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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Transorientale: MAN and Hans Stacey in the lead in the Trucks Class.

Stacey’s team won the fifth leg of the Trans Orientale Rally today and regained its first place in the leading overall standings. Today’s trial was shortened by the organisation by way of a precaution. During the trial, which covered a distance of 112 km, Stacey was, with 1 hour and 46 minutes, more than two minutes faster than Chagin’s KAMAZ. Fellow-Dutchman De Rooy passed the finishing line exactly 10 minutes after Stacey and so came in third place.

Up till now, Echter’s MAN Rally Team has also performed extremely well. Echter is at the top of the league for standard trucks and in the leading overall standings he occupies (certainly for a standard truck) an excellent sixth position. In the leading overall standings, Stacey has overtaken Chagin’s Kamaz and De Rooy’s Ginaf-Iveco, although the difference with Chagin is minimal; only just over a minute.

It turned out yesterday that the problems with Stacey’s truck were caused by the fuel that was used. The fuel, which had been supplied by the organisation, contained water and this created problems with the engine. Today, too, the engine’s traction performance was still far from optimal, but in spite of this problem and a few other minor setbacks, Stacey and his team still managed to record the best time and that can at least be called a satisfactory achievement.

Navigator Charly Gotlib (Stacey Team) said about this fifth leg: "It was a very technical, very difficult trial. When we left we were in the 17th position, but we managed to overtake a lot of trucks and so we were able to post the best time. The trick is now to hold on to this first place and that will not be easy. We are in for a long leg again tomorrow. But physically we still feel fit, although Bernard of course gets hardly any sleep, because they keep working on the trucks throughout the night."

In the meantime, the drivers have crossed the border between Russia and Kazakhstan and are now in the steppe region of Kazakhstan. Tonight, technicians and mechanics will have to do the best they can, because in the next two days the drivers have to cover marathon legs and the assisting trucks will not be near at hand.

Apart from driving skills, the team’s navigation skills will also be severely tested in the next few days. The wide open plains of the steppe, with only a shrub here and there, make navigating extremely difficult. There are no landmarks and the plains seem to go on endlessly. The battle is still far from over and the drivers will have to make every effort to bring this capricious monster rally to a successful conclusion.

2008/06/17 | 12:17 CET | Editor: MR/HS/MAN

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