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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: What they said after Stage 1.

Marc Coma, KTM: "It was a really superb special stage, with lots of sand and plenty of woops; very nice indeed. In general, on the first day, I don’t tend to go on the attack, but this is a short race and each mile is going to count, so why not? Since I set off second, it was impossible to control all the chasing pack, so I really concentrated on riding at my own pace and apparently it worked".

Cyril Despres, KTM: "I was opening proceedings today and even if I’m used to it, it’s always a bit of a disadvantage because the pursuers can follow my tracks and are less surprised by the terrain. But it was a really great special, very nice to ride. For us bikers, when there’s some sand and a few stones, it’s a real pleasure. Of course, we need to make some small adjustments, especially to the engine. It was a special with a fair few accelerations, but since I didn’t know the terrain, we adapted the bike to have slightly less power, so I lost a bit of time when I needed to build speed back up again. Finally, all in all, it was a very good introduction to the race".

Jordi Viladoms, KTM: "It was a very good special today, very nice to ride and I really enjoyed myself, even if it was a bit short for my taste. That said, the race only lasts for a week and all the stages will be different from each other. We’ve only completed a small part of the rally, so the result doesn’t mean that much for the overall victory, but that’s not going to stop me being very pleased with this first special stage. Now bring on Romania!

Carlos Sainz, VW Race Touareg: "I was really very surprised by the terrain today. I didn’t think for a moment that we would be shaken around like that. There were loads of bumps on the track, real woops like in super-cross. What’s more, the road was very narrow so we had to be extremely careful. To be honest, I didn’t really like it, and my back hated it. All in all, it ended up being satisfying because we finished first, but the road is still long. I’m satisfied with how the car handled today, even if, as you will know, we drivers always expect more from our trusty steeds".

Robby Gordon, Hummer H3 Proto: "It was a good first day because we finished just 41 seconds behind the winner. What’s more, to be frank, if I hadn’t overrun a couple of bends and had to reverse each time, I think I could have finished first. At the end of the day, it’s not a problem, especially since I started a fair way down the field and I had to overtake Bruno Saby. Of course, after more than a year away from the wheel of a rally-raid car, Andy (Grider) and I had to get used to it again and we made a few small road-book mistakes, but nothing too serious. In any case, I’m satisfied that my car handled the woops perfectly. I didn’t think they were all that big, in any case. All in all, it was good fun and it’s sure that the race is going to be tight!"

Giniel de Villiers, VW Race Touareg: "I’m happy that that’s finished! This first special was really tricky because if you drove only 5 kmph too fast over the woops, you were in real danger of rolling the car or hitting a tree on the side of the track. That meant it was quite stressful, but in the end I’m satisfied with my 3rd place, even if I could have attacked a little more and perhaps finished second. In any case, one thing is sure: I’ll have to give it all I’ve got and go as fast as possible because everyone behind is striving as hard as they can".

Hans Stacey, MAN TGS: "The track for the special was really very narrow in between the trees, especially for our MAN which is a bit taller than the other trucks. We came here to test our new truck in real race conditions and after this first time trial I can tell you there are adjustments that need changing. Specifically, we need to alter the rear suspension because it is much too rigid. However, we attacked from start to finish and I’d really like to congratulate Ales Loprais who drove a brilliant special stage to finish so close to us. The rest of the race promises to be an exciting battle! In any case, I’m really very pleased to be here and to see the rest of the rally-raid family again".

2008/04/20 | 17:13 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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