|AD Desert Challenge: Liwa Desert bites back for Toyota FJ Team on SS04.|
Day four got off to a flying start with the Toyota FJ Cruiser of "Team FJ" repaired from the previous day’s incident. Starting in seventeenth place, the team embarked on 315 km of challenging terrain - a stage which combined high dunes and subka flats.
After just 120 km, on the way to the day’s only service point, the team had overtaken eleven of the cars which had set off in front of Team FJ. Following a short stop at the service point to change a damaged tyre, the team set off in pursuit of the remaining field.
Shortly before the third passage control, approximately 50 km after the service, the team was faced with its first challenge of the day when the engine stopped and the cockpit filled with smoke. The team quickly isolated the electrical system and prepared the fire extinguisher. Following a thorough check of the car the team found that one of the battery mounts had broken causing the battery to short circuit. This was soon rectified and the team were back on their way without losing position to the rest of the field.
Continuing on a good pace to the next passage control, the team spent the next 10 km duelling with a competitor, with both cars passing and re-passing through the challenging terrain. With the car up to fifth place overall the team passed through the penultimate passage control with their sights firmly set on a top four stage finish. A broken front differential cruelly snatched this goal away from the team just 60 km from the finish.
The team continued on in two wheel drive on a more direct route to the finish, which although incurred time penalties, meant that the car could be returned to service in order to compete the final leg of the event which will see the competitors return from Liwa to Abu Dhabi.
Leading positions on Leg 4 (Cars)
01) Leonid Novitskiy / Andy Schulz I 18:13:01
02) Laurent Rosso / Francois Borsotto I 21:50:33
03) Yannick Comagnac / Jean- luc Martin I 29:03:17
Leading positions on Leg 4 (Bikes)
01) Marc Coma I 16:56:33
02) Sean Gaugain I 17:06:19
03) James West I 17:14:19
2010/03/31 | 20:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/TEAM FJ