January 10, 2014
BJ Baldwin, now the sole driver for the EV Racing team, had a day of two halves yesterday as we football (soccer) fans would say. Starting from 42nd place, he blasted his way to 16th in the first half of the special before the neutralised section. After starting the second part of the stage, things did not go so well and BJ arrived at the bivouac in 37th place with a time for the complete special of 7 long hours, 31 minutes and 17 seconds.
Technical problems afflicted the car in the second half of the stage where the car was subjected to high altitures and the stage time set by Balwin reflected this. His time was just over 3 hours behind Nani Roma, who won the stage on a strange day. Strange becuase many of the Dakar legends got lost and the rankings had a big shake up after a flurry of time penalties were dished out.
For BJ, a dissapointing stage after a flying start but he avoided the ignominy of having to set up camp in the Desert and he moves up in the overall classification from 46th to 37th.
In the short movie below, he talks about crashing, hopefully something he wont be doing in the next 10 days. In the light of the sudden withdrawal of teammate Chicherit, thankfully unhurt after his car caught fire and exploded, it makes interesting viewing.