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Some of the drivers who paced practice at Barber weren’t able to convert in qualifying.
Simona de Silvestro led Saturday morning practice but estimated her KV Racing Technology car didn’t handle Firestone’s alternate red tires as well as the primary blacks.
“On the reds we had a really big balance change,” she said. “It was a really big difference so we’ll have to try and work on that for tomorrow’s warm-up and the race. I think on the blacks we were really quick; even on the older ones. Hopefully we can make up some positions.”
Schmidt Hamilton’s Simon Pagenaud had a couple sessions in the top five but for the second race running was left befuddled by missing the Fast Six, and being outqualified by Schmidt Peterson rookie teammate Tristan Vautier.
“My car was good, we just barely missed it in qualifying,” Pagenaud said. “We’ll just keep digging a little deeper because we aren’t far off at all. I know we’ll have a good car for the race tomorrow.”
Barracuda Racing/BHA’s Alex Tagliani, second on Friday, said a mysterious issue cost him a shot at advancing.
“Honestly it’s difficult to be upset because we have such a great car,” he said. “We were on a projected (1 minute) 6.8 lap and something happened, we were either out of fuel or power, but lost a bunch of time on the backstraight into Turns 12 and 13.”
Pagenaud, de Silvestro and Tagliani start 13th through 15th on Sunday.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup