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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: Note to team, bring more alternators next time.

Today, it was a case of what could have been for Pro-System Racing. Just 40 km into the race, the alternator light came on. Worrying since the car already suffered alternator problems back on the first half of the marathon stage 5. Things didn't improve.

2 km later, the Trophy Truck ground to a halt when the alternator let go. This is desperately bad news because both Eric Vigouroux and Alex Winocq know well from their earlier experience that the alternator is difficult to reach requiring much dismantling. The technical term for this, even in the workshop, is "A pig of a job" Bleeding knuckles and much swearing ensued for the next 30 minutes when the truck was back up and running.

Back to business with the race and Eric was on a mission to prove just how good the package of driver, car and tires are. He fairly flew along the course passing all of the cars that had overtaken the stricken Trophy Truck while it was parked for repair.

If there was a French equivalent to the visceral English phrase "gutted" then it would have been the ideal phrase for Eric's day. Instead, the more prosaic driver explained “It is really damage because the track was cut to measure for Trophy Truck. I regret having let pass a victory which we could gain with the regular one. We finish the special with thirty minutes of delay over best time, and we have `'mécaniqué' 'thirty minutes: I let to you judge… "

You really don't like it when these ones slip away, but that as they say, is racing. Although disappointed not to finish the stage at the front, Eric enjoyed driving the Trophy Truck through the stage. Once the alternator was fixed, he drove like the car was on fire with everything coming together. He told the waiting press at the bivouac, "I comfort myself nevertheless because we took much pleasure in piloting, Trophy Truck flew on the sand and the bumps…”

Well so much for the bad luck. The team also had a piece of outrageous good fortune. They say you make your own luck and in this case it was true. Yesterday, the team's fast assistance car, driven by the two American mechanics, Larry Foddrill and Dustin Wilkinson had been to Tripoli, a 600 km round trip from the bivouac. Their mission, to collect an express parcel sent from Phoenix, Arizona, three days before. No prizes for guessing what was in the parcel. Two new alternators, urgently ordered after their earlier problems.

With navigation skills to rival Alex's, the `'américains' ', negotiated the back streets of the Libyan capital to find the Fedex representative and having collected their parcel, dashed back to the bivouac of Oueni. Without their heroic effort, Pro-System Racing would have ended their Tunisia campaign ignominiously in the Desert today.

So when it comes down to it, theres a kind of balance. Todays bad luck was kind of evened out by yesterdays good luck. It could all have been at lot worse.

Normal service is resumed tomorrow with Eric attacking from the start. Tomorrow's stage crosses the desert used to shoot Star Wars and as usual, Eric will be aiming for a stellar performance.

2009/05/01 | 13:20 CET | Editor: MR/Pro-System/Rita Konya

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