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Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014


Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014


Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014


Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014


Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014













































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Pharaons Rally: 30 years of Pharaons - spectacular start in front of Pyramids.








By Robb Pritchard I don't know what the requirements for being able to call an event a legend, but I think the "Pharaons Rally" should be on the list as it is older than some of the competitors. Held in the empty wastes of Egypt the event is now in it's 30th year!

The start has one of the most spectacular backdrops of any motorsport event in the world with the FIA banners and country flags fluttering in front of the pyramids of Giza. There's now other way to describe it, it's an absolutely stunning sight.

Jean-Louis Schlesser, a man as close to rally-raid royalty as you're likely to get, was first in line but UAE rival Kalifa Al-Mutaiwei was the local press's favourite. The Fazza Rally Team driver is chasing Schlesser for the World Cup, (if the genial Frenchman beats Al-Mutaiwei by more than 3 points he'll be crowned the champion, but if not the fight will go to the Portalegre 500 in Portugal).

Teams from as far and wide as Kazaksthan, Japan and Brazil came to the famous plateau to be waved off and a big crowd pressed in to see the Egyptian prime minister drape the national flag over the windscreens.

There was time for few photos in the crowd as chaotic as the Cairo traffic and then it was off to the start of the first stage...

No little dalliance around a spectator-friendly Super Special here, just straight out into the desert with a 330km stage. According to the organisers it wasn't the toughest test the competitors will face this week, but a long one.

As championship leader it was Schlesser in his Sonangol buggy who was first to go, the 7 litre V8 carried on the wind before the blue machine came into view and then Al-Mutaiwei doing what he said he would in the briefing last night; chasing his hero... and he was visibly trying harder, the Mini All4 airborne where the buggy ahead only lifted a wheel.

A distant, but very credible third in the championship meant that Russia's Boris Gadasin went 3rd in his G-Force Proto but his engine sounded as it had a bit of a misfire... which was still much better than team mate Vladimir Vasiliev's...

The first round winner in Italy ground to a halt with terminal engine failure after just 40km. The team were hoping to do well here as the Team's World Cup was in their reach...

In T2 (production class) it was Jun Mitsuhashi, (who last year was running an amazing 3rd overall before mechanical failure robbed him of a shock result) and he was pushing hard, ahead of many much more modified cars.

From near the start our next stop was a point 270km into the stage and we watched some of the straggling bikes on the gravel against a beautiful backdrop of bright white dunes... until in a giant cloud of dust Al-Mutaiwei came over the horizon.

He was really pushing, drifting the Mini on the winding track between the small rises... and then by my watch it was 16 minutes before the next car came, Schlesser, Patrick Sireyjol in his SMG Buggy and Gadasin in his badly misfiring G-Force... followed by the ever impressive Mitsuhashi.

Last in the evening we got into camp and I walked around looking for people to interview. Friendly Romainan driver Costel Casuneanu had a picnic arrayed on his table as his mechanics dusted off his Mitsubishi Racing Lancer.

"First dune and we got stuck," he shrugged. "We said hello, she said... Well, w had the sun in our eyes and couldn't quite see the top so slowed down a bit too much. We used the tracks and then followed Mitsuashi for about 100km, but then the yellow buggy came past and was so close that he smashed our window with stones. After that we found a rhythm because it's only day 1, there are another 5 to go and we don't want to go home just yet."

It was a slightly lonely looking G-Force camp with just one car and a few mechanics as the others were pulling Vasiliev's stricken car out of the stage. Gadasin said, "It wasn't such an interesting stage for us, just 30 and 40km of straight tracks which is perfect territory for the buggies. But to make it a bit more interesting for ourselves we snapped the gear lever off at CP 1 and did the rest of the stage in 4th gear!"

Jun Mitsuhashi was all smiles though and even surprised himself by finishing 4th. "I made a little mistake. I saw a rock and thought it would be OK to drive over it but it burst the tyre in the middle and we lost 4 minutes changing it. Normally it takes a little while to get into a rhythm but actually I am quite happy with how I did for the first day... and tomorrow is a harder stage which will suit us so I am quite confident now!"

Jean-Louis Schlesser had long gone to the local hotel by the time we rolled into camp but he lost 21 minutes today because of a battery fault. He stalled on a dune and couldn't get restarted again and had to wait for Patrick Sireyjol to come with a tow rope and give him a bump start.

And as Gadasin said, apart from Al-Mutaiwei winning it was a day of the buggies as in 2nd and 3rd the fast and flat tracks well suited for the powerful rear wheel drive cars... but this won't be the case for tomorrow. The roadbook is full of warnings and cautions, there are many dunes, rocks and big descents much more 4x4 country than buggy land. A 347km loop out of the camp and back again.

