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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









Headline: Peterhansel gets a last gasp victory in Portugal






Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret took advantage of the short final stage of the PAX Rally 2008 to get a last gasp victory in Portimao. After a total 800 kilometres driving against the clock, and half of today`s stage neutralised by a forest fire, Stéphane Peterhansel snatched the victory from the ex World Rally Champion, Carlos Sainz, by 16 seconds.

Luc Alphand was third in the end, bringa successful end to the racing career of the Mitsubishi Montero Evolution with a double success; it will be substituted in the Dakar 2009 by the new Mitsubishi Racing Lancer. In the motorbike category, Marc Coma made sure of a position on the podium after finishing today's stage in third position, behind Rubén Faria the winner of the Rally, and Zé Hélio, second on the stage.

After five days of competition and more than ten hours of fighting against the clock in the centre and south of Portugal, Stéphane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz started the last special stage separated by only 31 seconds. A forest fire in the middle of the route shortened today's stage even more, and at the same time the chances of fighting for the victory. But in the end a Carlos Sainz error allowed the Repsol driver to get a lead of 47 seconds over the Spaniard and so win the Rally in a heart-stopping finale.

Luc Alphand was third behind Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel of Villers, guaranteeing himself the third step of the podium in this the second round of the Dakar Series. Behind him finished "Nani" Roma, who after turning his car over during yesterday's stage was not able to climb above sixth overall position. The next round for the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team 2008 will be with Stéphane Peterhansel in the Baja Portalegre Portugal, October 30th - November 2nd. The sixth round of the FIA Cross-Country Baja International Cup is where the new 'Racing Lancer' with diesel engine will be premiered, this is the car selected to lead Mitsubishi`s assault on the Dakar 2009.

In motorbikes, Marc Coma finished in third position on the stage, which confirmed that he would be on the third step of the podium. On a terrain that was especially demanding for the riders, due to the slow twisty mountain tracks, Coma lost two minutes to Rubén Faria, finishing the rally 7 minutes 52 minutes behind the Portuguese rider. Gerard Farrés, eighth today, was able to climb another position in the overall classification and to finish the rally ninth, satisfied with the experience gained in a race of this level.

Quotes - Cars

Stéphane Peterhansel: "I know it's a cliché, but an event is never over until the finish line has been crossed, and today's result has shown yet again that nobody should never forget that, "Although Carlos made an error, we were in a position to profit from it because we refused to give up trying.

We pushed hard all the way and tried to keep the pressure on him as much as possible... It's obviously nice to have won, but I am actually happier with the fact that this victory is an ideal way to mark the end of the career of the Pajero/Montero Evolution. It's been a super car to drive over the years and I owe it so much. This is the best possible way to say thank you for all that!"


Luc Alphand: "This is a great result for the whole team, and Stéphane did a fantastic job. The pace was incredibly fast all week and I am pleased with my performance.

We didn't make any mistakes, our Pajero/Montero Evolution ran like clockwork and our reward is a podium finish and three top-three times from six, including victory on Wednesday's stage. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone in the team. They have done a remarkable job."


"Nani" Roma: "We pushed as hard as we could all week and I am quite pleased with our performance, although I would obviously have preferred to finish higher up the order.

We end the event strongly but this is above all a great result for the team and a tremendous morale booster as we put the finishing touches to our preparations for January's Dakar…"


Quotes - Bikes

Marc Coma: “This was a very short and slow special, about sixty kilometres long, and we spent a lot of time in the mountains. At this point it was really too late to change things in the general classification, since the differences were quite big, and if nothing strange happened it was practically impossible to overtake anybody.

I went out with the objective of doing the stage without taking any risks, and I am pleased with the third position, although it is clear that we expected a little more. Anyway, we knew that it would be a difficult race against the Portuguese and my view of the race is that I think it is very positive. We still miss the desert though.”


Gerard Farrés: “Today's stage was very short, the typical transition stage and one which was always well signposted and without too many complications. As on the previous days, I tried to make the most of the chance to train and I concentrated on reading the roadbook well.

I upped the pace a little more though, but without taking too many risks, since I wanted to move up a position in the overall classification. In the end I did so and I am pleased with that, and because I did not fall in the whole rally. Things have gone well and it has helped me to do some good training for the Dakar 2009.”


Results

CLASSIFICATION STAGE

>> Bikes

1. Rubén FARIA (HONDA) 1:00:50
2. Zé HÉLIO (YAMAHA) + 1:32
3. Marc COMA (REPSOL KTM) + 2:05
4. Cyril DESPRES (KTM) + 2:37
5. Hélder RODRIGUES (HONDA) + 2:39
8. Gerard FARRÉS (REPSOL KTM) + 4:42

>> Cars

1. AL ATTIYAH - THORNER (BMW) 32:26
2. DE VILLIERS - VON ZITZEWITZ (VOLKSWAGEN) + 0:17
3. ALPHAND - PICARD (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 0:37
4. ROMA - CRUZ SENRA (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 1:00
5. CHICHERIT - BAUMEL (BMW) + 1:15
6. PETERHANSEL - COTTRET (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 1:18

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

>> Bikes

1. Rubén FARIA (HONDA) 12:16:39
2. Cyril DESPRES (KTM) + 6:05
3. Marc COMA (REPSOL KTM) + 7:52
4. Hélder RODRIGUES (HONDA) + 12:15
5. Paulo GONÇALVES (HONDA) + 26:27
9. Gerard FARRÉS (REPSOL KTM) + 59:42

>> Cars

1. PETERHANSEL - COTTRET (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) 10:54:14
2. SAINZ - PERIN (VOLKSWAGEN) + 0:16
3. ALPHAND - PICARD (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 1:21
4. DE VILLIERS - VON ZITZEWITZ (VOLKSWAGEN) + 2:42
5. AL ATTIYAH - THORNER (BMW) + 5:41
6. ROMA - CRUZ SENRA (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 12:00

2008/09/15 | 01:47 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya






















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