FIRST VICTORY FOR FARRES. SCHLESSER FLIES OVER THE EGYPTIAN DESERT
An extenuating day for all competitors of the 13th edition of Pharaons Rally under a burning sun and a ground that made competitors sweat that were trapped in the dunes. In bikes, Joan Barreda (KTM 690) won the first 170 km special section, and the second special of the day came to Gerard Farres. In cars, Jean-Louis Schlesser flew over the dunes without any problems. The experience of the crew keeps them on top of the classification...
ABU MINGAR -- The 13th edition of Pharaons Rally 2010 was a hard test to all competitors. The sun on top made visibility harder, but it didn't take away the sweet first victory for Spanish enduro rider Joan Barreda in the first selective section while the second was as sweet for Gerard Farres, a gift after the technical problems encountered with the back before. In four wheels, the sand played tricks to Eric Vigouroux while Jean Louis Schlesser shows his experience with another stage victory.
All riders and crew cars left Bir Karawein for two special sections. Sand was the main character of today's stage, and it didn't make it easy on anyone. The first special section, of 170 took competitors to the old village of El Qasr, in the Dahkla Oasis was the first victory for the 27 years old endure rider who signs his first stage victory in his first cross country rally. On the second special stage, it was Gerard Farres to take the joy of a stage victory after starting way back this morning due to the fixed penalty he received yesterday. It was also the first stage win for the Spaniard over Aprilia, a well-deserved prize.
Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez remains the leader overall and comforts his place after the decision of Marc Coma during the stage. As the sun didn't let him see the relief well enough, the Catalonian lowered his pace to keep walking though the FIM Cross Country World Championship title in open class.
Marcos Patronelli keeps showing his amazing skills on the quad's category and imposes himself over Sonik Rafal and Dimitri Pavlov. The Argentinean was 13th of the day and keeps heading in quads.
Meanwhile, in cars the day was the hardest for all crews until now, except for Jean Louis Schlesser and Arnaud Debron, who arrived to Abu Mingar with a big smile. The blue crew claimed that they didn't see many cars climbing the dunes, a simple way to say that everything is all right for them.
The day wasn't the same for Eric Vigouroux and Alex Winocq. The Trophy Truck encountered several problems during the two stages. During the first special stage the two wheel drive was caught in the sand and lost one hour. Then, the second special was followed by a mechanical problem with the torque converter that didn't allow the crew to succeed in their goals and obligated them to get to the bivouac at a reduced speed.
Sand was the preferred topic this afternoon in the bivouac. Also Maurizio Traglio and Fabian Lurquin were trapped with the sand up to the doors of their car. The story was the same for for Jun Mitsuhashi, and an unforgettable heat of the engine for the Tonetti's crew.
Jerome Pelichet and Eugenie Decre have carried out a great performance today and finished the stage in the second place, an important reward after the mechanical problems of the two preceding stages.
Joan Barreda: "I'm very glad to sign my first victory, even if it was just the first part of the stage. It has been amazing to open the track for almost 100 km. It was a great sensation to be opening the track. I was a hard stage, but it was incredible."
Gerard Farres: "I still cannot believe I just signed my first stage victory with Aprilia in cross country rally. It's amazing, I didn't think I could make it with the small problems we have had before so I'm very happy. Tomorrow I will open the track for the first time. It won't be easy, but I will earn experience."
Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez: " The first part of the first stage was very fast. Then, the entrance to the English Labyrinth was very beautiful but hard at the same time. For the second special stage, dunes were soft and much more technical. Then, the last 100 km were off track and straight to the finish in Abu Mingar."
Marc Coma: "Today's stage was very beautiful most of all during the first special. For the second special the sun was over us and it was like if the sun erased the relief so I decided to lower my pace."
Marcos Patronelli: "The black pyramids was something I had not seen before. There were beautiful landscapes and a nice stage. Great fun for quads in the sand today, it was fast, there were dunes... The problem was that visibility was reduced because of the sun. I have to keep the pace until the end, so I have to stay focused."
Jean Louis Schlesser: "Happy people have nothing to say! Arnaud (Debron) and I were all alone. I saw Vigouroux on the sand. I rolled anxiously during the whole special! On the second one, it wasn't easy either, and the sun erased the relief of the track and the sand pits made us move worse than the camel herb. It was a hell!"
Jorome Pelichet: "It feels good to finish a special stage without problems. I am really enjoying it. We decided to keep a regular pace in order to avoid getting caught in the sand. We even saw Vigouroux and Traglio with their shovels!"
Maurizio Traglio: "We had the sand up to the car doors. We got caught in the sand four times! It was during the last time that we inflated tires to 700 gr. It was a day of craziness!"