Menzies accepts blame for massive Dakar shunt

Dakar rookie Bryce Menzies says it was his own 'terrible mistake' that led to the crash that destroyed his Mini buggy and left his co-driver Peter Mortensen with a broken ankle.

Menzies accepts blame for massive Dakar shunt
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen, crashed car
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen, crashed car
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen
#310 X-Raid Team Mini: Bryce Menzies, Peter Mortensen
#314 X-Raid Team Mini: Yazeed Al-Rajhi
#314 X-Raid Team Mini: Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Timo Gottschalk
#314 X-Raid Team Mini: Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Timo Gottschalk

Menzies had gone into the second day of competition as the best-placed of X-raid's Mini drivers, sitting fourth and just 38 seconds off the lead after the opening stage.

However, a rollover just two kilometres into the second stage left his buggy in tatters, his co-driver Mortensen with a broken ankle, and the pair out of the event.

"My co-driver called out a double caution, and I checked up and I looked at it – and it just looked like a smaller bump than I think it was," said Menzies.

"We hit it pretty fast; it just unloaded the rear and stuck the front bumper, and I think we flipped seven or eight times.

"It's not the way I wanted my first Dakar to go. I was so excited to race the rest of this rally with the car and just keep improving it, but I made a terrible mistake on my part.

"I was really worried about the dunes, the first five days, with the two-wheel drive buggy, but yesterday it proved that it can work really well. I was so excited yesterday, and last night, and then to come in today and have this happen was heartbreaking."

"[For] me, it's just my ego and my emotions are hurt. And my co-driver ended up breaking his ankle. My heart's off to him, he's the one that called it out and I should've listened to him.

"So we'll go back and work on our navigation, on our notes, together, and hopefully come back stronger in 2019."

 

Fellow Mini buggy driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi is also now out of contention for a top result after colliding with Boris Garafulic's Mini John Cooper Works rally car, the incident leaving both crews stranded.

According to Al-Rajhi's co-driver Timo Gottschalk, the accident was both unavoidable and hugely unlucky.

"We are all okay. The accident was very bad; there was no chance to avoid it because we didn't see each other, we just climbed the dune and then on top we hit each other," he said.

"There was no alert, nothing. I think everyone was going this way, I don't know why there was no alert. No chance to realise.

"In all we lost about six hours; it took quite a long time to get each car away, and then take the parts out – it wasn't an easy place to work.

"Very, very bad luck. We are happy that we're here now, and the guys can somehow repair the car and we can restart tomorrow. We will try to repair everything, then we will continue."

Additional reporting by Sergio Lillo

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