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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 Tunisia: Behind the scenes of the Desert Rally - from Robb Pritchard.





He is the reigning world champion but Russia's Leonid Novitsky overcame old ghosts to win the 30th edition of the OiLibya Rally of Tunisia. Two years ago this was the scene of the worst accident of his career when he barrel-rolled his car for nearly 200 meters, badly hurting his arm and hand, which still weakened knocked him out of this year's Dakar. There was no weakness in his driving this year though and from 2nd place in last month's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge he went one place better in his X-Raid BMW X3CC to win, 14 minutes clear of an equally satisfied Jean-Louis Schlesser in his Sonagol Buggy.

And that's where some reports leave it... But this is marathonrally.com and it's our passion to make the extra effort to bring you closer to the action...

The human body has an amazing ability to adapt to its environment, but the desert is and will always be one of the harshest environments there is. Everything about it is extreme; the heat, it's vastness and it's unrelenting changes of texture and surfaces. Here only heroes come to race, men trained over years to the limit of speed and endurance in machines built to withstand the roughest conditions and the OiLibya Rally is one of the toughest, designed to push both man and machine to the limit, and at 1550 kilometers.

The roadbook tells you to drive 2.1km and then turn right. 350 meters then left. 120 and right... but there is nothing to see, just undulating sand ahead and only the bright LED of the TerraTrip tells you where you are... and the more you overshoot the turn or spin the wheels it gets a little less accurate until over a dune you catch a glimpse of a checkpoint where it can be reset and you can catch a breath.

Just one though and then you are pushed back into the seat as the car accelerates hard and then it is past the few dots of photographers standing on rises with their telephoto lenses and back into the wastes of the desert again. But every single kilometre of the 285km stage has to be driven at the maximum, as fast as the vehicle and terrain will allow...

Every corner is blind, every crest of a dune hides the dip behind it and every single one requires a slpit-second reaction on how best to manage the landing; steering, braking or accelerating while at the very same moment as judging how best to approach the next rise. And all this is done in a cabin that is normally over 50 degrees, sometimes approaches 60, in three layers of overalls, the sun glaring in and the heat from the engine and transmission soaking through the floor.

All the time maintaining complete concentration as one stone catching the tyre means a puncture, a bad landing could mean the end of the rally and a misjudged crest could mean a massive accident. This is what rally-raid is, and this is just a normal stage on a normal day, so when Novitsky says that the stage was hard, what he really means is that normal people like you and me would be unconscious from fear or exhaustion before the first CP!

But despite there being six marathon stages all over 200km, some nearly 300km, the fight for the lead was incredibly close, with Novitsky and Schlesser exchanging the lead by margins of minutes and at times, even just seconds. Two masters, one a veteran legend, the other a newly ascended champion sparing together in the sand, parrying timesheet blows.

Going into the penultimate stage Schlesser was a little over a minute behind with nearly 500km to go, the slenderest of margins, but it was not driver heroics or mastery of the terrain that set the outcome, it came down to a technical issue with Schlesser's buggy. Alternator failure slowed him sufficiently to let the Russian off into an unassailable lead.

The French 2-time Dakar champion is a consummate gentleman though and his words at the end were full of praise, for the event and for his adversary... if not quite so for the current regulations. "It was a beautiful fight! A finish at the second position between Leonid's and Nani's BMWs is a good thing especially since the regulations are not in our favour comparing to big diesel engines. I just wish things change in the future. But I am extremely satisfied with this result which consolidates our position at the top of the World cup on the two wheel-drive category"

Behind the battle of the titans, quietly taking two stage wins was Novitsky's X-Raid team mate Nani Roma who was driving for the first time in a year, but a heavy landing into the trap of a sand formation known as a bowl on the 3rd stage lost him 40 minutes and any chance of victory. Still, 1st and 3rd is an excellent result and with 4 out of 5 stage wins going to the team, X-Raid's Sven Quandt was understandably jubilant. "Leonid has finally managed his first victory of 2011 and this is great," he said.

The next round of the World Cup for Cross Country Bajas will be in Spain from the 22nd to 24th of July. Round 1 winner Boris Gadasin in his G-Force Proto will be back on familiar territory and with his chances in this new mixed discipline championship looking ever more remote he will be spoiling for a fight.

2011/06/01 | 12:55 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/ROBB PRITCHARD/CHYTKA












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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