2012/10/02 | 18:19 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Breslau Poland: Rally on standby by Military because of actual political situation. | 18.07.2014 09:56 |




Breslau Poland RESULTS: Daily results after SS01 Recz / Recz roundcourse | 13.07.2014 23:38 |




Breslau Poland: The truck-legends are back - scrutineering - Ford Ranger. | 12.07.2014 15:17 |




Breslau Poland PHOTOS: First Impressions of the Scrutineering in Recz (60). | 12.07.2014 14:29 |




Africa Eco Race: End of preferential rates - review rally presentations Europe. | 04.07.2014 15:44 |




Rally Raid VIDEO: Special tuned and loud Nissan Patrol RB25DET from Bulgaria | 04.07.2014 15:14 |




Red Bull Romaniacs: The most diversified Extreme Enduro track ever in 2014 | 04.07.2014 14:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Carlos Sousa switch from Great Wall to Mitsubishi Petrobras. | 04.07.2014 11:21 |




Baja Deutschland VIDEO: Summary of Dutch competitors in Germany in June | 04.07.2014 10:37 |




TORC 2014: Douglas continues to run up front - finishes Third in Round 7 | 04.07.2014 10:17 |




Hungarian Baja: 2014 is promising a big challenge for 11th edition in Hungary. | 03.07.2014 22:28 |




TORC 2014: Barlow Motorsports - All four cars had various levels of success | 03.07.2014 22:22 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The all-new Peugeot 2008 DKR buggy - first preview | 03.07.2014 19:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot 2008 DKR - first test, new detailed technical data. | 03.07.2014 18:48 |




Donaldson CC: The African sands deliver their verdict in the Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 18:18 |




TORC 2014: Team Kleiman Off Road Racing - "Big House Brawl" Race Report | 03.07.2014 18:11 |




TORC 2014: Ross Hoek gets first PRO-4x4 Podium - third place in round 8 | 03.07.2014 17:55 |




Donaldson CC VIDEO: Impressions Toyota Team Kalahari Botswana Desert race | 03.07.2014 17:48 |




Donaldson CC: Rhide SA´s Brian Baragtwanath wins Quads Dakar Challenge | 03.07.2014 17:38 |




Donaldson CC: Bertholdt / Rousseau win free entry for the Dakar Rally 2015. | 03.07.2014 17:17 |




Donaldson CC: History repeats in Special Vehicles Class in Botswana rally | 03.07.2014 15:40 |




Donaldson CC: Taylor / Murphy win Toyota Botswana 1000 Dakar Challenge. | 03.07.2014 15:17 |




OiLibya Morocco: Organizer NPO unveils details of the 2014 stages in Morocco. | 27.06.2014 14:22 |




OiLibya Morocco VIDEO: Official trailer for the OiLibya Rally in Morocco 2014 | 27.06.2014 14:04 |




Dakar Challenge: Team Rhide SA ready for the Dakar Challenge in Botswana | 26.06.2014 18:52 |




FIA CC World Cup: UAE study points way to increasing safety to saving lives. | 26.06.2014 17:48 |




LOORR 2014: Solid weekend at Miller sport park in Utah for Casey Currie | 26.06.2014 17:02 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Japanese Hino truck already preparing for 2015 Dakar Rally | 26.06.2014 16:59 |




Dakar Rally 2015: X-raid strikes back - Dakar winner Roma extends contract. | 25.06.2014 17:33 |




ULTRA 4 Europe: Second day report ULTRA 4 race in Italy - by Robb Pritchard | 25.06.2014 14:43 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally: Outlander PHEV to tackle rally for second straight year. | 25.06.2014 14:14 |




AXCR Asia CC Rally VIDEO: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Hybrid in AXCR Rally | 25.06.2014 14:08 |




Donaldson CC: Desperate times for Special Vehicles in Botswana 1000 desert | 25.06.2014 13:53 |




TORC 2014: Flying Dutchman Mike Vanden Heuvel prepares for Crandon Brush | 25.06.2014 12:59 |




TORC 2014 VIDEO: Impressions from TORC Series by Amsoil round Bark River | 25.06.2014 12:57 |




TORC 2014: Dale Chestnut wins RD2 and leads TORC Classix Championship | 25.06.2014 12:46 |




TORC 2014: Steve Barlow and Adrian Cenni take PRO-class podiums in BR | 25.06.2014 12:45 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Former Winner Nasser al-Attiyah to switch to Toyota 2015. | 24.06.2014 17:54 |




LOORR 2014: Team Toyo’s Kyle LeDuc captures third successive sweep in Utah | 24.06.2014 17:15 |




Baja Rally: Mexican rally adds new Adventure Bike Expert class for 2014. | 24.06.2014 16:54 |




















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