Dakar 2022: Lascorz ‘makes history’ with ninth overall on penultimate day

| | WorldSBKWorld News

Despite the Dakar saving the most technical and demanding stage for the penultimate day, Joan Lascorz secured a 25th place finish to protect his overall top 10 goal.

Thursday’s 346kms special looped around Bisha, demanded good navigations skills over demanding terrain, filled with dunes and fine sand. Lascorz and co-driver Miguel Puertas initially found good pace, before struggling to locate the first waypoint. Losing more than 15 minutes in the search, the delay dropped them to the back of the pack, and running 43rd of the 44 buggies that started today’s stage.

Having recovered their direction, the pair secured an impressive comeback, climbing to 25th with 40 kms left to traverse and maintaining position until the end.

Regardless of the setback, the Buggy Masters team remain ninth in the overall SSV T4 standings, having gifted only half an hour to their rivals with one day left behind the wheel.

Friday’s final 680kms, between Bisha and Jeddah, is split between the 516kms liaison and a short, sharp 164kms special.

“I am happy but physically destroyed!” Lascorz admitted on Thursday evening. “Today I took it easy because I knew it was a tough stage, with many dunes and very soft soil. We started well, but on the first waypoint we lost about 15 minutes and the people behind us caught us, there was a lot of dust, we ran head-on into a truck, a car… we were about to collide. You couldn’t go fast, all the time there was a cloud of dust from the trucks and we raced in this condition almost to the end of the stage.

“But I’m happy because today the goal was to finish, it was a tough stage. The car, as always, didn’t brake; perfect. We continue without puncturing, without breaking a [transmission] belt. Miguel hasn’t touch anything in the car, even a screw, in the entire Dakar… he didn’t have to get off the buggy to change anything! This is good: it means we still had margin to push.

“I would like to give thanks to the whole team, to all the people behind who have made it possible for me to be here… and to Miguel Puertas, with him everything has been perfect, we have not had problems and he has always taken care of me all the time. Tomorrow the last stage!”

“I’m moved,” Puertas added. “With Joan I have seen the harshness up close and I have seen what Joan has had to suffer and overcome to be here. I take off my hat for his mental strength and I want to congratulate him. There’s still a stage ahead but I think we have already made history.”