|Hellas Rally: Story behind - Friday, the crash-day of the three Rally-Toyotas.|
"Merde!" - the French word for "Shit" (to say it in harmful words) - you could hear shouted loudly in the rear area of the rallycamp in Nafpaktos in conclusion with the noise of pounding metal. There, next to the beautiful built Mercedes Actros 8x8 servicetruck, we could see the Overdrive Toyota of Jerome Pelichet, the "boss" Jerome himself and some mechanics were working intensive on the car, which had some visible damages.
"Today was not so good," reported navigator Eugenie Decré. "We eventually lost the right track. The roadbook said `go down` but it was going up only. So we tried to find the correct way. Then `bam` - we had a tough crash with the Bulgarian Toyota Hilux prototype and we both destroyed our front. We can repair it, it´s not so bad, but we lost a lot of time and crashes are always bad."
Some meters next to them in the camp the Bulgarian Toyota crew was also working on their car, you could hear the flex working and one mechanic was welding something. "Yes, we had a bad crash with the Overdrive Toyota," driver Konstantin Cholakov from Bulgaria reported. "It was nearly a frontal crash, somewhere in the stage. The Overdrive could manage to drive again, our car was so heavily damaged that we had to leave the stage. You can see, everything in the front is destroyed. We will try to repair everything this night, hopefully we can continue on Saturday."
With proud Cholakov was telling us something about the car. "It´s 100 percent selfmade in Bulgaria, everything is totally new. Tubular frame with Toyota-look, but there is a mix of technic inside. The engine is a 450 HP Chevrolet, the transmission is from the UK. And instead of the Overdrive we have no rear axle, we have independent suspension. So we don´t call it Toyota, we call it EVO-FX 578 Project."
"Look," a mechanic of the Bulgarian team said to our reporter whilst picking up something from a small collection of broken car-parts, "we got a souvenir from the crash." It was one front reflector of the Overdrive Toyota. "The crash was so hard, their reflector was sticking in our front. Maybe it´s a souvenir, maybe we will give it back to them," he said with a wide smile...
Also the third Toyota, the Land Cruiser of the Greeks Fotis Koutsoubos and Nafsika Vasileiadou, wasn´t in good shape. "In the beginning we had a great day," Fotis said, "driving very fast in the stage. We followed the Toyota of Pelichet, but there was so many dust, we couldn´t see anything. We slowed down to climb a hill, but we hit something and rolled the car slowly. The damage is ok, only the broken windscreen is a problem because we have no sparepart. But actually a friend of us will organize a new windscreen so that we can start again tomorrow."
2014/05/09 | 20:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS