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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


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Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Alvarez sets early pace after stormy disrupt.





Argentinean Lucio Alvarez set the early pace in the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" Sunday after a powerful sandstorm bringing strong winds and dramatically reducing visibility meant that only the cars were able to tackle a shortened first leg, while the 51 bike and quad riders were forced to sit out the action.

Driving a Toyota Hilux Overdrive in partnership with Bernardo Graue, Alvarez held a lead of 03:19 minutes at the end of SS 1 which had been reduced from 299 km to 183 km. He was followed by Spanish driver Nani Roma in a Mini All4 Racing, with Dutchman Erik Van Loon a further 3:38 mins further away in third position in his Mitsubishi HRX Ford.

With Brazillian Guilherme Spinelli setting the fourth fastest time on the stage, UAE drivers Mohammed Al Mansouri in a Nissan Pathfinder and Mansour Al Helei in a Nissan Patrol completed the top six.

It was not a good day, however, for defending champion and six-times winner Jean-Louis Schlesser who had problems with his buggy’s air compressor and finished the stage in 11th position.

While his son Mansour was well satisfied with his day’s work, the UAE’s Yahya Alhelei, was not so happy after finishing the stage in 15th place, although still well in the hunt for another Desert Challenge T2 production class title.

“I have a new co-driver and this is a new partnership, and I started driving very nervously,” said Al Helei “Visibility was bad. You couldn’t see the ground clearly and a lot of cars were getting stuck. We also got stuck once but we drove hard over the last part.”

For much of the day, the weather had threatened to force a complete cancellation of the first leg, as the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia, which is the setting for the spectacular cross country rally, felt the full force of the storms lashing the Emirates.

Conditions made it impossible all morning for the Abu Dhabi Aviation Search and Rescue helicopters to take off and provide permanent cover as part of a sophisticated safety operation for the protection of competitors, officials and the small army of volunteers who help to run the event.

And with gusting winds and sand clouds dramatically reducing visibility, making conditions particularly dangerous for the riders, the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, the rally organisers, were forced to cancel the stage for the bikes class. Just over an hour later, the 49 cars started the shortened Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management Stage.

“The safety of competitors, spectators, and organisers is always our top priority in the Desert Challenge, and the weather conditions forced our hand,” said ATCUAE President Dr. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, founder of the event.

“There is always a possibility of competitors finding difficulty in an event like this, especially in bad weather, but the search and rescue operation allows us to provide a rapid response to urgent situations and keep casualties to a minimum." With forecasts for an overnight improvement in the weather, the 250 km ADNOC Special Stage 2 is scheduled to start at 8am on Monday.

The Desert Challenge is the second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for cars, and the opening round of this year’s FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship for Bikes and Quads.

Overall results after SS01 Abu Dhabi Cars Top 10

01) Alvarez / Graue (ARG/ARG) | Toyota Hilux Overdrive | T1 | 01:52:03
02) Roma / Perin (ES/F) | Mini All4 Racing | T1 | 01:55:22
03) Van Loon / Rosegaar (NL/NL) | Mitsubishi Ford HRX | T1 | 01:59:00
04) Spinelli / Haddad (BRA/BRA) | Mitsubishi ASX V8 | T1 | 02:07:24
05) Al Mansoori / Al Mansoori (UAE/UAE) | Nissan Pathfinder | T1 | 02:08:50
06) Al Helei / Ali Mirza (UAE/UAE) | Nissan Patrol | T2 | 02:20:27
07) Ten Brinke / Baumel (NL/F) | Mitsubishi Ford HRX | T1 | 02:20:55
08) Kaczmarski / Boba (PL/PL) | Toyota Hilux | T1 | 02:25:22
09) Fahim (UAE) Polaris 900 | T3 | 02:26:51
10) Zapletal / Marton (CZ/PL) | Hummer H3 | T1 | 02:27:41

Overall results after SS01 Abu Dhabi Cars ALL (PDF)

To download all results as PDF, please click [ HERE ].

Overall results after SS01 Abu Dhabi Bikes ALL (PDF)

To download all results as PDF, please click [ NOT STARTED ].

2013/04/07 | 17:59 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/LEWIS











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 | NEW




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 | NEW




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 | NEW




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Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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