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DAKAR 2023


by Motorsport Media - 11 January 2023

What: Dakar Day 10 Report

Where: Shaybah, Saudi Arabia

When: Wednesday 11 January 2023

Community: International

Factory cars in the thick of it with four days to race

Century Racing continues to lead Dakar’s 4x2 class with the South African crew of Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer in a handy eighth overall aboard their Factory CR6-T. French teammates, Mathieu Serradori and Loic Minaudier are just outside the top ten in 11th overall and third among the rear driven cars with four days left to race.


Baragwanath and Cremer had a busy couple of days, finishing 11th on Tuesday and 15th Thursday, despite being just 8 minutes off the pace. They retain their strong eighth place overall. “Our car is running like a train,” Baragwanath reported from the Shaybah Day 10 bivouac deep in the Arabian Desert’s Empty Quarter.


“We lost around 15 minutes trying to find a waypoint at 122 kilometres on Tuesday, it seems some of the leaders followed lost bike tracks. “We searched on the wrong side first before finding the waypoint and we then stopped to give Mattieu a spare wheel. 


“Wednesday was slow running in second and third gear all the way with lots of wheel spinning. “Still, we never lost much time to the 4x4s on a stage that clearly suited them. “Otherwise, we took it cautiously and it was a smooth run, so we’re home safe with no mistakes.”


Serradori and Minaudier enjoyed a great run on Tuesday before being compromised by a pair of tiny seals in their Century CR6-T’s  onboard tyre inflation system. “We replaced the seals at the rest day, and it seems the new ones failed, and we lost all pressure in the front wheels. “Pity, because we were flying! “Still, we are here, just out of the top ten, so all good!”


“We have had a productive couple of days in the desert,” team boss Julien Hardy confirmed. “It’s a pity that Mathieu and Loic had that pressure system problem, they were running in the top three on a stage that really suited us, so that’s all the more frustrating. “We investigated the problem and made a solution, it’s disappointing, but these things happen.


“Brian and Leonard had a few admin challenges, but their car ran perfectly. “We have both cars still running strong in and about the overall top ten and we’re leading and third in T1.2 4x2. These are just Dakar punches that we have to roll with, and everyone is giving their all. “Come on guys, you got this!”


Of the rest of the Century CR6 privateer army, former World Superbike champion Carlos Checa and Marc Terradella’s clean-fuelled Astara CR6 had another good day to 17th on Tuesday before a challenging 43rd on Wednesday which places them in a fine 23rd overall. Antoine Galland and Yannick Demay’s ORC CR6 had two good days in 20th and 31st and they lie 32nd overall.


Former Dakar bike heroes, lady racer Laia Sanz and Malle Moto winner Fabrizio Gerini’s Astara Century CR6 Corvette was 18th on Tuesday, 37th on Wednesday and lies 34th overall in spite of their own inflation system pressure sensor woes. And French rookie couple Yannick and Valérie Panagiotis continued to impress in 29th and 27th to sit 40th overall in their FJ CR6.


Dutch twins Tim and Tom Coronel continue to share driving as they fight their CR6 to the finish. 18th on the road on Wednesday, they incurred a massive 50 hour penalty for a Tuesday Corvette V8 engine swap as a result of their Sunday crash damage, which the Dutch team continues to address as they go. They are 44th overall with 60 hours of penalties!


Spanish rookies Sergio Vallejo and Mario Gozalez Tome’s CR6 sits a provisional 46th overall, pending them finding their way out of the desert following another challenging day on the office on Wednesday.


Dakar 2023 now heads for its most challenging two days. The marathon stage starts Thursday morning before an isolated no service overnight stop, deep in the Arabian Desert’s Empty Quarter. From there its three more stages to the finish, 5,000 gruelling kilometres later on Sunday. 

* Century Racing Factory Team is proudly sponsored by Fortinet, SRT, R53 Suspension, International Race Supplies, AP Racing, ALDO, CEMS Consult, Trollope Mining, ATS  Racing Supplies, OMP, Mecad - Solidworks SA, Sadev, Ekoil, Caltex Havoline SA and Houss.

Issued on behalf of Century Racing

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