|Hellas Rally: Nice varying landscape on Thursday and bigger gaps in the tops.|
After the long stage on Wednesday, the participants could sleep longer on Thursday: The third stage about 234,55 kilometers including three liaisons with together 93,15 kms and two timed sections with 141,4 kms started at 10:00 local (09:00 CET) time in the morning. The landscape was varying between wide and narrow tracks through forests, some water-crossings, a little mud and fast-speed gravel over the mountains in the north-west of the city of Nafpaktos.
Whilst the bikes, quads, SSV and the first cars had an easy start, the later cars needed a lot of patience. First the Mitsubishi-Proto of the Israelian Nitzan Shekel got stuck in a ditch, shortly behind him also the Range Rover of the Italian duo Moro / Comi - only one kilometer behind the start. The stage was totally blocked, so the organization decided to make a re-start for the last cars. But this also meant, that they should have a long day: The latest car started at 16:00 local time in the second stage and arrived late in the evening.
For many competitors especially the second part should bring maaany bad extra-minutes for the timing. The navigation was a special challenge. Some find their way but many got totally lost, some even went out of the stage and got massive penalties. Especially the green Desert Warrior of the Israelians Aviv / Izhar had a bad day: Becoming second in the first part of the day behind the French Overdrive-Toyota, they got the maximum-time in the second part plus a penalty of 03:15:00 hours...
It was again the day of Jerome Pelichet and Eugenie Decré in their grey Overdrive Toyota. In the first part they were fighting again only some seconds with the Israelians Heyman/Segal (Segal-Proto), but then the Israelians also lost time and the French Duo became the daily winner with 52:48 pointed minutes in front of the Bulgarian Toyota Hilux of Konstantin Cholakov and Nikolay Granchev (01:04:52) and the Mitsubishi Pajero of Stavros Dimitriadis and Panagiotis Kalfas (01:07:34).
Heyman/Segal finished fifth with 01:17:36 before Peter Jerie / Giannis Athanasiou in their Australian made Isuzu D-Max Turbodiesel (01:32:58) and the Greek Toyota Land Cruiser of Fotis Koutsoubos and Nafsika Vasileiadou (01:34:13).
In the overall rankíng Pelichet / Decré could strengthen their lead (02:12:08 pointed hours) to the Israelians Heyman / Segal (02:50:47), Dimitriadis / Kalfas from Greece(02:51:13), the Bulgarians Cholakov / Granchev (03:26:30) and the Greek Koutsoubos / Vasileiadou (03:55:03).
In the side-by-sides (SSV), Heinz Kinigadner was back after his hard crash with a Bulgarian Polaris in the first stage on Tuesday. The whole Wednesday the "Kini"-crew worked hard to combine a second retired SSV of the team with the crashed buggy and "Kini" could start again.
Winner of the day was the Czech Dusan Randysek with his "special" Artic Cat Buggy 04:22:44 hours "real" time, 10:29 minutes in front of the Bulgarian Polaris driver Cvetelin Canev and +10:56 mins to Heinz Kinigadner. Bytheway, two of the three paraplegic drivers from Austria, Hannes Kinigadner and Reinhard Karner are still in the race. Both were good in the first part of the day, but got the maximum time of 04:39:22 hours in the second part plus penalties (Kinigadner 12 minutes, Karner 03:29:00 hours)...
Dakar-veteran Josef Machacek from the Czech Republic had again a bad day: After problems with the gearbox of his new MRP 4x2 "Hornet" buggy on Tuesday and Wednesday he again couln´t finish the stage because of technical problems. He is allowed to restart on Friday but got a daily time of 15:48:39 hours (03:14:17 maximum time for the first stage and 12:34:22 penalty for the missed second stage).
Overall, Cvetelin Canev is leading with 14:23:06 hours, only 3:56 minutes before Dusan Randysek. Third is the Czech Pavel Vyoral in the second Artic Cat (+01:23:56) in front of Hannes Kinigadner (+03:12:29) and Josef Machacek (+18:13:12).
2014/05/09 | 17:01 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS