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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: The day of the Retirements in the Top 10

The longest timed section of the rally had plenty of surprises in store today, with in particular a deluge of penalties in the bike category and the withdrawal of Giniel De Villiers (VW, roll his car), who at the time was 2nd in the general standings in the car category, Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah (X-Raid BMW, technical problems) and Robby Gordon (lost a wheel).

In the two-wheelers' race, despite a fright during the morning when his engine temporarily stalled after going through a large puddle, David Casteu picked up another stage victory, 1'16" ahead of his friend Francisco Lopez (KTM). As a result, the Frenchman now boasts a lead of 4'39" over the Chilean in the general standings. Two major talking points of the day were firstly, the 1 hour and 10 minute penalty for Slovakian Katrinak, who at the time was 2nd in the general standings, due to a missed waypoint yesterday, and secondly Alain Duclos taking 3rd place from Cyril Despres (KTM).

However, there was no change in the quad race, where Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris) forced himself to control the stage, with success. Consequently, he left the stage victory to Hungarian Norbert Nemeth (Bombardier), who finished 55'' ahead of Christophe Declerck, who in turn grabbed 2nd place in the general standings. However, he still trails leader Deltrieu by a massive 43'26".

In fact, it was in the car category that this 5th stage witnessed the biggest reshuffling of the pack. Forced to attack to catch up with leader Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi), South African Giniel de Villiers saw his hopes come crashing down when he rolled his car five times, fortunately with out serious consequences for its occupants. It was all the more frustrating for the VW driver because "Peter" lost 3 minutes due to a puncture in the first special of the day, which was won by American Robby Gordon (Hummer) before he encountered problems in the second special. Peterhansel's misfortune enabled Sainz to take the lead in the general standings, but only
by 3 seconds and only for a few hours, because in the second special Peterhansel gained 25'' on the Spaniard to retake the lead by 22 seconds!

Finally, in the truck category, Hans Stacey (MAN) continues to put his new truck through the paces in actual race conditions and seems to have found the perfect settings seeing as he won the day's stage. As a result, the Dutchman has built up a fairly sizeable cushion at the top of the general standings and now boasts a lead of 23'53" over the Czech Republic's Ales Loprais (Tatra).

2008/04/24 | 17:21 CET | Editor: MR/MR/ASO

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