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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: Three in a row for Schlesser at Optic Tunisia Rally

The sixth special of this Optic 2000 Tunisia Rally turned north today towards Nekrif, over 300 km of diverse Africain terrain and picturesque wonders. After the finish at the relaxing surrounds of the bivouac, the leaders have confirmed their domination. For the cars, Jean-Louis Schlesser confirms his intentions with a third consecutive win (fourth in six specials), and stretches his lead over Christian Lavieille (Nissan Navara Proto) to more than half an hour.

The "Blue Charger from Nice" each day creeps closer to a fifth win on this rally. Second today, the Brazilian Nobre (X-Raid BMW X3CC) found his form and beat the Chevrolet Trophy Truck of Eric Vigouroux (France), having solutioned his transmission problems. The battle for third place raged between the Buggies of Pascal Thomasse (France, Nissan), Isabelle Patissier (France, SMG Buggy), Philippe Gache (SMG-Monoplace Bggy) and Domonique Housiaux (France, Mitsubishi Pajero), Jose Luis Monterde (Spain Nissan Navara), all five inside twenty five minutes of the podium.

Third yesterday, Jose Luis Monterde started this morning running. The Spaniard (now driving a South African built Nissan Navara after a X-Raid BMW X5CC the last seasons) even dared to pass the Nissan Navara Proto of Lavieille, flying along in second place, before hitting a rock at high speed whilst crossing a oued and puncturing his front left tyre.

After his navigation problems yesterday at El Borma, Philippe Gache had another sad day on this Optic 2000 Tunisian Rally. Having towed his fellow Lukasz Komornicki from Poland, who had electrical problems, he lost time on a puncture. "On your own, a puncture takes nearly twice the time, about twenty minutes in total." And to finish the day, he ran out of petrol on the liason back to the bivouac at Nekrif.

At the bikes, Marc Coma (Spain, KTM Repsol) is still riding high, leading David Casteu (France, KTM Gauloises) by nearly six minutes. Overall the Catalan is nearly twenty minutes in front, normally enough for a win, on Sunday, of this Optic 2000 Tunisia Rally, the only leg of the World Championship that’s missing from his cabinet. Third today was Michael Angerer (Austria, KTM 660), the affirming rookie of the rally. The young Austrian is only nineteen minutes behind the third place podium held by the Corsican Michel Marchini (Yamaha 450).

Yesterday we saw Janis Vinters from Latvia with a folded front wheel at El Borma. Today he came back with a fifth place in the special. After returning to the bivouac on the sweep lorry, he was able to start this morning, not without his penalty of...24hours. For the Polish motobike-competitors, solidarity means a lot. Without his GPS on this fifth stage in Tunisia, Jacek Czachor (KTM 450) was able to rely on his fellow countryman Marek Dabrowski (KTM 660) for the navigation.

Rosso, Strugo, Belmondo: All in the team Dessoude, Nissan Pathfinder of T2. After getting stuck on the way to EL Borma, Laurent Rosso from Dubai started his climb back up yesterday in the dunes of El Borma. Today despite a broken rear spring and just before the finish, a direction problem, the Frenchman from Dubai retook the lead in his catagory in front of his team mates. Jean-Pierre Strugo and Paul Belmondo were victims of driveshaft problems.

A knife edge fight exists in the Truck catagory between Jean-Francois (France, Ginaf) and Elisabete Jacinto (Portugal, MAN) with a difference of one second in todays special.With a little more than thirteen minutes difference overall, the Portuguese lady is not finished.

2007/04/05 | 18:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/NPO Press

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