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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Croatia Trophy: The 4x4 battle at the top heats up on Monday in Croatia.







Rallyreport by Robb Pritchard: The start was delayed for a while and it was great to sit among the drivers listening to them thank each other for help on the last stage or for lending spare parts in the camp. Bog Brotherhood. The smiles and banter only lasted until the start marshall shouted, "Two minutes," and then, for the front runners at least, it was all seriousness again.

A massive roar from behind signalled that Jim Marsden had started and thanks to having to throw myself out of his way found a quick way to the bottom of the gully. There was a bit of shuffling and then just foot to the floor and let the transmission and tyres do the rest.

It was nice to see Peter Whitman out in the forest at last and after a great run in the dark last night started in 6th place. The fun only lasted a kilometre though when he rolled the big buggy over a tree stump. I got there as they started their D&G H3 Buggy in a cloud of oil smoke. "Ah! You missed it," Adrian Turner laughed.

The first cars managed to power straight up the 1 in 1 slope between the trees but for others it was a hard scramble for the co-drivers to drag the winch rope up to the top and on for the next 34km...

Back at camp I caught up with some of the front runners who'd already made it back. Walter Schuhmacher's Jeep was absolutely plastered in clumps of mud. "We were loosing traction even with the portal axles," co-driver Bertram Pansy said. "But we are heartbroken because we lost the front grill today... so we are going home now!" he smiled. Walter added, "We also cut the winch wires with a tree and broke a power steering line so it wasn't such an easy day."

Unofficial stage winner Boros Csaba wasn't very talkative and chewed nervously on his toothpick hoping that I wouldn't keep trying to ask him questions. I did find out that his Jeep is not really a Jeep at all but a 1.9 VW Golf powered, 1500kg buggy sitting on a refangled TG Jeep chassis. "One day Boros had a beautiful dream and locked himself in his garage for two days. When he came out again he was driving this," his friend translated.

Parked next to him was fellow Hungarian Szylard Magyar in his little G-Wagon look a-like. "We had the same time as Jim Marsden, so we had a good day," he said with a smile. "but it was very muddy today. We winched through one place with so much mud that it puled some of the body work off. And at another place there was so many people all stuck winching with their ropes going everywhere that we decided to go around the side... and slipped into someone... but we drove on their car and used it as traction!"

With the right side of his T-shirt covered in mud 'Big Pete' Whitman came passed. "After rolling in the first kilometre we took it easy today," he said. "But my backside is too fat to bang around in the seat all day so my hip is killing me!" "Can I write that?" I asked. "It's nothing I can deny!" he laughed.

With slightly more rueful smiles were Karl Frost and David Needham. "We started 50th today and zipped passed loads at the start," Needham said. "In England we're good at queuing politely but at one gully we saw a line of cars and just decided to blat passed them all... but then rolled it... which is a bit of a buggy, really. Now the isolator switch is bust and is playing some kind of proper havoc with the ECU... It doesn't look so good unfortunately."

In one of the most outlandish vehicles is Russian Alexey Golubev and his Estonian co-driver Imre Poom. "The car is all hand made, even the axles and portals," Imre explained. "And we are having a great time. The Croatian countryside is amazing but the car is made for the Russian bogs and we are not used to driving up and down so many big hills. But the track is kind of level, there are no big holes or rocks so it kind of flows and you can go quite fast. I really love it!"

At the Gigglepin tent I was just in time for liver pate and ketchup sandwiches but again Jim Marsden had had a tough day. "We were first on the road and that is a real disadvantage with a rather vague roadbook but we had a great time playing with a Croatian team in a Jeep, parallel winching with them and rubbing tyres. They are really great guys. But then at the end we found a great big tree blocking the way and we spend so long trying to clear it that Boros Csaba had caught up with us. Again! I wasn't too impressed, but I suppose that's racing..."

So, the battle at the top is heating up... although no one knows quite how hot it is. With another 4 days to go we are at the half way mark now and tomorrow is the circuit race. It sounds a lot easier than it is as the 4x4s are not built for speed... and the drivers will be going all out to pass on the short over-taking sections. It will be 10 laps of constant action!

2012/05/02 | 18:21 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 | NEW




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 | NEW




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 | NEW




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 | NEW




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 | NEW




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 | NEW




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 | NEW




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 | NEW




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 | NEW




















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