Rallye Des Pharaons 2003
Sixth Leg: El Kharga-Baharia
As the one of yesterday, also today's stage was very long. The Rally caravan moved from El Kharga to Baharia. After a road section of 151 km, which made the first bikes to start at 5.00 a.m., the selective section of 397 km started with the amazing climb to the falaise of Tineda, among an incredible lunar landscape, which dominates all the valley and Dahkla Oasis.
Among the bikes Fabrizio Meoni still dominates. Practically out from the final classification, Fabrizio is giving demonstration of his strength day after day. Today he won in 3.55.26, even though he had to slow down in the last part of the race for the rupture of his GPS.
Second again, at 1'16" from Meoni, the other twin-cylinder LC8, that of Nani Roma, who had problem with the bib-mousse also today.
Third place for Cyril Despres with 3'13" delay, followed by Richard Sainct, who maintains the leadership in the general classification.
The French now has a lead of 3'31" over Roma, not too much to run the last stage quietly.
Third place for Despres, at 12'05", while Fabrizio Meoni has climbed up the fourth place.
Among the cars, the rupture of the engine has obliged Kenjiro Shinozuka to abandon, just before an easily victory.
Problems also for his team companion Yves Loubet, who remained without fuel and obliged to wait for the refuelling for more than 50 minutes, arriving sixth.
The victory goes to the Spanish Josè Maria Salinero in 4.42.28, who preceded Marco Tempestini and Edi Orioli.
Behind the four time Dakar Champion, there is the Japanese Jun Mitsuhashi and the Italian Tony Carello.
With the "Shino" abandon and notwithstanding the problems, Yves Loubet is now the leader of the general classification with 1 hour and 38 minutes lead over Marco Tempestini and 2 hours and 22 minutes over Tony Carello.
Edi Orioli is fifth, preceded by Etienne Smulevici, who arrived seventh today.
Tomorrow the last stage of the Rallye des Pharaons 2003, 345 km of selective section before the least road section which will take the participants back to Cairo, in the sight of the Sphinx.