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Verva Street Racing: Carlos Sainz and Peugeot 2008 DKR premiere in Warsaw. | 21.08.2014


Rallyraid: The new Schlesser customer racer - 4x4 Mercedes instead of buggy. | 21.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top brands and great beasts in bikes, quads and UTVs. | 21.08.2014


Baja Poland: "We have prepared an extra attractions for fans in this year". | 21.08.2014


Asia Cross Country PHOTOS: Impressions Asian Rally Thailand-Cambodia (71). | 19.08.2014


Asia Cross Country: Outlander PHEV completes Rally for second straight year. | 19.08.2014


Baja Poland: Baja Poland Ambassador Krzysztof Holowczyc - "I love this rally". | 18.08.2014













































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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











Verva Street Racing VIDEO: Official trailer for the unique Warsaw sport-event | 21.08.2014 20:41 | NEW




Verva Street Racing: Carlos Sainz and Peugeot 2008 DKR premiere in Warsaw. | 21.08.2014 20:25 | NEW




Rallyraid: The new Schlesser customer racer - 4x4 Mercedes instead of buggy. | 21.08.2014 18:32 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Top brands and great beasts in bikes, quads and UTVs. | 21.08.2014 18:01 | NEW




Carpathian Buggy Challenge: First Buggy-Challenge in Romanian mountains | 21.08.2014 17:33 | NEW




TORC STC 2014: Crandon welcomes Popcorn Sutton´s Sportsman Challenge | 21.08.2014 16:57 | NEW




TORC STC 2014: Fannin Motorsports suffers first ever DNF at RD8 in Crandon | 21.08.2014 16:20 | NEW




Baja Poland: "We have prepared an extra attractions for fans in this year". | 21.08.2014 15:51 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Sullwald tighten grip on SA´s Special Vehicle Class title chase | 19.08.2014 19:55 | NEW




TORC STC: Off-Road Syndicate takes Second in Crandon Off-Road Challenge | 19.08.2014 19:21 | NEW




Dakar Rally VIDEO: Historic - Top Gear´s Jeremy Clarkson riding Citroen ZX RR | 19.08.2014 18:32 | NEW




Asia Cross Country PHOTOS: Impressions Asian Rally Thailand-Cambodia (71). | 19.08.2014 17:47 | NEW




Asia Cross Country: Outlander PHEV completes Rally for second straight year. | 19.08.2014 15:51 | NEW




Baja Poland: Baja Poland Ambassador Krzysztof Holowczyc - "I love this rally". | 18.08.2014 17:17 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: El Martillo Racing Dodge Durango at the Dakar 2014 | 18.08.2014 16:32 |




Dakar Rally 2015: El Martillo Racing Dodge Durango Mexico dunes test trip | 18.08.2014 16:23 |




Donaldson CC: Horns breathe new life into Production Vehicle Championship. | 18.08.2014 15:29 |




Hungarian Baja PHOTOS: Impressions by MCH Photo / HB / Offroadsport (32) | 18.08.2014 14:32 |




Hungarian Baja VIDEO: The Baja with Nasser Al Attiyah on Saturday by CinCin | 18.08.2014 13:56 |




Hungarian Baja VIDEO: Nice impressions Hungarian Baja by Ábrahámhegy TV | 18.08.2014 13:44 |




Hungarian Baja VIDEO: Short impressions of water-crossing SS04 on Saturday | 18.08.2014 13:41 |




Hungarian Baja RESULTS: Final Overall Results Hungarian Baja 2014 BIKES | 18.08.2014 13:13 |




Hungarian Baja RESULTS: Final Overall Results Hungarian Baja 2014 CARS | 18.08.2014 13:00 |




Hungarian Baja: X-raid driver Vladimir Vasilyev consolidates World Cup lead. | 18.08.2014 12:42 |




Hungarian Baja: Fortin - "A terrific result for Al Attiyah and Overdrive Racing". | 18.08.2014 12:24 |




Hungarian Baja: Nasser Al Attiyah overall winner after dramatic fight Saturday. | 18.08.2014 12:00 |




Hungarian Baja PHOTOS: Impressions Friday by Pawel Roslon and Teams (39). | 16.08.2014 17:22 |




Hungarian Baja VIDEO: Impressions and Interview Toyota´s Nasser Al Attiyah | 16.08.2014 16:54 |




Hungarian Baja: Mini´s Terranova leading in front of Al Attiyah and Holowczyc. | 16.08.2014 16:22 |




Hungarian Baja: Ruoso, Zanotti and Maré Hungary first winners in the bikes. | 16.08.2014 16:00 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Great Wall to copy Local Motors Rally Fighter for the Dakar?. | 14.08.2014 21:30 |




Rally dos Sertões: More than 100 car and truck competitors in Brazilian rally. | 14.08.2014 19:40 |




Hungarian Baja VIDEO: Nice impressions of Hungarian Baja 2013 by Rallyheart | 14.08.2014 18:39 |




Hungarian Baja: Lónyai with HRX-Ford after burnt BMW, Fazekas teamed up. | 14.08.2014 17:18 |




SPECIAL: Schwarz and AGM-Jimco X6 SCORE Trophy Truck at Deutschland Rally | 14.08.2014 16:46 |




TORC LB 2014: Stingle wins Round 8 - and wins Limited Buggy Challenge | 14.08.2014 16:27 |




TORC STC 2014: Marquardt continues Podium Streak at RD8 Summer Crandon | 14.08.2014 15:39 |




TORC STC 2014: Super Stock Truck Championship will be decided at Big House | 14.08.2014 15:29 |




Baja Poland: Legendary Dakar truck - Polish Star 266 live at the Baja Poland. | 13.08.2014 18:51 |




TORC 2014 VIDEO: Round 11 and 12 live-report from Sturgis - 2 hours report | 13.08.2014 17:54 |




















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