|Pharaons Rally: Dramatically first day for some cars - J.L. Schlesser leads.|
The Pharaons Rally 2010 has started - and for some cars and bikes even the first day was dramatically. But we will tell you later. The Giza Pyramids have received the official start of the 13th edition of Pharaons Rally at 8 am this morning.
Directly after that, a brand new stage waited for the participants, 366 kilometers in racing, fast, easy navigation (for the first day) and the first dunes. The stage didn´t end in the Oasis Baharija as in the years before, today the JVD organisation organized a also totally new bivouac "in the middle of the desert" and settled between wonderful dunes, 250 kilometers south-east from the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The announced battle for cars between Jean Louis Schlesser and Eric Vigouroux only lasted until the second CP of the day. The Chevrolet Trophy Truck and the Schlesser Buggy overtook each other, first Vigouroux against Schlesser, then "Le Patron" against the French, living in the US.
At km 150 Schlesser took advantage again, Vigouroux took a dip too fast and put the car on its side. The Chevrolet-driver and his navigator Alex Winocq decided to put the car back on its wheels to continue, but they lost two hours to accomplish their goal. "It was crazy, only one second. We hit a sandwall and then rolled. The suspension broke, tire broke, parts of the cover broke. But we go again slower, finished the stage and got all CP´s. Today we will battle again" Vigouroux said.
The second place of the day was for Marizio Traglio and Fabian Lurquin (Nissan Pathfinder), fifteen minutes from stage winner Jean Louis Schlesser. The third place is for the Japanese Dakar-Winner in T2-class of Toyota Auto Body work-team, Jun Mitsuhashi almost 23 minutes from the winner with his Toyota Land Cruiser 200.
For the Schlesser-Team the day was good - and bad. The second car of the team, driven by the French Francois Lethier and his Russian codriver Konstantiv Zhiltsov, crashed also in today´s stage. Schlesser himself and parts of the service crew went out in the late evening to get the car out of the dunes - so we don´t have more informations in the moment.
"It was a very beautiful stage" said Schlesser in the bivouac. "It has been a long time since I haven´t been in Egypt and I like it. It was necessary to have eyes wide open and I decided not to force anything. Vigouroux joined me next to CP2, then I overtook him and he stood behind and suddenly we didn´t see him anymore. The race has just begun and we have much km to go."
First Bowler Wildcat was Roberto Tonetti, 4th in front of the fine Egyptian crew Omar Hani/Akram Al Sharif of Team Rahalla Racing. Jerome Pelichet and Eugenie Decre, last year winner, concluded in sixth position.
Many cars had problems today, in technical sight or because of accidents. Only the Toyota LC 200 of Mitsuhashi passed the CP2 in time, all other four Toyotas were late. The Australians Geoffrey Oholm and Steve Wright were out in the stage until the sun goes down, the service truck of the "Rally Raid UK" Team was especially busy and the other cars of the teams will get their service maybe until the morning.
For tomorrow, the drivers has to fulfil 352 kilometers in racing. The stage will start in the camp El Rammak, then going south up to the Dakhla oasis, changing direction west and finish in Bir Karaween.
2010/10/04 | 19:21 CET | EDITOR: MR/HS