Master Rallye Leg six report

Tuesday 7 August 2001 Leg 6 : Konya (Turkey) - Aleppo (Syria) A trumpeted passage! On the trails, the struggle continues amongst the motorcyclists and the cars... The entry into Syria, a strong moment, unforgettable! There is the race and ...

Tuesday 7 August 2001
Leg 6 : Konya (Turkey) - Aleppo (Syria)

A trumpeted passage!

On the trails, the struggle continues amongst the motorcyclists and the cars... The entry into Syria, a strong moment, unforgettable!

There is the race and there are its facets!!! One cannot be had without the other according to René Metge. Once again magic was in attendance and the entry into Syria of the Master Rallye 2001 at Bab el Hawa, "The Gates of the Wind ", will undoubtedly remain forever engraved in the memories of all those who experienced this fabulous day. The country's Authorities, who were enchanted by the passage of the Rally through their country, had put on a big spread! Every car, every motorcycle with a Master Rallye 2001sticker was welcomed by the representatives of the Syrian Automobile Club and by a brass band, if you please! Indeed 84 musicians aged between 8 and 17 years old, all dressed in red and proudly waving a pole with the national colours interpreted alternatively a patriotic hymn and the ode to joy. A vast programme... Syrian television had sent a team to the spot as the event had taken such a national dimension. It is not every day that such a show is produced. It is even the first time that an international raid treads the Syrian soil. Drivers and riders, surprised by so much honour, kindly entered into the spirit of the day and gave interviews in spite of their fatigue; already over 600 kilometres under their belt, and the heat; over 50°C in the shade!

Once the customs formalities had been completed within a few minutes, the competitors covered the last forty kilometres which brought them to the foot of the Saint Simeon Basilica, an exceptional bivouac for this unforgettable day. Throughout, the population and particularly the children were lined up on the edge of the road applauding the passage. In the villages, one might have thought it was for a royal procession...

Still we must not forget the race. Only one special in the programme, the last on Turkish land. The departure was given at approximately 80 kilometres from the Konya bivouac. A very rapid special awaited the 21 motorcycle riders and 32 car drivers on a gravely track. Navigation was required today and certain paid the price.

SS9 Yarma Eregli : 119 km.

Amongst the motorcycles, the first sudden turn of events occurred at kilometre 3. Deacon, leader of yesterday's leg, set off in the lead. When crossing a bump slightly too fast..., he fell and lost his " foam beep ". The rider of BMW N°3, turned back on a parallel trail to go to his assistance truck. At the finish the English motorcyclist conceded almost forty minutes to Tiainen, second in this special. The rider of KTM N°2, rode without attacking. He assured his position as leader, at more than 30 minutes difference with Sala, the winner of the day. The Italian rider of KTM N°1, took this opportunity to take the second place in the overall. Cars "gardened" a little today. Kleinschmidt could have won this special but she lost her advance in the last portion on a rocky part of the track although she was in the lead at PC4 and PC5 with more than one and a half minutes advance. It was Servia who won the day's leg and is repositioned in the third place in the overall. Like everyone else De Mevius wasted a little time "gardening". Schlesser took this opportunity to overtake him. The driver of Nissan N°205 then drove in the dust... The driver of Buggy N°200 remains the leader of the overall but with only 1'12 advance in Mitsubishi N°201... It promises to be something tomorrow !

They said...

N°4 - Brucy : " After three kilometres, I saw the foam beep. As there was a small canal by the side I thought that Deacon had fallen and I stopped at the first PC to tell them. In fact he had gone back and I hadn't seen him!"

N°2 - Tiainen : " When I realised that Deacon had had a problem, I did not take any risks to ensure my position in the overall."

N°206 - Rakitiansky : " The special was very fast. We lost a little time as we "gardened", like the others! The atmosphere on the Master Rallye is tremendous. "

N°208 - Strugo : " This very fast special was ideal for our cars. In the rating of the T1s, there is no change. With Lansac and Georget, there is four minutes' difference. Nothing is certain yet... "

On the programme tomorrow ...

To celebrate the arrival of the Master Rallye on Syrian ground, René Metge concocted a special in three portions. Presentation by René Metge at the briefing this evening: " In the first portion you will get annoyed with your co-driver. In the second you will cool down! In the third it is your co-driver who will curse you!" If everything goes well... the competitors will arrive together in Palmyra. The bivouac installed close to this fabulous Antique site reserves numerous surprises...

-ME

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers René Metge