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Pharaons Rally: Wildcat-Duels and Stagewin for Francisco Lopez

A small green spot surrounded by the desert, with dunes as background: This is Sitra, site of the Pharaons Rally fifth stage finish, a lake surrounded by greenery, born from a petrolific prospection, between Baharija and Siwa. A very funny fraction, drived very fast in some points, with lots of ground changeovers.

Leaved fourteenth this morning, Francisco Lopez has particularly enjoyed the stage, as he reachs all the pilots that started before him, all but the three outriders. Aprilia’s chilean had fun above all on the most incoherents strectches, beginning with Ivan Boano a friendly fight on motocross heat style. It amazes , but not so much by now, his today’s victory, saddling even seven minutes to the second classified, Luca Manca. The sardinian giant started thirth this morning and reached after nearly forty kilometres Jakub Przygonski and the outrider Cyril Despres.

Arriving to the finishing post together the best time as so been of the italian, while Ivan Boano is thirth at only two seconds from Manca. Fourth place for Przygonski who precede Rodriguez and Ceci, both arrived "on wake" to Lopez. Only on seventh position Cyril Despres, that opened the way for the all stage, except for the lasts kilometres where he left Przygonski sail. The french champion was angry with Manca, that stayed on his back for the all day, asserting jokingly: "I didn’t though it should be possible, but I believe we have found the new Alfie Cox", referring to the ex south african pilot that used to stay behind the others letting them navigate.

In the Overall league not so much changed, with Despres remaining in the lead with seven minutes on Manca and twenty-one on Ceci. Aprilia’s pilot will have to watch his back from Przygonski, that follows him at only 52 seconds.

Big "orientation school" today among the cars: Roberto Tonetti, navigated by his son Nicola, perforated twice during the initial part of the round, the second time he destroyed a pneumatic banging into a "herbe a chameau" very hard bump. At the CP 3 on the asphalt he had to stop to replace the two wheels perforated before and at that moment he had 35 minutes of detach from Pelichet/Decré, loosing virtually the top of the Overall league.

From that point he began to force, without following the tracks in front of him, but following with rigour the road-book. At the finish he arrived with a detach of only 9 minutes from Pelichet, catching 26 minutes up. The french, from his corner, remained shelved during the last part of the stage. Very good thirth place for the egyptian crew El shamy-Elhamawy, particularly aggressive today and encouraged by their local fans during the asphalt’s crossings. Twins De Lorenzo’s Isuzu concluded fourth in front of "Mido" Abouyoussef.

In the Overall Tonetti’s are still first and their advantage went down of 25 points on Pelichet/Decré, while Michel Visy/Philippe Bourquin, sevenths today, are always thirth in Overall, starting to configure a podium monopolized from Wildcats.

Tomorrow the return journey toward El Cairo, with the sixth and penultimate stage Sitra-Baharija, 431 kilometre, all of special stage : the longest Pharaons 2009 Special Stage.

2009/10/09 | 17:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Edoardo Bauer

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