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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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ULTRA 4 Europe: Second day report ULTRA 4 race in Italy - by Robb Pritchard






The inaugural "ULTRA4 Europe King of Italy" kicked off in style last weekend with some of Europe’s fastest and most capable 4x4s blasting off through the forests, ravines and hills of northern Italy.

Thanks to his stellar qualifying performance in the prologue, Italy’s Roberto Caini was first away but two minutes on the road behind, with a noticeably much smoother application of the power pedal, was Dodge City’s Levi Shirley in his beautiful Euro Fighter.

For the first few kilometers it was WRC style roads through the woods and up along a ridge, but ULTRA4s are built for the toughest tracks there are and down a tight wooded section along the side of a field it was the big rocks of a dry river bed that awaited.

Ciani had a big lead here but it was Shirley who made it back to the finish first. With what might prove to be his Achilles heel Ciani caught a rock and broke the rear steering system and lost about 10 minutes fixing it. That allowed Shirley to come back to camp with roughly a 3:30 lead.

It was close behind too, although no one knew the exact times, but Stephane Zosso in his ZZ Kustoms buggy, Montador in his WSR and Rob Butler in the other Euro Fighter were all within a few minutes of each other.

A long lunch break was had for everyone to bask in the sun before lining up for the second loop. I had so much fun off-roading with Spidertrax’s Thom Kingston amazing Smart Car through the fields that we drove it over the hill into the next valley, much to the bemusement of a couple of marshals in a Jeep.

Shirley was first through the river bed but Ciani was less than 2 minutes behind, with Zosso in 3rd... although he would loose that position just a few meters past where I was standing. He had an absolute nightmare trying to change a flat tyre... and the next time I saw caught up with him, he had another… and was only carrying one spare. That meant he had to do the King Zone and final tough little tricky sections dragging the rim of a front wheel in front of him.

Rob Butler would have been a lot faster if Montador hadn’t held him up for a few kilometers. "We had the horn on the whole time and in the end just had to push him out of the way. But we’re only a couple of minutes behind 3rd so we will be trying for a podium."

Jaap Betsema the Frisian Fire Ant driver had a hard morning and an even worse afternoon. "The brakes failed near the end of the stage so I had to slow down with the automatic gears." But it went very wrong on the next lap. "We had a struggle with changing a tyre so we were a bit behind but then we came over a little hill at full throttle and BANG, there was a car stuck in a hole. We could do nothing so hit it really hard, we actually ended up on top of it... And after that we had no brakes again so it was very hard on the gearbox to get to the finish."

Someone else having troubles with transmission was Axel Burmann. "We blew the Atlas transfer case," he shrugged as a marshal towed him back into camp. "We will have a look to see if it’s the cables, but if it is the ‘box then we are out."

On my way around the campsite with notebook in hand I met the friendly Emanuel Costa, last year’s King of Portugal winner. "We couldn’t race here because we have no sponsors," he lamented, "It’s a pity because we would love to drive on this course. But we’ll be waiting for all these teams in Portugal!"

But it’s the battle at the top that’s the talking point of the event. Despite braking off the rear anti sway bar Ciani was only 30 seconds slower than Shirley. "He drives fast and his car is good, no doubt, but we are going to see how the car is tomorrow morning and if everything feels right we will attack. It’s a completely new car, but a win is possible, so we’ll see this time tomorrow night!"

The weather forecast for tonight is for thunder storms which will make it a totally different race! Two more laps of the gorgeous 25km track stand behind a great come-back win for Shirley after his disappointing King of the Glaens run or a sensational victory for Ciani in a brand new and untested car. Or maybe someone else win snatch first. Check back for the final story.

2014/06/25 | 14:13 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/ROBB PRITCHARD











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 | NEW




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 | NEW




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 | NEW




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 | NEW




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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