|Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: X-raid´s Vasilyev extends his lead, Nani Roma out|
Russian driver and X-raid Mini All4 Racing customer Vladimir Vasilyev extended his lead in the third stage of the "Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge" on Tuesday.
Partnered by Konstantin Zhilstovi, Vasilyev won the 256 km Qasr Al Sarab Special SS03 to stretch his advantage from 44 seconds overnight to 9:48 minutes from the Polish crew of Marek Dabrowski and Jacek Czachor in a Overdrive Toyota Hilux. 38 surviving cars followed a dramatic trail through mighty dunes in the UAE’s Western Region of Al Garbia.
"At the beginning and the end the stage was very difficult, especially in cars as the dunes were so steep and there were some very big drops in the last three kilometers," reported the driver from Russia, who made his X-raid debut in 2013.
Toyota-pilot and former FIM-bike expert Marek Dabrowski reported: "I got dug in twice today. I don’t know why, but I lost concentration. It is a very tough race for our team and it is not easy to push all the time. After getting stuck I decided to push less."
Lying overall third with more than 16 minutes further adrift was Poland’s Adam Malysz in another Overdrive Toyota Hilux, who was second in today´s stage behind Vasilyev and in front of his fellow countryman Marek Dabrowski in a nearly similar car, German Stephan Schott (together with legendary Dakar-winner Andreas Schulz) and UAE´s Al Yahya Helei in his Nissan Pickup.
In the overall rankings, former Ski-star Malysz is followed by Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal in his Hummer H3 Proto, Yahya Al Helei and Stephan Schott.
Al Helei, looking to add to his impressive list of finishes in an event he has contested each year since its launch in 1991, said: "I lost five or six minutes with a puncture which happened on landing after a big drop. The wheel was difficult to change in the soft sand, but it was a good day. I’m enjoying the car and the rally."
Defending champion and Dakar winner Nani Roma had to retire today with his X-raid Mini All4 Racing. Roma was unable to recover from his illness yesterday (Monday) and was forced to leave the stage after only 25 kilometers.
"I'm very sorry to leave because I always want to win, but these conditions are not worth pursuing," reported Roma in the camp. "I've had a bad night but tried to start again. But after some kilometers it didn´t become better and under these conditions I saw no sense to continue. I keep asking again and again why I am always get ill here. Last year I could resist but now the medication does not effect me."
Wednesday is the penultimate stage and riders face 380 kilometers, 240 of which are under the clock. SS04 also features a mass start, another challenge for the competitors in contention for the podium.
Top 10 stage results CARS SS 03 Tuesday
01) Vasilyev/Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS) I X-raid Mini I 03:25:58 I 00:00:00
02) Malysz/Marton (PL/PL) I Overdrive Toyota I 03:31:10 I 00:05:12
03) Dabrowski/Czachor (PL/PL) I Overdrive Toyota I 03:35:02 I 00:09:04
04) Schott/Schulz (D/D) I X-raid Mini I 03:37:12 I 00:11:14
05) Al Helei/Alkendi (UAE/UAE) I Nisan T1 I 03:40:06 I 00:14:08
06) Zapletal/Marton (CZ/PL) I Hummer H3 Proto I 03:43:01 I 00:17:03
07) Van Loon/Rosegaar (NL/NL) I X-raid Mini I 03:45:21 I 00:19:23
08) Rakhimbayev/Nikolaev (KZ/KZ) I X-raid Mini I 03:46:31 I 00:20:33
09) Issabayev/Demyanenko (KZ/RUS) I Overdrive Toyota I 03:52:53 I 00:26:55
10) Grigorov/Meshcheryakov (RUS/RUS) I Nissan I 03:54:20 I 00:28:22
Top 10 overall results CARS SS 03 Tuesday
01) Vasilyev/Zhilstov (RUS/RUS) I X-raid Mini I 10:58:10 I 00:00:00
02) Dabrowski/Czachor (PL/PL) I Toyota Overdrive I 11:07:58 I 00:09:48
03) Malysz/Marton (PL/PL) I Toyota Overdrive I 11:24:44 I 00:26:34
04) Zapletal/Marton (CZ/PL) I Hummer H3 Proto I 11:43:04 I 00:44:54
05) Al Helei/Alkendi (AR/AR) I Nissan Pickup Proto I 11:49:26 I 00:51:16
06) Schott/Schulz (D/D) I X-raid Mini I 12:07:11 I 01:09:01
07) Van Loon/Rosegaar (NL/NL) I X-raid Mini I 12:49:35 I 01:51:25
08) Grigorov/Meshcheryakov (RUS/RUS) I Nissan I 12:53:20 I 01:55:10
09) Issabayev/Demyanenko (KZ/RUS) I Toyota Overdrive I 13:04:21 I 02:06:11
10) Shagirov/Moroz (KZ/KZ) I Toyota Overdrive I 13:40:46 I 02:42:36
2014/04/08 | 20:07 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ADDC