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This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









PAX Rally: One-two for the Repsol teams in Portugal








The penultimate stage of the PAX Rally 2008 has served to prolong the emotion of the race to the final day, because after Peterhansel's victory today the Repsol driver is only 31 seconds off Carlos Sainz, the leader in the overall. Alphand who finished second, still has a gap of a little over two and a half minutes to make up, and he will have things more complicated if he wants to fight for the victory. In motorbikes, Marc Coma had to make do with making sure of third position, after the fast pace imposed by Rubén Faria, today`s winner and leader of the rally.

The stage consisted of a 159km special and a long liaison of 220km to Portimão, and began with a sandy, demanding zone before a drive across the hard fast tracks that had characterised the previous days racing. Peterhansel and Alphand were the fastest, and so the Repsol drivers have increased the pressure on Carlos Sainz for the final day. "Nani" Roma also drove at a fast pace, but a low speed accident which made the car turnover, made him fall back to eighth position, and so he lost a position in the overall standings.

In the motorbike category, the local rider Rubén Faria set a fast pace which gave little hope to his rivals. Marc Coma lost 1 minute 42 seconds, and he is now more than five minutes adrift in the overall standings, with this panorama he decided not to take any risks and to concentrate on protecting the bike`s mechanics and to test some improvements for the Dakar 2009. His teammate, Gerard Farrés, paid the price of his mistake on the first special yesterday. He started well down the field and this meant that he had to go behind a quad and the large amout of dust it kicked up. In the end, he was 9th, and has moved up one position in the overall standings, he is now 10th.

Tomorrow this second date in the Dakar Series will finish; a 68km loop in Portimão, will decide the winner of the PAX Rally 2008.

Quotes - Cars

Stéphane Peterhansel: “I was a little worried by the large amount of sand on the first part of the special, but the conditions became more favourable as we went along. Our position down the field at the start gave us a bit of an advantage, although I believe that at the beginning we could have gone even faster.

When we saw that we were really recovering time on Carlos Sainz I decided to apply even more pressure, and that allowed us to reduce the gap in the classification significantly. Tomorrow won't be easy, but I have the intention of keeping the pressure on. With an advantage of just half a minute, he cannot afford to make any mistakes.”


Luc Alphand: “Given the importance of the starting order, and how the conditions varied, it is turning out to be a very demanding rally, although so far it has not been too bad. We wanted to take the best advantage of our starting position and we went at practically the same pace as Stéphane [Peterhansel].

Then, I made a small mistake, including a straight in a field that could have ended up very badly for us, and there I lost a bit of concentration. Our Mitsubishi Montero is still working perfectly and on Sunday we will do everything possible to stay in the podium positions.”


"Nani" Roma: “This was a big pity. I was very happy with the pace I had today, and we were going strongly when I went too close to the inside of a slow curve to the left. We hit something and the car turned over, although we weren't going at more than twenty kilometres per hour.

Obviously some things were damaged, but in the end we were able to complete the special and we will be able to repair everything for the final run in tomorrow.”


Quotes - Bikes

Marc Coma: “This was quite a fast stage with an entertaining first part, along a sandy track between trees. It required a technical ride and there were some hidden roots that made it a little dangerous. But later we came across a more mountainous area, with a harder land and similar to what we have had on the first few days.

Everything went well again, but my pace was not very fast. At the beginning I tried to attack, but I saw that I was not able to recover any distances. I then spent the day trying to protect what I had and to make sure of my position regarding Helder Rodrigues who was 4th. Tomorrow there are 60km, and let`s hope nothing changes.”


Gerard Farrés: “In yesterday's computation of the two specials I finished quite a way back, so today I had to start right behind a quad. During the whole special I was behind one, and the bad thing is that these vehicles don't have a lot of top speed, they don't go over 120km/h.

Although I managed to get close at some points I was in a cloud of dust that made it very dangerous to try and overtake. I spent 150 kilometres swallowing dust, and at a very slow frustrating rhythm. At some points there was a chance to overtake but when I recovered about ten seconds it speeded up and I was not able to see the track. It would have been too dangerous to overtake, and it is not what we have come here for.”


Results

CLASSIFICATION STAGE

>> Bikes

1. Rubén FARIA (HONDA) 2:13:10
2. Cyril DESPRES (KTM) + 0:45
3. Marc COMA (REPSOL KTM) + 1:42
4. Paulo GONÇALVES (HONDA) + 2:36
5. Hélder RODRIGUES (HONDA) +3:20
9. Gerard FARRÉS (REPSOL KTM) + 11:15

>> Cars

1. PETERHANSEL - COTTRET (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) 1:56:28
2. ALPHAND - PICARD (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) +1:04
3. AL ATTIYAH - THORNER (BMW) + 1:49
4. SAINZ - PERIN (VOLKSWAGEN) +1:50
5. DE VILLIERS - VON ZITZEWITZ (VOLKSWAGEN) + 2:45
8. ROMA - CRUZ SENRA (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 9:49

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

>> Bikes

1. Rubén FARIA (HONDA) 11:15:49
2. Cyril DESPRES (KTM) + 3:28
3. Marc COMA (REPSOL KTM) + 5:47
4. Hélder RODRIGUES (HONDA) + 9:36
5. Paulo GONÇALVES (HONDA) + 23:20
10. Gerard FARRÉS (REPSOL KTM) + 55:00

>> Cars

1. SAINZ - PERIN (VOLKSWAGEN) 10:19:59
2. PETERHANSEL - COTTRET (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 0:31
3. ALPHAND - PICARD (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) +2:33
4. DE VILLIERS - VON ZITZEWITZ (VOLKSWAGEN) + 4:14
5. AL ATTIYAH - THORNER (BMW) + 7:30
6. ROMA - CRUZ SENRA (REPSOL MITSUBISHI) + 12:49

2008/09/13 | 23:37 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya






















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