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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Oilibya du Maroc: Overdrive Toyotas finished 6th, 8th and 12th in Morocco.







Three of the four Toyota Hilux entered by Overdrive Racing in the punishing 2012 "OiLibya Morocco Rally" finished the six-day event in 6th, 8th and 12th positions after over 1,500 competitive kilometers through some of North Africa’s most demanding terrain.

Russian Leonid Ogorodnikov, Australian Geoff Olholm and Poland’s Szymon Ruta filled those respective positions in the final standings on an event where Frenchman Eric Vigouroux clinched victory from Russian driver Leonid Novitskiy and Dutchman Peter van Merksteijn suffered technical problems in the fourth Toyota and incurred heavy time penalties.

Partnered by their respective co-drivers, Russian Anton Nikolaev, Aussie Jon Aston, and Frenchman Laurent Lichtleuchter, the three Toyota drivers suffered their fair share of problems during the event, which is seen by many as the final warm-up or shakedown test before the 2013 Southamerica Dakar Rally.

"It was a mixed event for us, but all in all it was a positive result," admitted Overdrive team principal Jean-Marc Fortin. "The crews did great jobs and the technical team worked well. It was unfortunate that Peter and Eddy (Chevallier) had to retire due to technical problems, but their pace was good up until then. We know what we need to do for the Dakar and the complete team us ready for that final push."

Sixth-placed Ogorodnikov was pleased with his performance: "It was a really good rally for us," said the Russian. "A big thanks to my mechanics who gave me a great car each day. I cannot be at the Dakar, but I am looking forward to the 2013 season."

The Toyota quartet held 7th, 15th, 22nd and 27th overall after the opening 271 km special stage around Erfoud last Monday. Ogorodnikov led the way in his Hilux with a time of 03:12:20 hours. Brazilan Guilerme Spinelli was the early leader in his Mitsubishi, but navigational problems and punctures had cost the Toyota quartet dearly and Van Merksteijn was also handed a one-hour penalty.

Leg two featured a 315 km loop stage around Erfoud through the notorious Erg Chebbi and Ogorodnikov set the eighth fastest time to move up to a similar position in the overall rankings, despite a trio of punctures and delays in the sand.

Olholm reached the end in 10th position, Ruta was delayed and finished 31st, but Van Merksteijn failed to finish the special after technical problems. Olholm and Ruta held 12th and 21st overall heading to the third 291 km special stage between Erfoud and Zagora on Wednesday.

Van Merksteijn had been running sixth quickest through PC1 before hitting problems after PC2. The Dutchman incurred 11 hours of time penalties and slipped to 56th of the remaining 68 runners. Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc set the fastest time to take the outright lead from Eric Vigouroux by the margin of 1:46 minutes.

"It was a disappointing time for us," said Van Merksteijn. "The car has a lot of potential and, when we had clear runs, we had very competitive passage control times." Van Merketeijn’s next step is a dune test in southern Africa with co-driver Chevallier to continue the team’s preparations for the Dakar.

The Dutchman was promoted to running 10th on the third stage, with Ogorodnikov, Olholm and Ruta placed in 8th, 11th and 33rd positions, as the route wound its way to Zagora.

Vigouroux was quickest on the third stage with a time of 02:39:13 hours and the Overdrive Racing quartet of Toyotas reached the stage finish in 7th, 16th, 23rd and 41st overall. Ruta had the best performance of the day and climbed from his start position of 33rd to set the seventh quickest time. The Toyota quartet held 9th, 10th, 16th and 45th in the overall rankings.

A gruelling stage through the Chegaga looped around the Zagora bivouac and was used for stage four; Holowczyc set the quickest time and closed on Vigouroux in the general classification. Ogorodnikov recorded the sixth quickest time and Ruta and Olholm were 10th and 11th.

Van Merksteijn failed to finish the stage after holding sixth position at PC1 and incurred more time penalties. The three leading Toyotas held 8th, 10th and 14th in the overall rankings and Vigouroux held a 5:33 mins overall advantage.

The penultimate stage ran from Oued Draa to the Iriki Lake and back to Zagora and Ogorodnikov recorded his best performance of the rally with the third quickest time on a special where second-placed Holowczyc hit trouble and Olholm, Ruta and Van Merksteijn set the 10th, 12th and 44th fastest times. Vigouroux found himself ahead of Russian Leonid Novitskiy by over 42 minutes in the general classification.

The final 171 km special stage crossed the Jebel Rhart and the quartet of Toyotas began the special from seventh, eighth, 12th and 54th in the overall standings. Ogorodnikov led the way home in fifth position, with Ruta claiming ninth and Olholm slotting into 12th.

"My first cross-country rally was definitely a learning experience," said Ruta. "Laurent and I worked well and our pace on the gravel sections was good. But we still need to work on the dunes. The team was great and they kept the car running perfectly. Thanks to Orlen and Polesat, my sponsors, for their support."

2012/10/25 | 21:48 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PERKINS











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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