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Asia Cross Country PHOTOS: Impressions Asian Rally Thailand-Cambodia (71). | 19.08.2014


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OiLibya Rally of Tunisia: Schlesser, Novitskiy, Lavieille and more heroes.







More than ever international, the Rally Oilibya of Tunisia 2010 presages nice battles on two and four wheels. New competitors coming from different countries increase the usual group of this important meeting of the season. On bike, stars of the World Championship has declined the invitation: Marc Coma, "Chaleco" Lopez, David Casteu, James West, Helder Rodriguez or Polish trio of Orlen Team (Jacek Czachor, Marek Dabrowski, Jabuk Przysgonski) will be part of the game. On quads, Rafal Sonik, Ridha M’henni, Vincent Albira, Camelia Liparoti and the Tunisian Karim Dilou are ready to fight.

On four wheels, the BMW of the X-Raid Team driven by Leonid Novitskiy will face the two Buggies of the Schlesser Team (one driven by Jean-Louis Schlesser), the Dessoude Proto of Christian Lavieille, the Trophy Truck of Eric Vigouroux, cars of the MD Rally Sport Team or the most talented of the Wildcat Trophy drivers.

In T2, Laurent Rosso, leader of the World Cup, will try to confirm his excellent results he get on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Then, in trucks category, the Portuguese Elisabete Jacinto on her MAN will have to take a look at her opponents, as Hubert Molina, Michel Salvatore or the young Luisa Trucco.

On two wheels, duels are going to be explosive. In fact, if the latest winner of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Marc Coma, is the leader figure, his opponents will be straight on his back to keep him from winning a second time in Tunisia. The 2007 winner, second in 2009, first of the Shamrock-Rally of Morocco 2009, will have to contain a group of talented riders ready to play the troublemakers. Starting with the British James West, on a 690 KTM, specialist of sandy tracks who made a wonderful race in Abu Dhabi finishing second.

The Polish trio of Orlen Team will be menacing as well. Jacek Czachor, and Marek Dabrowski, experimented riders, know well the land whereas the young wolf, Jabuk Przysgonski, 4th of the last "South-America-Dakar" could carry some weight. But the main threat will come from the 450cc with the brilliant "Chaleco" Lopez on Aprilia, 3th of the Rally Oilibya of Tunisia 2009 and the "South-America-Dakar" 2010 (with 3 stages winning).

A serious "client", is David Casteu on Sherco, latest 3th of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Helder Rodriguez, Michael Pisano or Oscar Polli will have to be watched on this exciting race. The best Tunisian riders, Anis Nabli, Samir Hizem or Philippe Pages will be part of the race too.

In quad category, among registered competitors, the Polish Rafal Sonik, Tunisian Ridha M’henni and Karim Dilou (World Champion in 2008), the French Vincent Albira or the Italian Camelia Liparoti (Feminine World Champion) will fight for final victory.

As the scarecrow, the X-Raid BMW of the Russian Leonid Novitskiy: A car terrifically reliable, a driver avid for revenge and a recent success in the first leg of the World Cup. Face to it, "old veteran" or young wolfs, the competition will be real. Jean-Louis Schlesser, winner of the Africa Race 2010, will be a tough man at the wheel of his buggy. The "desert fox" still has one or two tricks up his sleeve and his perfect knowledge of the land are real assets to foil Russian plans.

But Christain Lavieille on the Dessoude Proto will not missed his chance. On the three last rallies of Tunisia, the man from Le Var has been progressing a lot. Successively, fourth, third and then second, the late enduro bike World Champion has his chances to win.

Same opportunity for Eric Vigouroux on the Trophy Truck, who was second in 2008. The most californian of the French might know how to ambush whereas François Léthier, on the second Schlesser buggy, could jump on the podium without difficulty.

Moreover, they are a lot hoping to figure at the Rally Oilibya of Tunisia 2010: Pascal Thomasse (Buggy MD), Etienne Smulevici (Buggy SMG), Ronan Chabot (Buggy SMG), Maurizio Traglio (Nissan Pathfinder), Patrick Sireyjol (Wildcat) or Jérôme Pelichet (Wildcat), winner at the Pharaons 2009 and second at the Africa Race 2010 didn’t have yet its final say. With about ten engaged vehicles on the Wildcat Trophy, true race in the race is promising also nice punch-ups - between gentlemen.

Not less than five Tunisian crews will be engaged at the Rally Oilibya of Tunisia. Among them, Ludovic Leloup associated with Sofiane Driss, Salim Kamoun will drive a Pro-Truck or Hend Chaouch, only feminine driver on a car. Playing at home, Tunisians could be serious opponents in the bunch.

In the Production category, Laurent Rosso, recent winner in Abu Dhabi (second at the scratch) is more than ever decided to mark points. Evolving in the Dessoude Team on his Nissan Pathfinder, the French, living in Dubaï, is a specialist for driving on sandy tracks. Among his opponents, his father, is in the same team but on a Nissan Patrol.

But the 2009 winner of the category will be here as well: The Russian Artem Arentsov, on his Toyota, Georaid Team, is well determined to keep his title, as the Italian Michele De Nora who was second at the top-ranking. The surprise could come from the Russian Andrey Ivanov, also in the Georaid Team. Really experimented pilot Andrey is not a man scared by the others and his "explosive" character could disrupt the race. Nice sport in prospect.

Well known to travel on African tracks for many years, Elisabete Jacinto will participate a fourth time to the Rally of Tunisia on truck. Winner of the category on this race in 2008, Elisabete hope to be on the top of the list a second time. At the wheel of her MAN, the Portuguese seems to hold all the cards to avoid the traps of this race, supported by Charly Gotlib at the navigation, winner of the Dakar Rally 2007 with Hans Stacey.

Face to her, Hubert Molina, also used to these big races, has not come to have a token role. Elisabete knows him well because some time ago they were driving together on a Renault. The competition seems to be ferocious and to play the referee, Michel Salvatore and Luisa Trucco are ready. Looking at the podium, the Italian is already well experienced and even if it will be her first participation in Tunisia, her motivation is truly here.

Parallel to the Rally Oilibya of Tunisia 2010, NPO is organising, collaborating with Patrick Lardeau for the technical assistance, a car raid is bound to large landscapes lovers. Sharing with competitors the shiver of a major race on the most beautiful tracks in Tunisia, raid’s participants will drive as his own pace.

Following the trail of the race, after competitor’s passing, raiders will benefit each day of the ambiance in the bivouac and will be in close contact with the best drivers on 2 and 4 wheels. A professional supervision and an optimal security for 6 legs 100% pleasure and 100% freedom! Despite of a difficult economic background, they are about ten crews involving in the adventure this year.

2010/04/30 | 16:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ARPIZOU











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