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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: Eric Vigouroux missed 2nd place with 40 seconds.

Yesterdays cancellation of the stage after the accident involving the Russian X-Raid driver Leonid Novitskiy left just todays stage to conclude what has been a roller coaster ride of a rally. First off, everyone was relieved to hear the accident involving Novitskiy was not as severe as first reported. A high speed roll ended their rally but they will be back and everyone wishes them a speedy recovery.

Todays stage was two laps of Tozeur, some 134 km. The terrain, although relatively smooth, contained some tough camel grass to catch out the unwary. The rough stuff helped the trophy truck a little since some of the cars have a higher top speed so having to slow for the camel grass gave Eric a chance to catch the fast cars.

Third place in the stage, narrowly missing second place by just 40 seconds, Eric and Alex were pleased with their performance today. Occupying even the third step of the podium is a momentous occasion for the hard charging team.

Eric said a few word about the rally now it has reached the end: "In the final assessment, we are very positive on several points. In spite of our engineering problems, initially, we are at the conclusion and we finish in seventh place, in spite of our whole small budget. In winning a stage outright we gave a very important symbol confirming that we deserve our place among the `best teams' even if the ground did not favor us. We cannot forget that our car is a two wheel drive, category where we were constantly equal with the others. Lastly, we are proud not to have had any punctures though out the race, due to our excellent tires."

No one would dispute that Eric, one of the FIA priority ranked drivers, deserves to be counted among the best rally raid drivers in the world. his low budget, private team have regularly showed they can mix it with the manufacturing giants of the rally raid world.

"During this rally, we learned many things at the technical level. It was a huge test session and it has given us interesting lines of development. We hope to make this lesson profitable for the future, in particular for our new car project. With a few more resources at our disposal, we could carry out more tests; which is clearly what we missed before this rally of Tunisia."

"To finish, I would like to thank to all of our partners in general for their loyalty, and in particular Ronn Bailey for his financial and friendly support, and Toyo Tires which provides us the best product existing on the market", concluded Eric.

So, the end of another incredibly exciting rally, the team, 7th place overall, return to France and the USA to tell their war stories and plot the next race. I shall be in my office in Germany wondering what to do about the time the days stage should end with no blog to write and feeling like I am missing the rally nearly as much as Eric.

A modest celebration tonight having made the top ten in spite of some difficulties that could have led to an early bath. For those of you who don't speak French (like me), Toujours means "always". I titled this last entry to the blog, Toujours Tozeur, because Eric and Alex were always going to get to Tozeur. There were some close escapes but there was never any doubt that they would reach the end.

2009/05/04 I 21:37 CET I Editor: MR/Pro-System/Kónya Rita

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