|Pharaons Rally: Nasser Al Attiyah got lost and let Yazeed Al-Rajhi to go ahead.|
The first stage of the Egyptian "Pharaons Rally" on Tuesday suddenly heated pilots tempers, most of all because of the high temperatures that accompanied them during the whole day, reaching 48 degrees. A difficult day, especially for navigation, that created some important plot twist.
The 221 km Special Stage, rode among scenographic canyons and old caravan tracks, brought the 2014 Pharaons first surprise: Nasser Al Attiyah (X-raid Mini All4 Racing) actually took the wrong track around km 100 by squeezing in the wrong valley and leaving almost thirteen minutes to today winner, Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota) who made a competition based on an attack strategy. Behind him the World Cup leader Vladimir Vasilyev from Russia (X-raid Mini), from Russia with a delay of 3:50 minutes.
"Around km. 100 we took the wrong valley missing a waypoint," said Al Attiyah. "I've tried to cut to go and catch it but it has not been a good idea..." Yazeed Al-Rajhi reported: "It has been a great day, it has been a perfect strategy to choose the fifth starting position. We passed Dabrowsky, then I made more than 100km in Vesilyev's dust before succeeding in overtaking him. At the finish line I discovered that Nasser was still not arrived."
Vasilyev leads the small three Mini All4 Racing squad, in front of Dutch Erik Van Loon and Al Attiyah. Fifth and sixth position for the two Hummer H3, with Kazakh Yuriy Sazonow and Czech Miroslav Zapletal.
Seventh position for Marek Dabrowski, delayed by an electric problem and arrived before Tarek El Erian, first Egyptian pilot to reach the finish line. "We had small electric problems that made us slow down our rhythm. Fortunately it's something easily solvable," Marek Dabrowski said.
Among bikes the best time was made by Venezuelan Nicolas Cardona, but he got a penalty for having missed a waypoint. Today winner so, is Bolivian Salvatierra, who lost lot of time because of a mistake but that made fastness his better weapon.
Behind him Italian Stefano Chiussi, with a delay of 8 minutes from Salvatierra, while the other Venezuelan Rafael Eraso has a delay of more than twenty minutes and is behind Italian Stefano Turchi Rafal Sonik, leader in quad World Cup classification has been the fastest among four wheels.
"A difficult day for navigation, I had some problem to find a watchpoint and lost lots of time but by the end it has been a very positive day. Wednesday´s stage will be a good exam, to open a Pharaons track is always a difficult experience," Juan Carlos Salvatierra reported.
Rafal Sonik said: I got lost twicw , and met lots motos in the same conditions. Most of all I made a CAP mistake that made me loose almost 15 minutes. However, I'm happy to have finished such a difficult stage."
2014/05/21 | 14:41 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/BAUR