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





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com 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: Dhont/De Bruijn win Libya Rally Raid





Who could think about this - at the end the 1st Libya Rally Raid became once more really thrilling. For a long time it looked like the Belgian Bernard Dhont and his co-driver Johan De Bruijn will have a clear victory with their ORC Mercedes. But then came "the Saturday" when they got lost in the dunes during a heavy sandstorm. With a broken GPS they lost even the chance to navigate and that’s why they were searched by the organisation the whole Sunday - for what a complete stage (through the Akakus Mountains) had to be cancelled.

After the penalties the Belgians had only a minimal advantage on the crew Eisenmann/Eisenmann (Switzerland, Toyota Landcruiser) - the father-son duo Asmus/Asmus (Germany, Toyota Landcruiser) was with three hours gap too far away. The head of ORC, Hans Baur, wanted the victory for his team - especially after the German ORC-driver Hans-Dieter Kessler grabbed the stage-victory in the wonderful track-dunes on Monday. So Baur gave a "green light" to the Belgians: "Do all you can, whatever will happen!" And Dhont/De Bruijn really left no stone unturned, made their Mercedes G fly one more time and increased their advantage on the Swiss German Eisenmann brothers to 25 minutes. In addition, the Swiss crew made a navigational error, which cost them valuable time.

The last stage was a bit more than 400 kms long from Camp Aania to the town of Ghadames, where on Tuesday evening the prizegiving took place. 150 kms went on very stony tracks, followed by a modern, freshly prepared track, then 110 kms as transfer section on tarmac roads. On the top there was an ORC internal duel between Dhont/De Bruijn (Mercedes G320) and Kessler/Schreyer (Mercedes ML T2) and at the end the team could celebrate a double victory (Dhont in front of Kessler) with only a 6 minutes gap. On the third place followed father and son Asmus with their Toyota Landcruiser in front of Eisenmann/Eisenmann.

Not to underestimate the last day, it was what the crew Andreas Wulf/Anja Bork (Germany, Nissan Navara, fifth in overall) experienced in a quite painful way. Halfway their Nissan broke down with a totally damaged engine, which cannot be repaired in Libya. The red Nissan therefore arrived in the camp on the back of the rescue-truck. For the German team a big strike: "We counted with everything, but not with this. Especially not on the last stage, just some kilometers before the finish and especially not such a big damage. It’s a pity" said Andreas Wulf.

On the other hand, Team ORC was very happy with their success: "A beautiful result, even if the German Hermle-Team (Mercedes G500) had to retire. Bernard Dhont and his co-driver drove really well and also their vehicle had no problems during the rally. I am also happy for the crew Kessler/Schreier who drove a production ML. The car has a very professional optic and sound but the truth is that apart from the roll cage and some minor T2-modifications it´s a normal production car. No special suspension, nothing. The car didn’t help Hans-Dieter Kessler too much, but in spite of his problems he took the start again and again and finally made it to the finish, a very good job", said Hans Baur Tuesday evening.

The Eisenmann brothers were suprised by the sudden almost-victory: "Who could think that how fast things can stir up after Saturday’s stage. Of course, we hoped for the victory but Dhont had "permission" for full attack and against him we had no chance with our Toyota. But we enjoyed the rally extremely. It was great that the race was fair, the participants competed against each other but still worked together, esspecially on the challenging dune stage to Camp Aania" Thomas Eisenmann said.

In the evening the rally ended with a great prizegiving - and for that catering-chief Pit Frey again served a fantastic gourmet dinner. As a thank you, the head of the "Daktec-Team", Matthias Krueger, prepared a special gift: From a half-burned rim of Frey’s burned out Jeep Cherokee he made a "cup" which he handed to Frey together with rally-medical Klaus Spörl.

On Wednesday the rally caravan starts its journey back to Tunisia, where on the way to the ferry there will be two more camps. The short balance of the 1st Libya Rally Raid: No injuries, challenging and spectacular stages, wonderful landscapes and good teamwork in organisation - and last but not least a very satisfied touristic attendance. And one thing is sure: It will be back. "We planned the rally for three years and we will realise this plan anyway" says Hartmut Schumann, one of the investors of the rally. "For a first try everything went well, especially the sporting part." An extensive summary of the rally, quotes and opinions you will find in the upcoming days in the news section of marathonrally.com.

2008/03/27 | 12:26 CET | Editor: MR/HS/LRR-Liveteam






















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