|Pharaons Rally: Schlesser and Rodrigues wins, Zapletal crashed X-raid BMW.|
Yesterday night, at the briefing, Rallyboss Daniele Cotto insisted in that stage 2, a round course of the Camp Tibniya, was going to be harder than the first one. He was right, the selective section of 473 kilometers over the 476 of the day were not tender to competitors.
After signing the first stage victory, French Jean-Louis Schlesser takes the lead with his Schlesser V8 Buggy. During today´s special, the car creator/driver played with yesterday stage´s winner, the Russian Vladimir Vasiliev that got stuck in the dunes or had a transmission problem. It was a free way for "Schless" that takes over until the finish line until the victory.
Behind, problems were a common thing. Among the stories of the day, Miroslav Zapletal and Tomas Ourednicek inserted their X-raid BMW X3CC car in the dunes and the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo MPR13 of the Romanian driver Costel Casuneanu that was running high speed landed on it!
The Italian Pietro Cinotto didn’t have better luck in his Nissan Pathfinder prepared by Dessoude (T2) and rolled over some kilometers after CP1. More fear than damages for this crew!
By the end of the day, standings completely changed. Also, behind Schlesser there is Jun Mitsuhashi (third in 2010), 29:24 seconds from the leader. The Japanese drives a Toyota VDJ200 (T2) navigated by Alain Guehennec in the Team Auto Body.
In spite of being trapped in the sand, Russian driver Boris Gadassin (G-Force), third of the stage, takes the same position in the overall standings after he stopped next to his unlucky compatriot, Vasiliev, and had a puncture. Another misfortune for Thierry Magnaldi today too. The French driver had a silent block and transmission problem that obligated him to take the tarmac to get back to the bivouac.
The Buggy SMG "Bio" of Bernard Touzery and Benoit Maurice makes its way and reach the top ten of overall standings today!
In bikes, it was time to shine for Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha), who conquered the sand with elegance. The Portuguese rider earned a stage victory after leaving the start in the fourth position, 8 minutes behind Marc Coma. The Spaniard, fourth today, keeps his leadership in overall standings and keeps his advantage over Rodrigues, who takes now the second place. The gap is still small to allow any release to the leader. 1’23” seconds are not a lot after the second day when there are still four to go.
Jakub Przygonski (2nd of the stage), run with perfection maintaining his place in the podium these two days, but this might not be enough because Polish rider is 2 minutes and 57 seconds behind Coma.
After a hard day (broken clutch), "Chaleco" López enjoyed his day during the stage, despite of the high temperatures. The Chilean rider started among the last bikes this morning and took over competitors until he finished fifth! The best Italian is Edouard Boulanger on Aprilia, who takes an honorable twelfth place and eleventh overall, after six years off of cross country rally racing.
2011/10/04 | 18:44 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/BAUER/URTUBIA