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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: ORC one-two-three at the prologue.

After the successful entry in the country, the first Libya Rally Raid began on Monday with a short prologue near the North-Libyan town of Suara. After the four kilometre long warmup German Mercedes Team ORC occupied all three steps of the virtual podium. Winner of the day were Dietmar Hermle and Rolf Blaess with a brand new Mercedes G500. Berhard Dhont and Johan De Bruijn arrived second, while Hans-Peter Kessler and Michael Schreier came in third in their rebuilt Mercedes ML.

Best truck (or let us say better, as only two of them started the rally) was today Team Schumann/Gröger in Mercedes Unimog, in front of Team Schumann / Schumann, also in a Mercedes Unimog.

The prolog functioned on the one hand as a little break between the long transfer sections, on the other hand some preview for the upcoming days. But it all began with a change in the roadbook: that showed some fisherman’s huts which were burnt down between the reconaissance and the start, making the navigation even more difficult.

"We have somehow one kilometre more on the tachograph than it should be" smiles Malte Asmus, who started together with his father Detlef Asmus in a Toyota Landcruiser. "The navigation was very tricky, because of the lack of the huts we hardly had any reference points. The crew arrived finally on sixth place, and with Dietmar Hermle they had the first duel of the rally just before the finish line."

Simon and Matt Garnham from England decided for a calm pace for the first day. "We wait for the dunes in the south." The team created sensation last year at the Transsyberia Rally from Moscow (Russia) and Mongolia where they argered the 23 vehicle strong Porsche Team with not only winning a stage but even taking the lead then. The crew came in fifth today.

For the brothers from Switzerland, Thomas and Andreas Eisenmann the 1. Libya Rally Raid is a special premier. For the first time in their rally carrier they booked a service crew for their vehicle. "At the Erg Oriental we always lied under the car and hardly got some sleep. Now it is very nice to just drive in to the camp and watch the mechanics as they repair the car" smiles Thomas Eisenmann, "It was quite a big investment, but we enjoy it!"

Roland Kilzer was hit by bad luck on the very first day. His Dakar-Proto (a 4x4 buggy on Land Rover Discovery basis) ran into problems already during the transfer in Tunisia. "Every time I step on gas, the car does not accelerate" told Kilzer angrily. At the prologue he did not start. In the evening he tried to solve the problem but "We cannot find the reason." says Kilzer. In the evening he decided to continue the rally in the tourism category.

Andreas Wulf and Anja Bork also take part in the tourism category. They took part in the prologue with their Nissan Navara T2 and finished on the 9th place, despite co-driver Anja Bork caught cold just before the journey. "Anja does not feel very good" says Andreas Wulf, "we also decided to go in the tourism category. But if Anja gets better, we would like to start again in the race category."

After the prologue the crews had to cover a 280 km transfer section to the camp between Nalut and Ghadames "in the middle of nowhere". Every evening, as an innovation in the German amateur rally scene organiser Wolfgang Pasetti holds a mini-prizegiving for the stage winners among cars and trucks.

After the prologue and the transfer sections the challenge will grow: on Tuesday morning the drivers complete first a 174 km transfer section, then the real rally starts with a 397 km long special stage. The route will go on winding tracks with having also the first sandy passages towards the end. The finish is in Idri where the rally caravan spends one night before moving to Camp Africa.

Artikel vom 17.03.2008, Artikel: Redaktion/hs

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