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OiLibya Rally 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the OiLibya Rally 2009, second round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

OiLibya Rally: Car special cancelled after Leonid Novitskiy’s crash.

The tenth and penultimate stage promised fine tracks and the possibility of big changes. Unfortunately an accident this morning for the car of Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin forced the special to be cancelled for the cars. For the bikes the race was stopped at CP1, at km 134 and the result taken there, with victory going to Marc Coma one minute ahead of Cyril Despres.

On the eve of the last stage the Frenchman holds to overall lead but by a reduced margin. In the 450 category Luca Manca finished 2 minutes ahead of the overall leader Olivier Pain. In the quad class Camelia Liparoti posted the fastest time, her first win on this rally. Overall Lionel Laine is comfortably in the lead.

On leaving the Oasis Ksar Ghilane the competitors headed for Tozeur over a special announced as decisive for the final result. Starting at 9h00 this morning, the bikes, as normal, set off first. And keen to make up lost time, the Spaniard Marc Coma attacked right from the off. Arriving at CP1 with a 1 minute lead on Cyril Despres, it was finally this difference that would become the result of the day.

Behind them, as the cars started their race, at km 11, the BMW X3 of Leonid Novitskiy went off the piste and into a roll. Injured, the two Russians were evacuated by helicopter to Djerba. All the vehicles that started behind them stopped to help and let off their distress beacons. Thanks to the rapid intervention of the medical helicopter and hat of Jean-Paul Forthomme, Jean-Louis Schlesser’s co-driver, the condition of the two injured men was able to be stabilised before being they were flown to Djerba. After the accident none of the other competitors had the heart to restart and the special was cancelled with all the competitors reaching Tozeur by the road.

Overall in the bike class Marc Coma is now only 3’57 behind Cyril Despres, while Jordi Viladoms take the 3rd place off the Chilean rider ‘Chaleco’ Lopez. Plenty to play for then, tomorrow on the piste.

The 2008 winner, current leader in the 450 class and 9th overall, Olivier Pain, looks back over a week of ups and downs, "I only made an average start, with quite a lot of difficulty to get into the race, followed by electrical problems, a crash and time lost with a navigation error before the second refuelling on the marathon stage. The following day the stage was neutralised, which was good news for me as I had twisted the front of the bike.

At 1 hour 30 minutes behind my only solution was to attack in the hope that the others would also run into problems. Over these last three days I have pulled back quite a lot of time and yesterday Luca (Manca) and Bruno (Da Costa) both hard difficulties and I was able to retake the lead by 30 minutes. Before the start of this rally my first objective was to win my class and for the moment I am on track. The second was to finish in the Top 5 overall. but now I am in the Top 10 at 9th place. Tomorrow I will have to take it easy to makes sure nothing untoward happens, because even on a short stage like tomorrows plenty of things can happen."

The last stage in the form of two loops around Nefta, will be crucial in deciding the winners of this 27th edition of the Rally de Tunisie. The special will be fast and spectacular, with a tricky ‘chott’, off-piste in the camel grass, sandy pistes and technical terrain. Between the two loops there will be a 30 minute neutralisation for assistance and to allow spectators to get close to the competitors.

2009/05/02 | 00:19 CET | Editor: MR/NPO/Rita Konya

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