Luc Alphand - The Flying Frenchman All results of the competition of the sixth stage had already been written and press-releases were partly already published, when Luc Alphand and co-pilot Matthew Stevenson (BMW X5), ranking 118th in...
Luc Alphand - The Flying Frenchman
All results of the competition of the sixth stage had already been written and press-releases were partly already published, when Luc Alphand and co-pilot Matthew Stevenson (BMW X5), ranking 118th in total, made the press moan. After 2:14.25 hours, the timing stopped the second X-raid team, which meant a seventh place in the special stage of today. Alphand, very unlucky, when a huge rock hit his car at great speed and destroyed the suspension of the front-wheels yesterday, was very happy with his good result today and his improvement on a 93rd place was a satisfaction for the French at least. "It was a sort of Poker with the tyres today, and we were rewarded. As now we can no longer achieve a top position, I will obviously work efficiently for the whole team. Still we hope to surprise at one stage or other," satisfied Alphand set himself a goal after the finish of the stage today.
The time penalty of nine minutes, imposed on Alphand during stage three (Castell?n-Valencia), in any case, is still a dispute. Team manager Sven Quandt explains the circumstances for the protest: "Luc had to pass a ramp at a check-point shortly before Valencia, when it collapsed. Luc was not allowed by officials to drive on as long as the ramp was repaired and the car could pass it. Fixing this ramp took so much time that he finally arrived with a delay of nine minutes at the check-point at Valencia. Those nine minutes in the end were imposed as time penalty. We entered a protest in time, which was refused. Our lawyer now entered a protest at the FIA (highest authority of motor sport) in Paris. We take this seriously, even if Luc is out of reach to win the Rally, due to the fact that the reason of the delay was in the responsibility of the promoter and not of our pilot."