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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: Into the Wastelands of Perdition - the Stories of Rally Day 3.










By Robb Pritchard for marathonrally.com They say that Arabs are the best poets... maybe because living in the desert they learn how to see the beauty in death for the stark Egyptian landscape is the bleached white bones of Mother Nature.

The sea of sand and crumpled mountains are barren as the harsh sun and incessant wind don't allow a single blade of grass to sprout... a perfect place to lay out the route for the penultimate round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup.

Now at 3 days done out of 5 today's fast 310 km stage reached and passed the event's half way point through some of the most breath-taking scenery. High up on on a ridge overlooking the start we looked out over the stark lunar landscape watching as the crews took a run up to make the steep sandy slope to the sharp rocks scattered on top.

Jean-Louis Schlesser was first away and his rear wheel drive buggy wasn't at such a disadvantage but it was Boris Gadasin who was obviously on a mission, airborne several times before he hit the sandy ramp and roared off in pursuit of the legendary Frenchman... and catch him he did, in just a handful of kilometres... until the sharp rocks sliced a tyre...

"I let him go," said Schlesser, "Because in such places you have to drive tactically. The stones were hard, we were banging over them, but it's important to know where to drive fast and where to drive more carefully... and voilà in the rocks is where we found Gasadin with a flat tyre."

In the desert experience counts for a lot, as Gadasin found out to his cost. He passed Schlesser quickly, but it didn't take all that long to get a puncture either.

"But when we started again," the Russian explained, "we just sank straight down into the sand. We had to use trackmats to get us out a couple of metres at a time and it cost more than 20 minutes. And as we were putting them back on the car I looked back and there was a large circle of very fine white sand... and I pulled off the track and parked right in the middle of it!"

But worse was coming for his team mate, the former leader Vladimir Vasiliev. Like Gadasin he was pushing hard, keen to learn the limits of himself and his car before a possible attempt at the Dakar and did just that... "We came down off a large dune and at the bottom there was a sharp turn into a rocky gully which wasn't marked in the roadbook..." he shrugged.

"It almost caught me, as well," Boris added, but Vasiliev ripped the whole front suspension off the front of the car. "If there's something positive to say," he said, "It's that the T4 crew managed to fix it in just 2 hours! And then we carried on through the rest of the stage! We'll start again tomorrow."

With his car looking as immaculate as it did in scrutineering it seems that Jun Misuhashi is just popping out for a picnic every day, but the time sheets tell a different story; in his T2 Land Cruiser he is 2nd overall.

"It was a very fast stage today and because of that I expected the G-Force Protos to catch me quickly... and they did. But then I saw them both stopped and it after that it was hard to keep concentration, because I was thinking about the result... The sand was nice to drive on after all the rocks but the car is not so fast... but it's not so slow either and now I am looking forward to the big dunes on day 5 because that will be my real chance to beat the G-Forces... because only if they have problems..."

After yesterday's nasty accident with the BMW today Costel Casuneanu had more mundane problems to deal with. "So many rocks!" he said from his mattress in the shade of his service truck. "We blew 2 tyres very soon. We started far back because of yesterday, but overtook 4 cars in the first 3km... but then they all got back passed us again while we were changing the wheel... so we caught up with them again... and the second tyre went..."

"And when the last one started to go down we decided to put the pressures up to 3.5 bar... and had no more problems, even on the dunes it was OK." But his shoulders and chest looked anything but OK. "And the other problem I have is with the HANS device, it presses on me too much," he said gently touching the red and raw skin.

One of the pre-event local favourites was Tarek El Erian in his striking Porsche powered buggy, but a broken reverse gear on the first stage cost them masses of penalties. "But today it was all working well and we got sixth on the stage. Not bad for our Bat Mobile!" he smiled. "The team name Rahhala comes from the ancient caravans that used to cross these deserts in the old times, and it's more about the experience of going to different places rather than the speed."

One of the strangest things at the start line were the pair of Vesper mopeds. I didn't see them for a couple of days, but with scratched paint work and the team zonked out under their tent, they are still going. "Not so fast," said Andrea Revel Nutini with a smile.

"But we go. On the rocky tracks they go faster than we thought they would... but on the sand they go worse... Yesterday was great, we did 200km before we ran out of time because it was dark, especially because many people thought that we were just joking! Yesterday there was a track between the rocks that was soft sand, which we are not so good on. So we went up on the rocks and found a way up there and the photographers were all shouting 'Why are you half way up the mountain, the track is down there!'"

Now the organisers are giving the briefing, but with all the 'Do not's' it has the ominous feel of some strict religious sermon. Attendance is obligatory with crews names being checked off a list to make sure they are here. "Thou shall not enter the desert with a dirth of water!" and "When you shall find yourself at Km266 thou shall not take the path of least resistance but shall continue on the path that will surely lead you to trials and tribulations..."

2011/10/05 | 21:47 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/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 | NEW




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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




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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