Portimão to Málaga
Sunday January 7, 2007
Connection: 15 km - Special: 67 km - Connection: 463 km
Total: 545 km
06:19 - STAGE 2: PORTIMÃO - MÁLAGA
507 km, including 67 km against the clock, are on the menu for this second stage. There is a change of scenery for the competitors who will tackle the Portuguese mountains along a route reminiscent of WRC races. The rally drivers should once again make the most of it, especially Carlos Sainz and Ari Vatanen, whose Volkswagens are monopolising the top of the rankings. On these steep rugged roads, caution will of course be the watchword for all the riders. The region's own Ruben Faria could take advantage to cement his lead at the head of the rally. Finally, it should be noted, that there will not be a special stage for the trucks, who will head directly to Malaga.
10:09 - START OF LIVE COVERAGE
Welcome to all. On completion of the first stage yesterday, 490 of the 510 crews who started the rally were officially ranked. The remaining 20 competitors nevertheless managed to reach Portimao. As regards the race, Portuguese rider Ruben Faria, triumphant yesterday and leader of the general rankings as well as the 450cc rankings, was logically the first to get to grips with the day's special stage at 7.55 (GMT).
10:13 - Slight scare for Blais
No. 9, CHRIS BLAIS - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
American Chris Blais had to stop for around ten minutes after 20 km of the special section following a mechanical problem, but has got going again.
10:40 - Best provisional time for Rodrigues
No. 10, HELDER RODRIGUES - YAMAHA, SUPER PRODUCTION
Now that the first twelve bikes have finished the 2nd special stage, Helder Rodrigues has recorded the best provisional time for today's special and thus heads the general rankings. Like yesterday, the 450 cc bikes are proving to be the quickest, since the Portuguese rider has clocked up a time of 1'02'44" to lead his countryman Ruben Faria, victorious in the first special yesterday, by 1'03".
10:44 - All over for Weissner
No. 202, FRANCK WEISSNER - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
242nd in the first special stage, Frenchman Franck Weissner went on to blow up his engine during the connection section yesterday and was not present at this morning's start.
11:02 - Mechanical problems for Palante
No. 122, ERIC PALANTE - HONDA, SUPER PRODUCTION
Belgian Eric Palante has lost 25 minutes on the special stage due to a mechanical problem, before setting off again.
11:06 - End of the road for Droux
No. 174, SIMON DROUX - YAMAHA, SUPER PRODUCTION
After his clutch burned out and his expansion tank blew up yesterday during the special stage, French rider Simon Droux was not present at the start of the 2nd stage this morning.
11:08 - A big fright for Machacek
No. 260, JOSEF MACHACEK - YAMAHA, QUAD
Czech rider Josef Machacek has veered of the road into a ravine one kilometre from the end of the special stage. Whilst he escaped unscathed, he nevertheless lost a lot of time heaving his quad back onto the track.
11:31 - Machlab heads straight for Malaga
No. 158, ALI MACHLAB - KTM, MARATHON
Having had a fall during the special stage yesterday, Spanish rider Ali Machlab decided to not take part in the day's special stage and head directly for Malaga, the finishing point of this 2nd stage.
11:43 - Another fine performance from Planet
No. 19, FABIEN PLANET - KTM, SUPER PRODUCTION
Having finished in an excellent 9th position in yesterday's special, Fabien Planet, winner of the Dakar Enduro Challenge FFM, went one better today by finishing 6th in today's special stage. These are outstanding performances for the young rider of just 24 years old 24 who is competing in his first Dakar.
12:28 - Best provisional time for Sainz
No. 303, CARLOS SAINZ - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
On arrival of the first 11 cars, Carlos Sainz has scored the best provisional time for the second special stage. With a time of 59 min. 26 sec., the Spaniard leads countryman Nani Roma by 29 seconds and Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel by 31 seconds.
12:48 - The bikes have finished the special stage
The 242 bike riders who started this second special stage this morning have all finished the timed section and are now heading along the connection section to Malaga, the finishing point of this second stage.
13:00 - First worries for Vatanen
No. 308, VATANEN/PONS - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
4th to start this morning, the Finn Ari Vatanen is currently stuck at a ford 17 km from the end of the special stage.
