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Rali Transiberico 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Rali Transiberico 2007, 1st round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Transiberico: Fastest time for Colin McRae on the final stage.

The third and fourth legs of the Rali Transiberico - opening round of the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup - saw Colin McRae post a series of top times at the wheel of his privately-entered Team Overdrive Nissan Navara. The former World Rally Champion's performance even saw him head the factory teams on the final day.

Colin McRae and his co-driver Jean-Marc Fortin were right to insist on re-joining the competition when, after recording the second quickest time on Thursday's prologue near Estoril, they were stopped in their tracks on Friday morning after just 100km of competitive action.

"It was a leaking brake hose that brought our pickup to a halt," explains Overdrive boss Grégoire de Mevius. "After repairs, and without the slightest apprehension, Colin and Jean-Marc were able to re-join the event on Saturday for the rest of what remained a very copious programme."

"I'm glad we didn't retire," admitted the Scot after Sunday afternoon's finish. "It's true that on Friday I was somewhat disappointed not to have been able to continue to challenge for victory, especially since our early split times were excellent. However, the car was then perfect for Saturday's long, dusty stages and I was able to drive as I wished."

"It's fantastic watching Colin at work," enthused his Belgian co-driver. "I spent much of the time looking at what was coming next out of the side windows in sixth gear. It was positively awesome, and an object lesson in perfectly controlled improvisation without taking the slightest risk." The timesheets at the end of Leg 3 confirmed Jean-Marc Fortin's observations since he and McRae were the day's second fastest crew over the two stages combined which represented a total of no less than 440km of competitive driving. Encouraged by their result, the pair continued at the same pace during Sunday's final leg.

"We had the pleasure of winning the last day's cumulative classification [two stages] ahead of the factory teams," reported Fortin. "And I can tell you it was no stroll either; there were only five seconds in it between Luc Alphand and us after 300km of stages!"

Team Overdrive boss Grégoire de Mevius was equally pleased with the weekend's run. "Our small team ended on a high note," he underlined. "Once Friday's problem had been cured, our Nissan Navara proved perfectly reliable over Saturday and Sunday's 740km of stages. And, as the results show, Colin and McRae weren't just there to make up the numbers. It's been a positive weekend overall and both the engine and the chassis of the Navara proved very competitive. This was a highly challenging event which straddled the border between Portugal and Spain and I believe we have made a real step forward with regard to the pick-up's development. It really is the ideal machine for a privately-run operation."

2007/06/04 | 11:51 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Overdrive

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