PHARAONS CROSS COUNTRY RALLY
THIRD STAGE: DAKHLA-ABU MINGAR
TRANSFER: Km 2,50
SPECIAL: Km 339,11
TRANSFER: Km 16,92
TOTAL: Km 358,53
Two assistance points in this third stage. The start is close to the bivouac, right after the crops which we must absolutely respect, then directly over a nice sand with nice dunes, CAP 230/240 up to CP1, km 23. If you look at the map of this stage, you see that after CP1, we skirt the "Great Dune" on its eastern side, therefore we don't really have any crossing of dunes chain, as they actually are passages in side valleys of sand, all in the same direction (CAP 3400x00b0 - 3600x00b0) toward CP2, at km 74 assistance point and refueling.
In this stretch, the ideal trace is on the edge between the chain side and the plan, which is sometimes rocky, with barkanes, careful not to get there with speed. At km 74 the CP2, change of CAP, now we go toward full West while crossing a small erg of "dead" dunes, low but very soft, some are also broken!!!
After the small erg, the ground becomes rocky and wavy: crossing of oued and therefore steps entering and exiting, some passages require care, follow attentively the Road Book, but many obstacles require driving "at sight". Around km 130 some sand starts again alternate with stones, then you find again nice dunes around km 150.
The CP3 is right after a nice rounded dune, from where we take a CAP 3220x00b0 in direction of Abu Mingar.
Sand canals one after the other one sometime more solid, sometimes harder, some big steep dune at the exit (km 240.99).
Landscapes are beautiful, the dune chains high and impressive, all with no difficulties. On the asphalt around the Abu Mingar Oasis, the second assistance point and start of the loop of this leg's end which is almost all on sand.
This time with dunes chain crossings; some groups are more complex and will create problems only in the hottest hours of the day, when the sand could be less solid.
Be careful around km 320, some steeper dunes at the exit of the last km. We are now used to linked dunes, therefore these last ones could take us unprepared.
WRECK INTO THE GREAT SAND SEE
Misfortune hits Lopez: after have nearly reached Despres, landing after a leap, his motorbike turned off and he attained to restart it just thanks Franco Picco's help. Despres win the stop with only 34 seconds on a stratospheric Luca Manca that follows him also in the Overall. Among the cars some problems make Pelichet and Visy delay, giving all-clear to Tonetti that is always more leader in the Overall league.
ABU MINGAR -- The great hot, that until today reprieved the Pharaons 2009, binded today the Abu Mingar's bivoac with temperature over 400x00b0 degrees. An enourmus sandy flat ground, stopped just by the asphalt's dark line that connect Dakhla with Farafra, is tha scenary of the arrival of the rally's thirth stop, a stop full of sensational development, beginning with the motorbikes where the Overall's leader Francisco Lopez, after a bad landing from a dune, didn't attained to restart his motorbike. He did it just after two hours, thanks Franco Picco's help. Long standing Dakarian, Picco made bridge from his battery and Chaleco's motorbike. A banal trouble to the starter motor relais tooked the fast chilean away from the fight for the victory. Before the CP3 gained more than one minute on the pacesetter Cyril Despres, who won undisturbed the stop.
Resounding Luca Manca concluded at just 34 seconds from the french. So Manca passed in second position in Overall with a delay of eleven minutes from the french. Thirth stop place for the polish Jakub Przigonski, in front of the two Aprilia of Alex Zanotti and Paolo Ceci. The two pilots stopped for a few minutes, trying to help Lopez, than the instrumentation support of Zanotti cracked and he had to drive with one hand for 60 Kilometres. Sixth place for Oscar Polli, at last incisive after a few stops in which fever didn't allow him to give the best. Excellent seventh position for Ivan Boano, at his first rally after a long militancy in the enduro.
In the Overall league Despres commands with eleven minutes on Manca, Zanotti is thirth with twenty minutes.
Today, among the quads, the faster is the french Jean-Christophe Thamas.
Elimination round -- among the cars. Pelichet/Decr0x00e9 had troubles at the change during the first part of the special trial, loosing more than half an hour from the stage winners, Roberto and Nicola Tonetti. They are father and son and with the today's victory they consolidated their position on the top of the Overall. Also Abdelhamid Abouyoussef, that probably was going to win the stage, was going very fast, but in the last part of the round shelved ending on a sixth place. Tonetti's victory counter with the twins Aldo and Dario Di Lorenzo second place, arrived at ten minutes from the outriders . Pelichet/Decr0x00e9 ended anyway in thirth position, preceding Visy/Bourquin and the Al Muhna/Alsand Saudi crew. Roberto and Nicola Tonetti are on the Overall top with 39 minutes on Pelichet and one hour and a half on Visy, while the twins De Lorenzo passed on the fifth position.
Tomorrow is the Pharaons 2009 Grand Prix great day : start in line, first of the motorbikes and then of the cars, in the Abu Mingar plane with two 28 Kilomtres rounds to cover before going toward North, direction Farafra. Two are the specials scheduled for a 428 Kilometres stage that will bring us in Baharija.