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Optic 2000 Tunisia 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Optic 2000 Tunisia Rally 2007, 1st round of the FIM Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Optic Tunisia: Schlesser and Coma still in the lead at Tunisia Rally

At the bikes, unlike his performance yesterday, the leader Marc Coma (KTM Repsol) could only watch David Casteu (KTM Gauloises) regain his form after the first few dunes. The two factory riders then seemed to play tag until the finish line. Surprise of the day was, the abandon of Janis Vinters (KTM) and the arrival of Michel Marchini (Yamaha 450) to the third place in the overall placings.

The Optic 2000 Tunisian Rally is now finished for Janis Vinters from Latvia. Starting third this morning made a terrible mistake on a sand drift at 82 km. With his front wheel literally folded in eight, he couldn’t continue and has had to abandon.

Michel Pisano dares. He isn’t Corsican for nothing. What we can say about Michel Pisano (Yamaha 450), is that he doesn’t scare easily. As a Beginner on African rallies he was the only one to try and follow the tracks of the leaders. "It was great, but the heart was racing in the big dunes and I won’t hide the fact that I was happy to rediscover the tracks of Coma and Casteu near the finish."

On four wheels, Jean-Louis Schlesser with the charging blue Buggy lengthened his lead by eight minutes over the Dessoude Nissan Navara Proto of Christian Lavieille who now trails by a little more than eighteen minutes in the general. Fifth place, behind the excellent Nissan Pickup 06 of the Spaniard Monterde and the SMG Buggy of Isabelle Patissier, Pascal Thomasse (Buggy Nissan) took advantage of Eric Vigouroux’s problematic day to creep into third place overall.

On the Optic 2000 Tunisia Rally, the Buggies generally do quite well. 2007 is not a year a contradiction with Schlesser, Thomasse, Patissier and Gache, four Buggies in the top five overall. Going solo, as in the Dakar, the French Philippe Gache and his Buggy had a difficult day of navigation, especially in the second loop of the day. "I couldn’t get my bearings and nearly lost the assistance. Then, in the second loop I had a problem with a heading given by my GPS. To avoid making a mistake, I kept resetting zero, in other words, I drove one handed."

Third placed overall this morning, Eric Vigouroux (Chevrolet Trophy Truck) lost sight of the podium today in the neverending dunes of El Borma. Suffering from a trailing flu, he was already trailing at the assistance due to a transmission, the Frenchman was forced to stop again in the last part, losing almost two hours.

Nothing goes for the Brazilian Paulo Nobre. Leader on the first day, with tyre and sand problems yesterday, leaving with a flu this morning, he buried the front end of his BMW X3 in the sand, stuck for quite some time. After getting stucked in the sand yesterday, Laurent Rosso (Dubai, Nissan Pathfinder) got to grips today at El Borma. Winning, in front of the Mercedes ML of Jean-Pierre Besson (France). Overall though, its still Paul Belmondo (France, Nissan Pathfinder) that leads the way, with less than two minutes in front of Jean-Pierre Strugo.

2007/04/04 | 18:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/NPO Press

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