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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: Victory for Sainz and Casteu in Hungary

The awaited reserves of Mitsubishi were spent. Stephane Peterhansel was not able any more to overtake Carlos Sainz leading in his race Touareg. Instead of this Sainz was able to extend his lead by more than two minutes and as a result Sainz and Volkswagen won the central Europe rally ahead of Mitsubishi. In the bike race where David Casteu controlled the final stage to win this first Central Europe Rally as expected.

The two Germans Depping and Gottschalk were able to secure third place so Volkswagen even had two cars within the first three positions. Volkswagen effectively ended the Dakar win series of Mitsubishi. Even if the Central Europe rally is not the real Dakar. Luc Alphand in the second Mitsubishi was able to arrive on the fourth place in front of Carlos Sousa and Andreas Schulz in their rented race Touareg.

Bruno Saby and Alain Guehennec achieved the best place for BMW on the sixth position. With this the hopes of Sven Quandt for a place in the top five in the total standings are gone. But the Qatari Al Attiyah proved for a long time how good the BMW was able to cope with the big works teams. Chicherit and the second remaining BMW was out of luck after technical problems in the second stage. In the end he was only able to achieve on position 17, which is at least within the top 20.

If you take into account that most of the teams are running the rally on a gigantic budget then one of the real winners of this rally is Robby Gordon with his Hummer, in spite of a lost tire on Thursday, he managed to arrive in the total standings in the place 10. His colleague BJ Baldwin with his Hummer even managed to arrive on place seven in the total standings. "With a minimum budget we have shown everyone what is possible", says Gordon at the finish line.

But also the Hummer team after a closer look could be considered as a works team and that is why a lot of honour goes to the Frenchman Philippe Gache and the Czech Miroslav Zapletal. Gache with his self contructed SMG buggy arrived one hour seven minutes after Sainz as the best private team on place 8, Zapletal on place 9. "We are incredibly happy about this result" says Zapletal at the finish line. "We always thought that we would not be able to arrive. Sometimes we had problems with the current clutch sometimes with the transmission, but our mechanics were able to repair everything in the evenings and now we are among the top 10, this is just great."

The quality of the used Mitsubishi L200 which are constructed and Mitsubishi Ralliart in France was proved also by the Dutch Tonnie van Deijne who arrived on the 11th place. Disappointing were the Nissans constructed in South Africa. The Hungarian Sandor Kis only was able to secure a 13th position. His colleague Laszlo Palik arrived in a similar car only on place 22.

The fifth to start this morning, Frenchman David Casteu (KTM) controlled his only rival, Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM), throughout the 150 km of the last special to finally win, as expected, the first Central Europe Rally, the inaugural event of the Dakar Series. For the native of Nice, this first success as an official KTM rider was a handsome one too: he finished 2’58” ahead of his good friend, Chilean Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez (KTM), who was taking part in his first race for the Austrian team and in the 690 category.

Third place in the final general standings, 19’39” behind the winner, went to Alain Duclos (KTM). In the last stage, the Franco-Malian amateur rider grabbed the final step on the podium from Frenchman Cyril Despres, who suffered a fuel problem. As a result, the winner of the 2007 Dakar finished 5th in the general standings, one place behind the winner of the 450 category, Spaniard Jose Manuel Pellicer (Yamaha).

For the first ever general standings for quads in the history of rally-raids, Frenchman Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris) grabbed glory, 28’52” ahead of his countryman and eternal rival Christophe Declerck (Yamaha), who nonetheless won the last special. Third place went to Slovakian Martin Antal (Polaris).

Finally, in the truck race, the major favourite, Dutchman Hans Stacey (MAN), did not disappoint. In addition to triumphing in the final stage, the winner of the 2007 Dakar claimed outright victory with a lead of 33’43” over his countryman Wulfert Van Ginkel (Ginaf) and 53’18” over Czech Alès Loprais (Tatra).

2008/04/26 | 14:05 CET | Editor: MR/MR

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