13:26 - More shaken than stirred for Nobre
N°322, NOBRE/PALMEIRO - BMW, SUPER PRODUCTION
Brazilian driver Paulo Nobre and his Portuguese co-pilot Filipe Palmeiro veered off road into a ravine ten kilometres from the end of the special stage. Fortunately, they were more shaken than stirred and escaped unscathed, losing only around ten minutes before setting off again.
13:42 - Machlab's adventures continue...
No. 158, ALI MACHLAB - KTM, MARATHON
After having decided not to take part in today's special stage, following a fall yesterday, Spanish rider Ali Machlab stopped at the Portimao hospital to have an X-ray on his injured knee. But on leaving the hospital... Surprise, surprise, his bike had disappeared. However, everything was set right in no time and, thanks to the Iritrack system and the help of the local authorities his KTM was soon found at a house near to where its last position was charted.
13:44 - Zoetaert in a ravine
No. 444, ZOETAERT/CLAEYS - AUDI, SUPER PRODUCTION
The Belgian crew of Werner Zoetaert and Stefaan Claeys careered off-road into a ravine, but without any serious consequences, since they were soon able to get back on track with the special stage.
14:11 - Vatanen loses big-time
N°308, VATANEN/PONS - VOLKSWAGEN, SUPER PRODUCTION
Having flooded his engine at a ford 17 km from the special stage finishing line, the Finn Ari Vatanen finally made it to the end with a time of 2'35'55", losing more than an hour and a half on the leaders. His countryman Markku Allen also fell into this trap, but lost a lot less time.
14:17 - Stage 2 summary
Pending validation, Portugal's Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) has won the second special scratch time stage and leads the general rankings as well as the 450 cc category. His countryman Ruben Faria (Yamaha) recorded the second best time, 1'03 behind. Spaniard Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM) came in third, 1'45 behind. In the Marathon category, Portuguese rider Nuno Mateus (KTM) was triumphant, finishing with the 18th-placed scratch time. Finally, for the quads, Portuguese rider Joao Carlos Nazare Santos (Yamaha) was victorious with a very impressive 13th-place scratch time.
14:49 - Stage 2 summary
Pending validation, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (VW) won the second special scratch time stage, 29" ahead of his countryman Nani Roma (Mitsu) and Frenchman Luc Alphand (Mitsu), both scoring the same time. Victorious in the 1st special stage yesterday, Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa (VW), 9th today, nonetheless remained overall leader, 45" ahead of Sainz. In the Open category, Eric Vigouroux was triumphant in his Chevrolet, with the 38th-placed scratch time. Finally, in the production category, Portugal's Adelio Machado (Toyota) was victorious with the 40th placed scratch time.
14:53 - Stage 2 summary
As a reminder, there was no special stage for the trucks today. The competitors headed directly along the connection section to Malaga, the finishing point of this 2nd stage. Dutchman Gerard De Rooy (Ginaf) is therefore still leading the general rankings, 20" in front of countryman Hans Stacey (Man) and 46" ahead of Russian Vladimir Chagin (Kamaz).
14:56 - No special stage for Juchault
No. 419, JUCHAULT/ROLET - TOYOTA, PRODUCTION
After suffering an engine blow-out on the connection section yesterday, the French team of Jean-Louis Juchault and Xavier Rolet did not start the second special stage this morning, even though they had worked through the night to repair their vehicle. 179 crews therefore contested this 2nd special stage.
15:44 - Broken U-joint for Morin
No. 442, MORIN/DESNEUF - MERCEDES, PRODUCTION
The French crew of Eric Morin and Marc André Desneuf have broken their U-joint in the special section. Towed by their assistance to the CH, they are now trying to repair it as quickly as possible and get to Malaga, the finishing point of this 2nd stage, in time.
15:44 - No more vehicles in the special stage
All the competitors have now finished the day's special stage and are now heading for Malaga, the finishing point of this 2nd stage.
16:49 - End of the road for Skilton
No. 572, SKILTON/GRIJALVA/CAMACHO -- MERCEDES
Despite the lack of a special truck stage today, the Americano-Mexican team of Darren Skilton and José Grijalva-Hector Camacho have suffered an engine blow-out on the connection section.
19:59 - Bailey gets a fright...
No. 350, BAILEY/HEATH - BUGGY, OPEN
Victims of an accident on the motorway this afternoon in which their buggy rolled several times, but fortunately without serious consequences, the Americans Ronn Bailey and co-pilot Kevin Heath were able to set off again for Malaga, the finishing point of this stage, after two hours of repairs