TALLINN – For Estonians Urvo Mannama and Risto Lepik, who were competing in their second Dakar Rally, the competition had a sad ending when their car, Century Racing CR7, caught fire and was completely destroyed on Monday morning, Postimees reported.
The Estonians were supposed to embark on the eighth stage of the Dakar on Monday.
The fire occurred in a situation where, before the start, mechanics checked the vehicle and did a test run near the race's camp. Unfortunately, a flame from the exhaust system ignited the body of the car, which is made of carbon, and in such a case what happens next happens very quickly, Postimees said.
"We woke up in the morning when our chief mechanic came to our trailer. He said he had sad news about the car. They had gone to test the car in the morning and the antilag was on, and it shot a big flame out of the exhaust on the side, which set the car on fire," the team said in a press release.
Most importantly, the mechanics who went to test the car escaped with a scare.
"The men got out at the very last second, as flames were already protruding into the car when the door on the passenger side was opened. Fortunately, the men are ok, but the car burned to the ground. For us, it's all over with this Dakar," Mannama said.