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Sealine Rally Qatar: Al Attiyah, Holowczyc and Vasilyev first winner in the cars. | 21.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Honda´s Barrera and Sonik the early bike / quad leader. | 21.04.2014


Australia 2014: Robinson / Skinner winning AORC opening round in Kalgoorlie. | 21.04.2014


Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014


Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014


Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014


FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014













































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Pharaons Rally: Robb´s report from S5 Abu Mingar-Tibniya - Stories behind.





By Robb Pritchard: Saeed swept his hand across the desolate landscape in front of us, the dusky skin of his fingers pointing towards the barely discernible horizon.

"This is an old land," he said. "So old that the sand is the bones of stones." He was right. Hardly a scrub of grass to be seen, no flowers or signs of animal tracks. The only thing that lives here is the heartbroken wind.

Until Thursday the rally looked to be building up to an amazing ending with two of the rally raid world's titans exchanging blows at the top of the leaderboard... so Schlesser's exclusion has left an empty feeling of anti-climax hanging over the morning campsite.

It's a rather flat ending to both the rally and the championship. If Al Mutaiwei cruises to a win here there won't be enough points for Schlesser in the last round in Portugal as it's not a marathon event like the Pharaons and is only scored at 25 points for a win, not 50.

Friday's 405 km stage wasn't supposed to be particularly hard but arriving back at the first 2 night's campsite it looks like a warzone, especially the wind whipping up the sand into clouds of dust that crunches between the teeth.

The MD Buggy of Regis Delahaye was dragged in at the end of a tow rope, Boris Gadasin is out as is Costel Casuneanu is out after a bad accident (Note to his father; he's got a stiff neck but is OK.)

I'll get to the gory stuff later but the first story I heard was one of the good nature of Kalifa Al-Mutaiwei. The run-away leader could have just cruised through the stage with time for a picnic or two without his hour-long lead being troubled, but 2 km from the end he came across new 2nd placed man Regis Delahaye struggling to get up the last hill.

He could have just flown by, one more stage closer to the World Cup, but instead he decided to stop and get the tow rope out. But the Mini just kept loosing traction on the hill and sank into the sand. After a few attempts they had to give up.

"But then Jun Mitsuhashi stopped for us," said Delahaye. "And his Toyota Land Cruiser just pulled us straight up like a tractor! We got back to camp and found that both the drveshafts had snapped."

It's a very strange looking result sheet tonight. Sitting proudly at the top is the ever-happy Miroslav Zapletal in his Hummer H3 Evo but when the timing marshal at the end told them they were the first they couldn't believe it.

"For 40 km we went the wrong way," he said. "So we did an extra 80 km today! When we realised our mistake we turned around and the point we knew we were on the right way again was when we met Al Mutaiwei coming over a dune right at us."

"We know that Andreas Schulz is a great co-driver so we decided to be safe and follow the X-raid Mini but then we got a puncture and from there just went slowly and safely. We really didn't believe the marshal at the end!"

Another big surprise in 2nd are the Kazakhstani pairing of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Gabdulla Ashimov in their RallyRaid.co.uk Desert Warrior. "Our time is only because of my co-driver," said Aidyn and his navigator Gadbulla duly explained,

"We came to a big field of rocks and all the tracks went to the left... but we went right? Why? Because that's what they told us to do in the briefing!" Driver Aidyn continued.

"We carried on for 35 km without seeing anybody and just followed the route to the check point. We went quite fast as we've had a problem with the engine for the last few days and we managed to get up to 155 km/h."

"But then we could feel something wrong in the back wheel and started to go a bit slower at the end. When we got back to the service truck we had a look and saw that that lower wishbone was cracked almost all the way through. It wouldn't have lasted much longer so actually we were very lucky to get to the end!"

And now to the bad news... I found Costel Casuneanu sitting outside his service barge with a neck brace on. "Hello," he grunted but then like a true racer told me what happened.

"We were in 2nd place because we did really well with the navigation and were following Patrick Sireyjol's buggy at 140 km/h. I saw him go a little left and so I went a little right and there was a dune, only about a metre high, but steep like a little wall."

"I don't remember everything but I think we landed on the roof and then rolled quite far. There are no body panels left on the car but the strength of it really saved us!" I could tell that his neck was hurting but he was still in good spirits.

Good spirits though is not what you can say about the G-Force camp. Boris Gadasin was in a secure 3rd and was looking at 2nd today but he wasn't at the finish. Team manager Marina explained that the power steering belt kept slipping off...

Which meant that the water pump wasn't working... which meant that engine temperature kept going sky high. The only option was to turn back to the last CP and wait for the mechanics to come and find them with a tow rope...

Such chaos means that the Top 10 has changed quite a bit with Zapletal jumping up to 3rd, Mitsuhashi to 4th, days ahead of his nearest T2 rival and Sireyjol is up to 5th despite loosing a couple of hours 2 days ago with his oil cooling problems.

There is one last stage to go, 'just' 308 km to Cairo but the teams disappear into the luxury of the 5-Star hotel that is waiting at the finish so it might be a little hard to find people for an interview.

