|Pharaons Rally: 2nd Stagewin for Traglio, Buggy-FIA-Worldcup battle again.|
What for a day! The participants of the 13th Pharaons Rally on Friday had to cross the "Big Sand Sea" during the "Lake" Sitra (a hot lake in the middle of nowhere with no civilisation) and the Oasis Siwa, near to the Libyan Border in the west of Egypt. The day was perfect for the 4x4 cars, but even incredible for the Navigators. You have to find your way during hundreds of kilometers partly hard and soft dunes, some more then 400 meters high. The sun goes higher and higher during the day, so "to read the dunes" was more and more difficult.
The day ends with the second consecutive victory for Nissan Tecnosport. Maurizio Traglio from Italy and Fabian Lurquin from Belgium carried out the perfect stage and crowned their performance with the best time of this stage in their black Nissan Pathfinder. "A second consecutive stage victory, like I like it. I didn´t have any problem on the stage" Traglio said. The Italian pushed his car hard, jumped over several dunes - but the Nissan was stable enough.
Last year winners Jerome Pelichet/Eugenie Pelichet (Bowler Wildcat 200) obtained the second best time of the day after a perfect navigation- and driving job, followed by Jean Louis Schlesser/Arnaud Debron (Schlesser Buggy) and Jun Mitsuhashi/Alain Guehennec (Toyota Land Cruiser 200).
Jean-Louis Schlesser stucked in one part of the stage and lost several minutes. Then the Desert Warrior of the Egyptian/British Crew Ahmed El Shamy and Paul Round stopped and pulled Schlesser out. During the action, Eric Vigouroux (Chevrolet Protruck) passed Schlesser and goes in front. Schlesser go "full throttle", overtook his "savers" and followed Vigouroux. In one big dune, Vigouroux made the mistake and turn left - the Schlesser/Debron crew took the right way in the other direction and were in front of the Buggy-Battle again.
Bytheway, the battle between Schlesser and Vigouroux is not only the battle to win this Rally. It´s the descision of the winner of the FIA Cross Country Worldcup for Buggies - and for the Team class. Vigouroux leads the Buggy-drivers championship with 15 points, Schlesser has 10. If Schlesser wins, he would get another 10 points - so Vigouroux must finish the rally and minimum in 4th position. So we will see what will happen in the last stage on Saturday. But Schlesser has the best chances to finish as the Worldcup holder in the Team category.
After the result, Jean-Louis Schlesser keeps heading the overall classification and the Tecnosport´s Nissan Pathfinder is 01:29:15 hours behind, followed by Jun Mitsuhashi in the Work-Toyota. The best Egyptian crew of the day was Ahmed El Shami and his English co-driver Paul Round in the seven position of the scratch. The crew is 8th overall.
Egyptian´s "local Hero" Adham Mostafa with his Dodge RAM also had a good race today. He was very fast, but: "We overtook many participants but didn´t push so fast. The Dodge was running well, also we. But 15 kilometers in front of the finish line I was not concentrated for one second and we got stuck. We needed more then 30 minutes to pull the car out. But finally we did it."
Tomorrow all crews will run the last stage of Pharaons 2010: A fast stage that will take competitors from Siwa to the podium in El Alamein.
2010/10/08 | 19:12 CET | EDITOR: MR/HS