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Libya Rally Raid Special-Newssection / Non-FIA Semi/Amateur

This is the single-news section of the special of the Libya Rally Raid 2008, one of the most interesting Non-FIA Semi/Amateurrallies. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Libya Rally Raid: 5th stage cancelled for quest action

Because of the heavy sand storm on Saturday the forth stage of the Libya Rally Raid was so shuffled, that the stage planned for Sunday had to be postponed to Monday - if the weather, which since yesterday evening changed in a positive way, remains so. Yesterday blasts of 150 km/h stirred up a huge amount of sand and sometimes covered the sun until almost total darkness. At the peak of the storm the visibility was only 2 meters.

After the crew of CP2 had their car stuck in the sand, and first it seemed like the CP2 couldn’t be set up. In the afternoon the crew could get their vehicle out of the trouble and finally the CP2 could be set up.

But not all participants reached the finish line. Late in the evening arrived the first two crews, the Toyota Landcruisers of teams Eisenmann/Eisenmann (Switzerland) and Asmus/Asmus (Germany) in the camp - totally covered with sand and exhausted. ’It was unbelievable, a great challenge’ said Malte Asmus. We drove in most of the time with team Eisenmann together, but the visibility was so bad that we only could see the next dune. In the dunes sometimes we missed the route, as it became darker, our task became harder and harder.’ In spite of the new damages on their car father and son Asmus are enthusiastic: "This rally is not for weaklings - who wants to get real challenge, must participate here."

The two Mercedes teams, Dhont/De Bruijn (Belgium, ORC Mercedes G320) and Kessler/Schreier (Germany, ORC Mercedes ML T2) had even more difficulties. The Belgians did a great job - but the the GPS broke and they had no more chance for navigation. So they stopped and reported the problem via satelite phone. "Please stay in your position, we get you out of there as soon as it gets light" the organisation told them last night - on Sunday morning they started a search for the Belgians. "We have a corridor where they must be. Even in the worst case it’s only a question of time to find them. They have water and the car is able to run."

The Mercedes ML crews of Hans-Peter Kessler also spent the night out in the dunes. They lacked only a little bit of luck: only 20 km before the finish (out of 300 km of special through the dunes) they got stuck. "In the night it was impossible to come out of there safely’ reported Kessler on Sunday morning. "After it got light, we tried again and this time we could free the car. But 2 km before the finish we ran out of fuel and we had to wait for the organisers that provided us with some fuel. Now I am only happy above all for the food." In spite of the experience and a slightly damaged oil tank Kessler doesn’t think about giving up: "Of coourse, we start again tomorrow."

Because of the sand storm the camp had to be moved. On the original place the storm was so heavy that the catering team of Pit Frey couldn’t set up. "Today the menu is steak with french fries and salad - we would be happy to serve them without sand" said Frey. So the decision was made to move to a camping ith walls around - it was also sandy, but at least less.

2008/03/23 | 19:30 CET | Editor: MR/HS/LRR-Liveteam

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