|Rally Albania: Light round course stage on Monday - surprising Machacek.|
After the longest stage of "Rally Albania" on Sunday, the participants got some "bonus" on Monday with a real short and fast stage with nearly no big liaison around the city of Pogradec in the Northeast of Albania.
52 kilometers timed section, a fast bumpy track in the hills and across a forest with easier navigation than the days before... not the best day to secure some time for the overall rankings, but a good day for some surprises.
So in the cars category it was "The Day" for the Czech buggy-driver Josef Machacek, who got his first stage win with his Hayabusa-"Hornet" single seater in 48:46 minutes, which was 1:40 minutes faster than the overall leader Sina / Wittberger (AL/AT, Toyota Land Cruiser) and 3:21 than Sunday´s crasher Dervishaj / Papuli (AL/AL, Toyota Land Cruiser). "The track was perfect, like made for my buggy," he said with a smile after the stage.
Nearly all cars made it with a maximum distance of 30 minutes, also the "broken-every-day" Land Rover Discovery of the Polish couple Janaszkiewicz, which finished 10th in the daily ranking.
Overall, Machacek climbed to third place with 10:13:02 hours behind Sina / Wittberger (09:12:09) and Marku / Flamuri (AL/AL, Jeep Cherokee, 09:53:04). The team Shkreta / Feka (AL/AL, Toyota Land Cruiser) were able to hold the fourth position with 10:28:32 hours, the Austrian Friedl-couple (Mitsubishi Pajero Evo) lost some time and went from three to five with 10:35:04 hours.
In the bikes, the interesting fight between the Italians Christian Pastori, Andrea Cosentino, Giovanni Stigliano, the Greek Vasilis Boudros and Sjoerd Remmelink from Holland continued.
In the overall ranking, Beta-rider Christian Pastori got back the lead with 08:44:56 hours in front of Andrea Cosentino (KTM, +12:54 minutes), Sjoerd Remmelink (KTM, +20:09), Giovanni Stiglio (Yamaha, +21:13) and Vasilis Boudros with his Husaberg (+27:34).
Surprising in the bikes was especially Sunday´s overall leader Ondrej Klymciw from the Czech Republic. He had to retire because of a broken leg - but this happened not during the driving. In the morning, after breakfast, he fell from his chair - no joke!
Also the "field of riding women" was reduced - from three to two riders. Whilst Patsy Quick from UK gave her name all honours and finished 7th overall with her KTM - and Joanna Modrzewska from Poland showed a stable race finishing 41st overall (+03:02:44) - Polymiti Kyriakopoulou from Greece had a bad day. She crashed with her Husaberg and broke a toe of her left foot. "Nothing really special, but actually it´s impossible to ride again. Maybe I will start on the last day, we will see," she said.
In the quads category, Edward Jerak from Slovakia won the stage in 50:08 minutes in front of Zornica Todorova (Bulgaria, Yamaha, +6:26 minutes) and Gerben Lieverdink from Holland (E-ATV, +07:37). With this the Slovak also took the overall lead from Martin Plechaty (CZ), who lost massive time after a crash and fell back to 7th position.
Zornica Todorova was able to keep the second position with a gap of only 3:24 minutes, Dutchman Gerben Lieverdink climbed up to third (+02:32:47) in front of the Slovenian Joze Zalar (+04:30:51, Arctic Cat) and Raymond Koldewijn from Holland (+11:02:32, CanAm).
On Tuesday the rally convoy left Pogradec going further east to the small village Voskopoja near the city of Korca, which is well known for its famous "Korca Beer"... The stage was supposed to be long again - but after a broken bridge it was shortened from more then 100 kms timed section to only 14 kms in time... and the day would offer a bigger surprise than on Monday...
2013/06/12 | 12:49 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS