster stage times than Loprais today. Both Kamaz drivers are also leading the overall classification. But the Czech driver took another nine and a half minutes away from Siarhei Viazovich’s gap, which puts him even closer to the overall podium. The factory MAZ team is currently third in the overall standings, now less than an hour ahead of Loprais.

“In the stage ranking, we’re sandwiched by Kamaz and followed by MAZ. That puts us between two factory teams. We’ve done brilliantly today. We can keep up with them and be on the same level in dunes. Though in some places we’re still behind because they have much more powerful engine and they can play team strategy. But we do what we can. And we keep going,” added Aleš Loprais.

On January 19, Dakar Rally 2020 will bring its competitors from Wadi Al Dawasir to Haradh. The ninth stage will be 886 kilometres long, out of which 410 kilometres will be timed as a special stage. Organisers are warning before several rough portions of rocky parts, that caused so many issues for drivers in the first half of the rally.

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