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Time lost tracking down a compulsory GPS waypoint has slowed the Australian Isuzu Motorsports’ team on the second day of the 2013 Dakar Rally – and the first full day of competition.

They weren’t the only competitors struggling with the problem that team leader Bruce Garland suggests could have been a mistake in the instructions – several of the leading contenders have dropped back down the order after striking the same trouble.

After a 242km timed special stage looping outside the overnight bivouac of Pisco, three hours south of Lima, Garland and Harry Suzuki (2012 Isuzu D-MAX; car 330) posted 59th fastest time out of the 153 starters, putting them in 55th outright. Teammates Adrian Di Lallo and Steve Riley (Red Earth Motorsport, Isuzu D-MAX; car 439) came in 92nd, to put them in 90th outright.

“We went into the wrong canyon and couldn’t find the waypoint that we must be tracked going through but there were 20 or 30 other cars in the same position, just driving in circles,” Garland says.

“I think we all did about 20 kilometres or more, trying to find it, and that certainly lost us a lot of time. And we also lost some time in the dunes because I’m still a bit gun-shy.

“The brain is still listening to the back telling it to slow down, so I didn’t get the flow right over the dunes. The back is fine but it says ‘whoa’ on the crests, so when we slow down, we get stuck.”

Garland’s back and brain are remembering the 2011 event when he and Suzuki crashed heavily off a sand dune, ending their event and hospitalising Garland in Chile with a broken vertebra.

“They told us in the briefing that today was going to be an easy stage but I think these Dakar people are lying bastards,” Garland laughs.

“There were some really tricky parts, cresty dunes and quite rocky in places, aside from the problem with finding the waypoint. There was a bit of dust out there, but I think it was probably more of an issue for the bikes than for us. It was certainly hot though – about 42 degrees when we started. I must check to see what it got up to in the cabin.

“But I’m feeling good – I’ve ended the day better than I went into it because I’ve settled down and I’m getting into the rhythm. Now I’m going to do what the Russian competitors do – they have a vodka or something every day when they get in, to celebrate another day being ticked off, so we will too!”

Tomorrow, the Dakar field will leave Pisco for Nazca. Not far from the bivouac, the drivers will start into the 243-kilometere special stage and afterwards, they will have to complete a 96-kilometre liaison section to the next bivouac. In the opening and closing stages, the teams once again will have to cope with dunes – with a faster section in between.

Nazca (sometimes spelled Nasca) is a city and a system of valleys on the south coast of Peru, and the name of the region's largest existing town in the Nazca Province. It is also the name applied to the Nazca culture that flourished in the area between 300BC and 800AD.

They were responsible for the Nazca Lines and the ceremonial city of Cahuachi and also built an impressive system of underground aqueducts that still function today. The Nazca Lines are ancient markings in the desert, designated as a World Heritage site in 1994. Believed to have been created between 400 and 650 AD, they range from simple lines to stylized birds, spiders, monkeys and killer whales.

Overall result after two stages:
1. Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret – MINI ALL4 Racing: 3h 00m 20s
2. Giniel De Villiers/Dirk Von Zitzewitz – Toyota HiLux: 3h 02m 58s
3. Ronan Chabot/Gilles Pillot – SMG Buggy: 3h 04m 06s

55. Garland/Suzuki – Isuzu D-MAX: 4h 34m 02s
90. Di Lallo/Riley – Isuzu D-MAX: 5h 55m 30s 
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