|Pharaons Rally: Kick-off for Team Sonangol Schlesser on the first stage Egypt.|
As a tradition, the start of the Pharaons Rally 2011, the penultimate round of the World Cup for Cross Country Rallys, was given in front of the Pyramids of Giza, near Cairo. Winner of the previous edition, the Team Sonangol Schlesser, is determined to sign a new success this year. But this event is also an opportunity for the "Le Patron", Jean-Louis Schlesser, to increase his World Cup ranking points.
This first stage, between Cairo and the oasis of Baharija was a difficult kick-off. On this varied route, competitors found many pitfalls and a tricky navigation. By opening the track, Konstantin Zhiltsov, Jean-Louis Schlesser’s co-driver, was already much in demand today. For 30 seconds only, the blue Buggy missed the first place but for the Team Sonangol Schlesser, the rally has just begun... as confirmed by Jean-Louis Schlesser.
"For a first stage, we had a very difficult navigation but the track was also very rocky and stony. With the number "1", we opened the track and in such a case, we had to secure our options. My navigator Konstantin worked a lot today! The car performed perfectly, no problem. We crossed a really beautiful area, a real lunar landscape. Just great. Losing 30 seconds today, doesn’t mean a lot, and the rally has just begun."
The Buggy Schlesser is second place overall tonight, 30 seconds only behind the amazing Vladimir Vasiliev. Tomorrow, the Russian will have the privilege to open the track, a quite difficult exercise. The second stage of the Pharaons Rally will be a loop around Baharija. A 473 km Special Stage, the longest of the 2011 edition, with « serious » crossings to be negotiated carefully and a strong navigation.
2011/10/03 | 22:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/BAUER