Dakar: Rafal Sonik takes control in quads; Kamaz team back on top in trucks (VIDEO)

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Last year’s Dakar Rally quads runner-up, Rafal Sonik, is your new leader in the category after winning in Stage 2 on Monday in Argentina.

The Polish racer (pictured, from 2014) followed-up his second-place showing in Sunday’s opening stage with a win over defending Dakar champion Ignacio Casale of Chile by a margin of just over three and a half minutes. From the overall standpoint, that means a lead of two minutes, 26 seconds for Sonik.

Stage 2 from Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan, Argentina was the longest of the 2015 Dakar at 518 kilometers. Casale said he had to slow down over the final 100 kilometers of the stage, because he was dealing with dehydration after running out of water.

“Today, it was a very difficult stage, the hardest I’ve ridden in my life,” Casale said. “I thought that I was going to drop out. I had a lot of thoughts running around my mind throughout the day…I suffered a lot and didn’t feel great at all. I slowed down my pace over the last 100 km.

“In any case, given the length and toughness of the stage, the aim was to make sure I finished…But I couldn’t do anything more. I was in a really complicated situation. I went and sat in the medical tent for 40 minutes to rest and drink…I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

As for the trucks, the KAMAZ team – winners of a record 12 Dakar Rallies – bounced back from a tough Sunday (none of their entries finished in the Top 5) to get two out of the Top 3 spots on Monday, including P1.

Russian pilot Eduard Nikolaev scored a 46-second win over the Iveco team’s Siarhei Viazovich of Belarus. Ayrat Mardeev put his KAMAZ in third position, just three seconds behind Viazovich.

Hans Stacey, the Stage 1 winner, initially kept hold of the top overall position in the truck category with a fourth-place run in his Iveco. However, he was penalized one minute and was dropped to sixth in Monday’s stage. That means Nikolaev is now leading the pack with a slim lead of 40 seconds over Stacey.

Juncos Racing to field single car entry in Indy 500

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Part-time NTT IndyCar Series entrant Juncos Racing will announce their attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 within the next few weeks, according to RACER.

The team, which made its Indy 500 debut in 2017, ran 12 of the 17 IndyCar Series races last season, but has only made a start in one of the four events so far in 2019, finishing 18th in the inaugural running of the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Though no driver has yet to be announced for the single-car entry, Kaiser is expected to be the leading candidate for the ride. The 23-year-old Californian has raced for the team since 2014, where he won the 2017 Indy Lights championship.

One of the top teams in the Road to Indy ladder system, Juncos Racing has over 50 wins between Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 competition. The team’s most recent victory came in the second Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg this year with Rinus VeeKay behind the wheel.

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