|Baja Spain: The fourth consecutive Buggy-class win for Jean-Louis Schlesser.|
Jean-Louis Schlesser, recordman for victories on this Spanish race (undefeated between 1998 and 2002) and current world leader on the two-wheel drive category (second overall) entered again this event. After two days of a crazy race, the driver-manufacturer, placed the buggy on the top of the podium of the two-wheel drive category. Another victory with a new co-driver, the nice Fina Roman, who is also Mrs. Josep-Maria Servia.
In four races, the Team Sonangol’s driver won four times in front of a fierce competition. In Spain, in the presence of top competitors, the blue buggy had to face the hazards of the race. During the first stage, driving on a steady pace, Jean-Louis Schlesser had a sudden stop in his progression:
"Everything went well until we crossed a kind of wadi. The tripmaster refused to work anymore. Without any mileage marker, we visited the countryside around us! Just enough time to get back on the right track but precious minutes were lost..."
As a revenge, Jean-Louis signed a magnificent time on the second stage of this first day, while keeping an eye on his rival in the standings of the World Cup, Leonid Novitskiy. The next day, on the fourth and last stage, a "rebellious" wheel troubled the blue rocket.
"I felt that something was wrong. I preferred stopping and found we had an air leak on the hub. I changed the wheel and then we left, but losing a some time. This final stage took place under quite harsh conditions. This is the first time I saw so many fesh-fesh there, flying on the windscreen and getting in the cockpit."
Despite these incidents, the Sonangol Buggy wins the two-wheel drive category and is ranked in the Top Ten overall. "Driving in Spain is always pleasant and friendly in a warm atmosphere. During my career I won many races here and I feel very close to this country. In addition, I am very pleased to visit my friends."
"It was the first time I was racing with Fina and I am very happy with the work she did during this event. It was perfect! The Sonangol Buggy did not meet any mechanical problem, what happened to us is just to classify in the race facts. The kind of incident that can happen at any time to anybody. I am very pleased with this victory for the team and our partners."
2011/07/25 | 03:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/SCHLESSER