He said one thing with his words and another with his eyes. It usually happens sometimes, especially when you can’t say what you want. Gerard Farres was placed leader in the T4 category of side by side in the penultimate stage, but he knew that they were not going to let him win. If the Can-Am South Racing seat came to him in time to be able to be in the Dakar, it was because he came as a squire to Austin Jones, the team leader who gave up first place on Thursday due to a breakdown. But in the final stage, what had to happen happened… or what the team wanted.
The Catalan started the last special with a 1:14 advantage over the American and was setting better partials than him. He was almost a minute ahead of him at the penultimate checkpoint, but when he reached the finish line he lost six at once. Chance? According to ‘Farreti’ at the end of the stage it was due to a breakdown: “We had a problem in the last kilometer, but we were able to solve it and reach the finish line”. He hasn’t had any problems throughout the Dakar and it happened just before he was crowned. At least, it makes you think…
“Our objective was to work for the team and we have achieved it. With this man by my side we have had commitment, respect, all the values that define us as pilot and co-pilot (Diego Ortega) and we couldn’t be happier with our work. A few months ago I didn’t even know if I could come here and in the end this car has been fantastic, the team has worked very well. I remember last year… and I think that sacrifice of holding on and not giving up served. I am very happy”, added Gerard in the speech that touched him.
That was how South Racing got what it wanted, for Jones to win the Dakar even if it was at the cost of being exposed by the obvious gift of his Spanish teammate, who repeats the best position he has ever achieved in the desert. He was also second in 2019, but under very different conditions. He will have to wait to try to win his first Dakar, which is why he has done what the team has asked him to do in order to secure his future. This has been very close, but at the same time, very far.