Dakar: Kwikpower Mercedes state 12 report

Ellen Lohr forced to retire in leg twelve due to the consequences of a crash that wasn't her fault Mali -- Following yesterday's crash that wasn't her fault, both Ellen Lohr in the rally prototype and the service Unimog had to retire from...

Ellen Lohr forced to retire in leg twelve due to the consequences of a crash that wasn't her fault

Mali -- Following yesterday's crash that wasn't her fault, both Ellen Lohr in the rally prototype and the service Unimog had to retire from the 2006 Dakar Rally. A true pity as the team had already covered about 7,000 of the event's total mileage of 9,000 kilometres. Just 50 kilometres into yesterday's leg, another competitor hit the rally car of Ellen Lohr and her co-pilot, Detlef Ruf. In normal circumstances, the service Unimog had rather quickly arrived at the scene of the accident to repair the rally car. But as the track had been declared impassable for trucks and the stage was nullified, the Unimog needed nearly six hours.

Hence, Lohr and Ruf arrived at the leg's finish just at 07.00hrs, this morning, exactly half an hour prior to the start of the next stage. "We had just enough time to refuel the car and to refill the water," revealed Lohr. "But a service would have been particularly crucial, following the crash. And without the track being declared impassable for trucks, we would have had five hours time to repair the rally car." Yet, without this service, the hopes of making it to the finish ended 125 kilometres into stage twelve, when Ellen Lohr broke down with a locked wheel bearing; while the service Unimog was excluded already yesterday due to a timeout because of its support for Lohr and Ruf. Now, the crews of the Unimog and the Mercedes-Benz Actros are on their way to Ellen Lohr and Detlef Ruf. Afterwards, the rally car will be repaired. It's still the team's goal to enter Dakar with the entire Mercedes-Benz fleet, on 15 th January.

Ellen Lohr: "We're all truly disappointed that we're not able to complete the rally due to an accident that wasn't our fault. Everything might have worked hadn't the truck track been declared impassable at the same time. Yesterday already we were aware that the Unimog would be excluded should it help us. But the crew gave its very best, nevertheless. And in spite of our disappointment, we're proud at the same time. In our inaugural appearance in the most gruelling rally of the world, we completed three quarters of the event's total mileage. In the past 13 days, our entire team worked and battled extremely hard to make it to the finish, Dakar. Now, we will give our very best to enter Dakar with our entire fleet."

-kwikpower-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Ellen Lohr , Detlef Ruf