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Central Europe Rally Special-Newssection (1st round Dakar-Series 2008)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Central Europe Rally 2008, the first round of the new Dakar-Series. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Central Europe Rally: Loprais secures podium placement after the 6th stage.

In the 6th stage Ales Loprais clocked the 2nd fastest time only 6m48s past the sovereign race leader Hans Stacey. In spite of that he beat the silver overall Van Ginkel onboard his Ginaf. Ales still stys third overall. The sixth stage of the Central Europe Rally was almost identical to the previous one in terms of route driven and results achieved. It was ran on the same track, which had enough time to dry with the sun. Although Ales clocked a better time tan yesterday, the overall position did not change because everyone got faster on the dry surface.

Ales started the stage from the 2nd position and did not encounter any overpassing action. The Dutchman Van Ginkel who battled Ales fiercely at Dakar 2007 already clocked third, only a minute past Ales. As a result he manages to defend his second position. Other contenders lost more minutes and so for the final stage the fight for the podium almost limits itself to the trio of Stacey, Van Ginkel and Loprais.

"The stage was fast, hard but troubleless. No navigation problems, no hard times, just usual. In the second half of the stage the front shocks started to leak and diminished in their strength. The handling of the vehicle failed gradually and that is why we lost a bit more time than yesterday. Stacey is proving his class here," Ales Loprais concluded after the stage’s finish.

Upon the return to the bivouac, the mechanics took action and replaced the complete set of front shock absorbers as well as hydraulic dampers. Needles to say, the driving style at the Central Europe Rally is really intensive. At the Dakar, the same shocks last at least half of the race and are usually replace only as a preventive action.

The rally character of the race is therefore also confirmed by multiple preventive replacement of durable components. Already on the day when all team had to quickly replace the drive shaft, the right shaft was later replaced as well. Yesterday all brake pads were replaced too. "At the Dakar, brakes usually hold the entire race but their lifetime is more or less individual upon the driving style of each pilot," Karel Loprais adds. In the morning, Ales Loprais and Milan Holan took the truck for a quick test drive.

2008/04/22 | 23:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Loprais

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