|Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: X-raid´s Holowczyc problems, Roma second.|
The first special stage of the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" proved to be a difficult one for the Monster Energy X-raid Team. While the Spanish/French pairing Nani Roma / Michel Périn took its Mini All4 Racing to second position, Stephan Schott (D) and Filipe Palmeiro (PT) had to settle for finishing 16th.
The cross-country rallying newcomers from Paraguay, Viktor and Vernon Rempel, finished their first day in the desert as 26th. Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL) and Andreas Schulz (D) were hampered by a technical problem and therefore had to settle for finishing 30th.
The weather turned the start of stage one into a true patience test. A heavy sandstorm prevented the helicopter from taking off and for safety reasons, the competitors are not allowed to start the stage without the helicopter in the air.
So, the event organisers responded at first by shortening the stage and postponing the start. Then, the stage was cancelled completely for the motorbikes and everybody expected the same decision to be made regarding the cars. At 13:00 hrs local time, the helicopter took off and the cars were sent out.
For Roma, the special stage got even more difficult, from kilometer 12. Bernard Ten-Brinke (Mitsubishi Ford HRX) who had been the first to start into the stage got stuck in the sand. From this moment, Roma had to act as pathfinder.
"Doing so wasn’t easy,” he explained later. “The wind was extreme and finding the correct path in the dunes proved to be difficult more often than not."
Meanwhile, Schott was happy with his day although he got stuck three times. “We made good time,” said the German, “But the heavy wind raised a lot of dust and so, accessing how fast you could drive was not too easy.” Father and son Rempel arrived at the bivouac with a grin on their face.
For them, it had been their first opportunity to drive across dunes at racing speed. “Unfortunately we lost a lot of time as we got stuck twice,” revealed Viktor Rempel. “Otherwise we could have secured a far better position. And in addition, we stopped to help Krzysztof.”
At the beginning of the stage, Holowczyc held the lead but then, a drive-shaft damage cost him a lot of time. “From this point in time, we had a three-wheel drive car,” Holowczyc explained later. “I lost so much time today that thinking about winning the rally isn’t exactly what you would call realistic. Nonetheless, we will keep on pushing, in the following stages.”
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 | 20:45 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/QUANDT