|Estoril-Marrakech: Novitskiy fastest - but Campos kept first place in Africa.|
First day in Africa for Rally TT Vodafone Estoril-Portimão-Marrakech for the caravan of cars this morning that disembarked in the port of Nador in northern Morocco, and shortly after the front had a special 255.7 miles, arriving this afternoon to Er Rachidia.
Filipe Campos (BMW X3CC) managed to keep leading the race organized by Automóvel Club de Portugal in what is his competitive debut in Africa. The Portuguese champion ended the fourth day of competition loosing 16:09 to Leonid Novitskiy, the fastest of the day, also in a BMW X3CC. Despite losing much of the advantage it held in relation to the Russian (26:33 at the end of the third stage), Campos leads the third round of the World Cup TT, starting tomorrow in front again, as has been happening since last Sunday, opening day.
"It was a tough day, difficult navigation, and I knew I would lose time for other drivers," began by explaining. "Still, I thought it would be much worse than just 16m to the Leonid (Novitskiy), so I am still leading the race which is very positive. This is my first time ever in a racing car in Morocco and in the sand I have only done 100 miles of testing. Also, Jaime (Baptista) is learning in navigation. The floor was hard today, but I had to drive very fast" he explained.
With the victory in today's stage, Novitskiy now ascended to second position, 10:24 behind the leader, putting himself in a good position to attack the leader, especially tomorrow's leg Er Rachidia/Er Rachidia, with the first dunes - almost an unknown ground to the Portuguese driver. For the experienced navigator of the Russian, German Andreas Schulz, "today was a day of pure navigation and I can say that this road was the most difficult I found in all Morocco in this regard. The stage went very well and we knew the race would be decided in Africa, so we were not very concerned about the the time we lost in the Portuguese stages."
Still on a podium place, Hélder Oliveira (Nissan Pathfinder) was sixth today, behind Ricardo Leal dos Santos (BMW X5), while Eric Vigouroux (Chevrolet) and Eric Van Loon (Mitsubishi) finished the fourth stage in the third and fourth positions. In general, the French is fifth, while the Dutchman fell to 10th.
"In the fast zones I felt I was losing time because the car does not reach more than 165 km/h. I already knew that I would have some difficulties to hold the 2nd position, against Novitskiy's BMW, but in compensation I lost very little time for Filipe Campos and won almost 10 minutes to Miguel Barbosa", Hélder Oliveira summarized.
Estoril-Marrakech Overall Cars Top 5 after SS04
01) Filipe Campos/Jaime Baptista I X-Raid BMW X3CC I 09:27:35
02) Leonid Novitskiy/Andreas Schulz I BMW X3CC I + 10:24
03) Hélder Oliveira/José Marques I Nissan Pathfinder I + 22:06
04) Ricardo Leal dos Santo/Paulo Fiuza I BMW X5 I + 39:52
05) Eric Vigouroux/Alex Winocq I Chevrolet Silverado I + 52:31
2010/06/10 | 12:55 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRESS