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Pharaons Rally 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Pharaons Rally 2007, 5th round of the FIM Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Pharaons Rally: Chaleco played, got lost and fell...

On the eve of the final arrival in Cairo, the 10th TOTAL Pharaons Rally lived its longest special stage today with 369 km between Sitra and the oasis of Baharija. A tough day in terms of navigation, where several top riders have fallen foul of traps. Whereas Marc Coma (KTM/Repsol) and Christian Lavieille with François Borsotto (Nissan Pickup Dessoude), are still comfortably leading their respective categories and are getting ready to receive the title tomorrow in Giza, others, who took more risks, have seen their hopes vanishing...

BAHARIJA – The 3rd Check-Point of the day (CP3) has been really hectic. Under an overwhelming sun, along the long asphalt road connecting Siwa to Baharija, a kind of anarchy is reigning over the bikes refuelling point. The riders are trying to play with their elbows to reach the fuel pump, located halfway of the special stage.
The leading pack has already left the place for long when Francisco Lopez, relatively nervous, comes back to CP3 and cuts the waiting line in order to obtain his second refuelling, without to apologize. The operation barely finished, the Chilean jump quickly on his saddle and start with full opened throttle... ‘Chaleco’ got lost around the kilometer 182, where he wasted almost 30 minutes. Counting on the end of the stage, which was a little more technical, he knew then that his hopes to step on the final podium were about to fly away.
From this point he didn’t have any other chance than to push his own limits and to force his huge talent to ward off the spell. In vain, this one caught him up at kilometer 305, where his Honda 450 took off on a bump. The front wheel blocked, the fall was inevitable... Repatriated to the bivouac of Baharija thanks to an assistance truck, the gifted rider from the Andes has lost everything, but is fortunately unhurt. However, the bike on which he was doing his last race before to swap for an official KTM 690, has been too much damaged during the misadventure to allow him to reach Cairo and to terminate his last stage of the World Championship...
This navigation mistake has been done by many others after him, mixing the tireprints of the 2nd stage with the one of today. Even Marc Coma (KTM/Repsol) followed by his teammate Jordi Viladoms, almost fell in the same trap before to realise the mistake shortly after. Accompanied by Lopez, the Norwegian Ullevalseter (KTM) didn’t persevere as much as his main opponent and return on his marks in order to find back the right cap to follow. He saved then his 3rd place at the overalll ranking after stage 6. In 450cc, the surprise of the day is coming from Olivier Pain (Yamaha 450). The young French endurance rider, 4th of the leg, who came to Egypt to prepare his 3rd Dakar, didn’t expect more than that and relegates the Italian Oscar Polli (KTM 450), new leader of the category, to more than 15 minutes behind him.

As far as the car category is concerned, the undisputed leaders made of the duo Lavieille-Borsotto (Nissan Pickup Dessoude), have had a particular day, transforming the 6th stage into a test-day in real conditions. Four stops at different CP’s where the assistance of the team Dessoude were ready to operate some changes of settings on the car, particularly on suspensions or tires pressure, which did not affect the global performance of the car. Their Nissan Pickup finished ahead of the buggy SMG of Etienne Smulevici and Gilles Tixador. Third today, the Bowler Wildcat of Philippe Boutron and Jean-Luc Martin reached the finish line before the strong leader of the Bowler trophy, Patrick Sireyjol and Paul Vidal, who are second of the overall ranking after the withdrawal of the Pickup Nissan Overdrive of the Polish Holowczyc. Now on the virtual podium of this 10th TOTAL Pharaons Rally, the Egyptians Abou Youssesef and Esseldin Mahmoud, 5th of the day, are carrying al the hopes of their compatriots to bring the Egyptian flag in front of the pyramids tomorow in Giza.
Unfortunately for them, victims of two flats and being stuck in the sand, Carole Montillet and Mélanie Suchet (Nissan Terrano Dessoude), have seen their hopes to finish in the top 5 totally vanishing.

2007/10/06 | 10:56 CET | Editor: MR/JVD/Rita Konya

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