Overall standings cars after SS05 Friday

01) Al Mutaiwei / Andreas Schulz (UAE/D) I X-Raid Mini All4 I 20:31:19
02) Delahaye / Winocq (F/F) I MD Buggy I +00:55:39
03) Zapletal / Marton (CZ/PL) I Hummer H3 Evo I +02:09:28
04) Mitsuhashi / Guehennec (JP/B) I Toyota Land Cruiser I +02:11:33
05) Sireyjol / Beguin (F/F) I SMG Gache Buggy I +02:13:34

2012/10/09 | 13:33 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/PRITCHARD











Sealine Rally Qatar: Al Attiyah, Holowczyc and Vasilyev first winner in the cars. | 21.04.2014 15:48 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Honda´s Barrera and Sonik the early bike / quad leader. | 21.04.2014 14:56 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar VIDEO: Rally scene and short interviews before the start | 21.04.2014 14:29 | NEW




Australia 2014: Robinson / Skinner winning AORC opening round in Kalgoorlie. | 21.04.2014 13:39 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar VIDEO: Overdrive Toyota Hilux testing before the rally | 21.04.2014 13:33 | NEW




Australia 2014: GHR Honda Team dominates Condo 450 Rally in the bikes | 21.04.2014 13:21 | NEW




SCORE 2014: Armin Schwarz and AGM aim for podium at Imperial Valley 250 | 20.04.2014 18:59 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Team Honda HRC to defend championship leadership | 20.04.2014 18:50 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Competitors from 18 countries to start in Qatar Monday | 20.04.2014 18:23 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons back in the Desert. | 20.04.2014 15:17 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: Yazeed Al-Rajhi rejoins Toyota Overdrive Tam in Qatar | 19.04.2014 15:48 | NEW




Sealine Rally Qatar: After a short break, four X-raid Mini are back in action | 19.04.2014 15:24 | NEW




Donaldson CC: Tovey first footballer in Imperial Auto Celebrity Challenge | 19.04.2014 15:08 | NEW




Hungarian CC: Second race, second win for Polish Chevrolet at Turkeve Cup | 16.04.2014 19:50 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah to compete in a Mini All4 Racing | 16.04.2014 19:22 |




Breslau Rally VIDEO: Official trailer of the legendary Breslau Rally Poland 2014 | 15.04.2014 23:08 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: The Lion is back - Peugeot 2008 DKR presentation | 15.04.2014 23:05 |




Breslau Rally: Rally will be more International - new full Cross-Country class. | 15.04.2014 20:06 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Dakar Tour stopped in the Netherlands with Cyril Despres | 15.04.2014 19:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Peugeot unveiled first details of Peugeot 2008 DKR Proto. | 15.04.2014 19:05 |




Hungarian CC VIDEO: Short impressions Turkeve Cup - Nissan Qashqai Proto | 15.04.2014 18:53 |




Hungarian CC: Double bad luck for Hungarian Solyom Team at Turkeve Cup | 15.04.2014 18:41 |




Australasian Safari: Competitors from all around the globe - Rallysafe System | 15.04.2014 18:13 |




Dakar Rally 2015 VIDEO: Tatra-Union - Loprais and Buggyra Dakar Forces | 15.04.2014 17:39 |




FIM World Cup: Paulo Gonçalves - "It's not about luck - it’s about hard work". | 15.04.2014 17:38 |




Sealine Rally Qatar: QMMF announces route for Sealine Cross Country rally. | 14.04.2014 17:43 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Marc Coma - "We fought until the last kilometer" | 14.04.2014 17:11 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Official video impression D5 in Abu Dhabi | 14.04.2014 16:24 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Summary Vasilyev Mini All4 Racing Team | 14.04.2014 16:19 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge VIDEO: Kazakhstan Teams Interview Sven Quandt | 14.04.2014 16:13 |




TORC 2014: Kleiman adds second Truck 2014 - keeps busy at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 15:55 |




TORC 2014: Canadian two-truck team Sle Co Race had a challenging weekend | 14.04.2014 15:47 |




TORC 2014: Cenni wins season opener - Kvamme gets first career podium | 14.04.2014 14:26 |




TORC 2014: Hoek welcomes Nitto & Trailready with solid start at Primm Valley | 14.04.2014 14:19 |




Defender Challenge: Race2Recovery take top step on Defender Challenge RD2 | 14.04.2014 13:45 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Four Overdrive Toyota in the final Top 10 | 14.04.2014 13:18 |




Formula Off-Road: Robby Gordon wins round 3 in front of Venezuela´s EJ Viso | 14.04.2014 12:54 |




Dakar Rally 2015: Czech Loprais Tatra team now together with Buggyra Tatra. | 14.04.2014 11:17 |




Pharaons Rally: X-raid back in Egypt, the stages of the Egyptian Rally 2014. | 14.04.2014 10:41 |




Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge: Vasilyev/Zhiltsov and Mini winning in Abu Dhabi. | 10.04.2014 15:31 |




















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