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Astara Team en el Dakar 2022, Etapa 3

Astara Team’s two Concept 01 run relentlessly towards Riad

Solid performance by Óscar Fuertes and Jesús Calleja in today´s SS

The two Astara Team’s crews completed the third special stage of the Dakar Rally with very good feelings, after successfully surviving a demanding test in a loop around Al-Qaisumah, to the west from the border of Saudi Arabia with Kuwait. The sand was once again the main protagonist of the day, with many dunes and with a surface still damp due to the torrential rains that fell on Monday.

After finishing yesterday affected by stomach problems, Óscar Fuertes had a proper rest and reset and was ready from the word go to follow the plan initially drawn up: constant pace; high, but with no risks, knowing that there are still a lot of kilometers in front of him in the Dakar and that we are only in the middle of the first week. Well navigated by Diego Vallejo and with the car intact from the start of the rally, Fuertes undertook today’s special stage knowing that the large amount of sand and the dunes were the 01 Concept’s favorite terrain.

And with the joy of navigating such extremely beautiful landscapes, knowing that the e-fuel that powers his car’s engine is the most sustainable fuel that can be used: the CO2 that it was going to emit had previously been captured from the atmosphere in the chemical process of its elaboration, reason why its impact on the environment was practically zero. At the end of the day, without driving or navigation errors and only with the time invested in helping Carlos Checa, who rolled his buggy in front of Fuertes and Vallejo (time that would later be returned to them by the stewards), they signed the 30th fastest time and they arrived at the Al-Qaisumah bivouac with the car intact: mission accomplished.

Very fast stage and with many dunes, the ideal terrain for our 01 Concept. Today we had a lot of fun and when you do have fun, things usually go well ”, commented Óscar.

For his part, Jesús Calleja faced the day with the optimism that characterizes him in everything he does and with the personal challenge of raising his spirits due to the setbacks of the two previous days. So, along with his experienced co-driver Edu Blanco, Calleja threw himself into enjoying the 01 Concept “which is what I’ve come to” -he told his mechanics-, and achieved a good sinthony with the car, copilot and track, signing the 34th best time in a day also marked by the absence of problems and dedicated purely to the pleasure of driving through the fascinating Saudi sands at full speed.

Today we are very happy, because starting from the back, with a lot of trucks and all the cars and motorcycles in front of us, we found the terrain very rough. But even so we managed to ride fast and overtake many competitors. I was surprised to see our time at the finish line and I would have said yes to a worse result if previously offered. Tomorrow we will start from the back again, although not so much as today, and we will surely continue to progress ”, declared Calleja at the finish line today.

Tomorrow the drivers will face the longest special stage: 464 kilometers and arrival in Riyadh.

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