Swedish team „Pewano” was struck by bad luck during the first special stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally, as their Volvo XC60 violently caught fire.
Pilot Alfie Cox (South Africa) and copilot Juergen Schroeder (Germany) were forced to abandon the Volvo Pewano XC60 RR. They suffered no injuries.
“The car went up in flames, there’s nothing left. We are terribly disappointed and sad. We knew this would not be easy, but that the car would catch fire, was not even a conceivable scenario,” Hans Soenksen, team manager of Pewano, was quoted as saying by MarathonRally.com. „During 14 days of racing you always have to be prepared for mechanical problems, but since we had all the necessary fire equipment and had secured all flammable material – even in our wildest imagination – we had not been able to predict this,” he added.
The incident occured two hours after the start of the first stage between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa de la Pampa in Argentina. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but team members believe a leak in either the powersteering pump or one of the hoses in the powersteering system was to blame for the fire.