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Pharaons Rally 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Pharaons Rally 2007, 5th round of the FIM Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Pharaons Rally: Spectacular moments for Polish Krzysztof Holowzcyc

The Start of the 5th stage was the same as yesterday over dunes and sandy ground with some grass for camels outlining the Siwa gardens, but be careful with the dunes cassée (broken) as they are many on this direction of the race. One particularly dangerous for its height was at kilometre 25,6. The ground become slightly stony while getting to CP1. From here the competitors took again an old asphalt for 16 km that opens up into a very fast track for over 10 km.

The track got increasingly worse - even if still fast - for around 15 km, which compel to many changes of rhythm. The same track became increasingly wavy and then winding over some ouedis’ bed starting from km 107. The Rally has already passed there on the other way in 2005.

Before joining the CP3 at km 141, the ground became definitely challenging over the last kilometres. Then CAP toward South where the Rally found again dunes at HP up to a black plateau at km 161. Then the rally descended from the plateau into a canyon before going back to a very fast rhythm over a well marked and winding track. This took back over dunes and then turns at CAP toward East again on the dunes.

Around km 260, the competitors got back to few stony plains shifted with fesh-fesh before crossing dunes toward East up to CP4 at km 291. Here was again a movement of black and white valleys over a shells ground. At the end the competitors had to face again some soft dunes before finding the Sitra valley, quite fast to drive over, even if we must take care of terrible waves where some have left their car.

The come-back of the caravan of this 10th TOTAL Pharaons Rally to Sitra, midway between the oasis of Siwa and Baharija has been rather painfull. Whereas on Wednesday, Jacky Ickx, the race director, was congratulating himself on a day without any injury, the medical staff had a pretty busy day on Thursday. However, no change has been observed at the head of the overall ranking, Marc Coma (KTM/Repsol) and the duo Lavieille-Borsotto (Nissan Pickup Dessoude) leading their respective categories.

An helicopter is landing in emergency which is a rather bad sign. This morning, kilometer 105 of the special stage, the medical team got an emergency call for the Italian rider Giorgio Gallo, who fell down with his BMW. Airlifted to the medical satellite at the bivouac in Sitra, his situation has been stabilized before to transfered to Cairo, where the trauma and the possible vertebral lesion he his suffering will be investigated...

Almost simultaneously, the Nissan Pickup Overdrive from Krzysztof Holowzcyc and Jean-Marc Fortin, leading the race by that time, fell heavily from the edge of a dune. The Polish driver suffering an injury in the middle oh his back, reached the bivouac on his own, before to be taken in charge by the doctors.

"We were driving with a good pace", explains Jean-Marc Fortin, the Belgian co-driver of ‘Holek’. "Suddenly, we have jumped over a small dune, apparently round, but a little broken in the bottom. Krzysztof pushed the throttle to the floor, but the car dived anyway and the reception was everything but pleasant. He is suffering from his back, but according to me, his vertebrae must have been squeezed... I would be surprised if we can take the start tomorrow."

And as it was not sufficient, few minutes later, it was the Bowler Wildcat n° 207 from Rainer Wissmanns and Fabien Heitzmann which has fallen foul of traps after a broken dune and finished by rolling over. Fortunately, here again, nothing really serious for the crew, who, after a short check-up in the medical service, could join the Cummins France team on the bivouac.

Arrived in Egypt in order to conduct some tests, Christian Lavieille and François Borsotto (Nissan Pickup Dessoude) are now more than never on the right track to enter Cairo as winners. After holding the victory of the 5th stage, the French duo owns now more than one hour and twenty minutes on the Bowler Wildcat from Patrick Sireyjol and Paul Vidal, always leading the Bowler Trophy, in front of Jérome Pélichet and Eugénie Decré. The second Bowler of the Team Cummins France from Philippe Boutron and Jean-Luc Martin signed the 4th time of the day, just ahead of the Nissan Terrano from Carole Montillet and Mélanie Suchet. The two former ski champions have experienced their first day without any problem and are catching up the buggy SMG from Etienne Smulevic and the Bowler from Edmond Pélichet, less than 15 minutes behind the 5th place of the overall ranking.

In bikes, the race is clearly masterized by an imperial Marc Coma (KTM/Repsol). Winner of the day, the Catalan can rely on the support of his team colleague Jordi Viladoms, started in first position this morning, but waiting for his leader in order to accompany him to the finish line. On the other hand, the battle is continuing for the 3rd place between the Norwegian Ullevalseter (KTM 690) and the Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM 450). Lighter, easier to ride in technical portions, the bike of ‘Chaleco’ should give him the opportunity to catch up and to step on the podium this Saturday in Cairo. The excellent 5th position of the young Olivier Pain (Yamaha 450) just ahead of the Italian Oscar Polli (ktm 450) has to be noticed. As for the beutiful 14th position of Patrice Danel (KTM), first representative of the very nice group of ‘Blaireaux’ from Lille, feeding the bivouac daily with their good mood...

2007/10/05 | 12:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/JVD/Eduardo Bauer

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