|Pharaons Rally: 51 cars, big Buggy-Battle, Dakar-winners and "Coco-Aussies".|
This weekend the 13th edition of the "Pharaons Rally" started with the technical scrutineering in Giza in the south of the Egyptian capital Cairo on Saturday. With 142 competitors the Pharaons has a new record entry - and will be the big final of the FIA Cross Country Worldcup for cars and FIM Cross Country Worldcup for bikes and quads.
All riders and drivers will open the "real challenge" on October 4th in front of one of the world´s wonder, the Giza Pyramids, to arrive to the fabulous Porto Marina Resort in El Alamein in October 9th. The rally will have six stages, first going south, then west near the Libyan border and then on a new route in the coastal region in the north of Egypt.
In cars, the role of the favorite goes to "Le Patron" Jean Louis Schlesser, who comes to Pharaons Rally for the first time. The Frenchman aims the title in two wheel drive with his "Schlesser Buggy", which also motivates the French, Eric Vigouroux, actually living in the US and current Worldcup-leader of this classification on his Chevrolet Trophy-Truck. Both drivers will give life to one of the greatest battle during the race.
The second "Schlesser buggy" in the race will be driven by the French driver who now lives in Morocco, François Lethier - and navigated by the Russian Konstantin Zhiltsov.
From Australia the "Coco-guys" Geoffrey Olholm and Steve Riley start into the Rally with their "Coconut Resort" Rally Team - just one week after they finished the "Australasian Safari Rally" in Australia. In Egypt they don´t start with their incredible Mitsubishi Pajero V60 with 6-litres Chevrolet V8 Engine, they are "testing" the new "Rabe X1", a new experimental car from the very well known "Rally Raid UK" Team from rally-enthusiast Paul Round.
From Japan, the official Toyota Crew "Toyota Auto Body" will use the chance to test for the 2011 SA-Dakar Rally. Toyota will be present with SA-Dakar winner (T2 Class) Jun Mitsuhashi (Toyota Land Cruiser 200, together with top-navigator Alain Guehennec) and Masahiro Tereda in a Land Cruiser 100.
Last year´s winner, Jerome Pelichet, will not hesitate to get into the fight, same for Roberto Tonetti, both on their Wildcat that they placed in the podium, first and second place respectively, in 2009.
Italy´s Maurizio Traglio is attending with his Tecnosport Nissan Pathfinder, Michelle de Nora with a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and the "De Lorenzo Brothers" with a wonderful built Isuzu D-Max Pickup.
A big field of participants is coming from arabic-speaking countries and especially from the host-country Egypt. From Saudi Arabia the team Al Muhanna/Al Sandad start with their 4.8-litres Nissan Patrol T2, from the UAE there are two Isuzu D-Max from the Bakhashab Team and Egypt has the good amount of 15 cars.
From the Egyptian car-teams last year´s overall fifth Ahmed El Shamy is back again with his "babyblue" Desert Warrior from Rally Raid UK - and one of the most interesting cars is from the "Local Hero" Adham Mostafa. The expert in the Egyptian Championship prepared a Dodge RAM Pickup for FIA-status, the first Dodge RAM like this in the rallyraid-world. The Dodge is powered by a 5.7 litres V8 - but is not experienced well now. "We will see" said Mostafa after the scrutineering.
51 Cars will enter the Egyptian Desert on Monday - and only one Truck. Luisa Trucco and Corrado Pattono from Italy will drive the Iveco Racetruck - in one point "for fun" but in the second point as fast-assistance for the Italian Toyota Land Cruiser Crew.
2010/10/03 | 12:45 CET | EDITOR: MR/HS