UK: Rally Aicha Des Gazelles preview

TOTAL FLIES THE FLAG AT THE START OF RALLY AICHA DES GAZELLES Arlene Winter will be flying the British flag for TOTAL at the start of Rally Aicha des Gazelles, the world's only female rally. Rally Aicha des Gazelles kicks off tomorrow (21st...

TOTAL FLIES THE FLAG AT THE START OF RALLY AICHA DES GAZELLES

Arlene Winter will be flying the British flag for TOTAL at the start of Rally Aicha des Gazelles, the world's only female rally. Rally Aicha des Gazelles kicks off tomorrow (21st April 2005) from Mech Irdane in the Moroccan Desert. Entrants will cover 2,500 kilometres of gruelling terrain in just eight days.

The rally is an established event in the world's motorsport calendar and currently in its 15th year, however this is the first time ever that a British team will be competing.

Thirty-five year old Arlene said goodbye to her home town of Barford in Bedfordshire on 15th April and flew to Toulouse where she picked up her Mitsubishi L200, the vehicle she will be driving and spending most of her waking hours for the next eight days.

Emma Carter, Events and Sponsorship Manager at TOTAL UK explained: "Arlene was selected to represent TOTAL and the UK following a lengthy selection process.

Emma continued: "As a regional retail manager, Arlene has had no previous rallying experience but displayed all the relevant characteristics required for this challenge; dedication, determination, commitment, a high degree of co-ordination and perhaps most importantly, discipline and teamwork. We have every confidence in Arlene and will be supporting her every step of the way. Come on Arlene!"

The rally will be a real test of endurance, stamina and navigational skills. Teams are required to find their way across the course, passing through several compulsory checkpoints, using

only a map and compass and no GPS. Starting at 6am every day the teams, consisting of a driver and a navigator, are on the road for between 14 and 18 hours each day, often existing on just army ration packs.

The British Team has spent the last two days making final preparations for the rally. Speaking from Morocco, Arlene said: "It's been a fantastic experience already. I'm revved up and ready to take on the world and hope that I can make TOTAL and the UK a winning team!"

-total-

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Series RALLY