The second stage began early in the morning, when the racers received a new message in their phones: “You’ll have to make it to La Paz now. To do this, you’ll use the whole day to get to Caranavi, where you’ll rest and gear up, because tomorrow you’ll be tackling the Death Road. 37/39 racers remain.”
Soon, all of the teams had set off to Caranavi, trying to make up the time lost in stage 1 or increase their advantage.
Section 1 (to Caranavi)
Team Wonderbolts took the lead early in the morning. They were also able to keep this lead, despite having a breakdown, since it was simple and quick to repair, with no extra materials needed. They were followed in second place by Team Brazilia!!!, a team who had a perfect run this time, despite the driver getting scratched by some branches when they had their window down.
In third place, As Seen On TV followed them. Despite a perfect run, they were unable to catch up to the two in the lead, since the dirt trails weren’t the best place to unleash the full power of their engine. The Area Wanderer was followed by the Marax and Serla. The Serla overtook the Marax by taking a small offroad shortcut, getting out of it in front of the wagon, giving the wagon a bit of a nudge; the Marax also suffered a breakdown later on, losing the Serla.
Behind, the SX-2 and the Rugged fought for position. The Rugged didn’t manage to overtake the Vaper team, made worse when they also suffered a breakdown and were forced to stop. While all of this happened, the Guirere and the Dirt Rider were a bit further behind fighting for their places.
The Dirt Warrior, on the other hand, had managed to keep their place despite the overtaking attempts from the Travette, and in the end, managed to lose the rental supermini, which fell behind. And behind the Travette, the GA700 and the Nomad were approaching dangerously, despite the Gamma truck having hit a tree before from the side, making the driver hit their head against the window and getting a cut in their cheek. Behind them, the R3200 and the Nash GPE, too far appart from each other to have a dogfight, but trying to catch and flee from each other.
The next duel was between the Merkur A10 and the Estate Roamer; Southend and Bust seemed ready to overtake the Merkur when they found a small hill of sand in the middle and around the road; the Merkur could cross it just fine, but the Estate Roamer had to try again after getting beached in their first attempt, giving the car in front time to escape. Behind them, the Liva driver had been biten by a snake that managed to sneak into their car the night before; the driver was too worried about the bite to be able to drive fast enough to catch up.
Behind the Liva, the Grandcab had an accident driving into a tree; the driver got their right arm broken, and in order to get the car up and running again, they had to change the starter motor, which had got damaged. The Keika Kaiken used this to overtake the Japanese truck. The pack formed by the Land Crusher, the Modesty Machine and the Rallye were either having problems to control their cars or issues with their engines, forcing themselves to stop at times. The Arcturus had a breakdown which the Paginza used in order to get in front, but the Arcturus managed to recover the lost ground later on, overtaking the Paginza during the last kilometres before Caranavi.
The Saetta and the Mitrus were having a bit of a dogfight when the Saetta tried to overtake in a corner. Misjudging the corner, they entered in way too fast, and when the driver tried to countersteer, the car snapped the other direction, sending it off the road and rolling into a puddle. Those who came after the muscle car could witness the wrecked lifted coupe, but no one saw the drivers get out or the doors be opened.
The racers arrived at Caranavi at around 7 PM. All of the racers tried to find some hostel or set their tents up. A new message appeared in their phones: “Part one of stage 2, one casualty.” Reassuring.
Caranavi, Bolivia, 07:30 AM. 27th August 2018.
When the teams were finally ready, they resumed the race towards the Death Road. The imposing road had already taken countless lives…no racer was truly confident during this segment.
The need for caution in the Death Road favored certain racers, however. The Estate Roamer, Cross-4x and Rexetta V6 entered the top 10, as well as the Mitrus and Pajura, which reached second place during this last section.
But not everything were stories of success. The Travette and the Dirt Warrior had a really hard time negotiating the dangerous trail, forcing themselves to stop regularly. At some point, the drivers of the Travette got stuck in a ditch when they were rear ended by the Dirt Warrior by accident, which ended with the Rental Wreckers threatening the Dirt Warrior team with their machete; however, in self defense, the Dirt Warriors were forced to swing their machete at the driver of the Travette, giving their arm a not too serious, but nasty cut. The Rental Wreckers decided to desist after that.
And most importantly, the Valhallan team, as their leader had been seriously injured twice, decided to try and take the Nash GPE out of the road and off the cliff; however, the drivers of the GPE used the ditch to beach themselves in time while the Valhallan team flew off the cliff, rolling mountainside down. Even if this saved their lives, a lot of time was lost in doing so. And despite their car having serious stability issues, the M Series team managed to make it through…more than two days later.
But La Paz was finally visible after the mountain pass was over, with the dense jungle being replaced by arid terrain. And a new message appeared in the racers’ phones: “Stage 2, 2 casualties. 35 racers remain. Await instructions for Stage 3.”
And credit for the end of the Shitbox Brothers goes to @Elizipeazie (who came up with the idea)