Master Rallye final stage report

Press release n°11 / Saturday 12 August 2001 Leg 9 : Wadi Rum - Petra (Jordan) Finish in grand style in Petra. The Master Rallye 2001 caravan took off this morning in the heart of Wadi Rum. The bravest had given themselves a few minutes' ...

Press release n°11 / Saturday 12 August 2001 Leg 9 : Wadi Rum - Petra (Jordan)

Finish in grand style in Petra.

The Master Rallye 2001 caravan took off this morning in the heart of Wadi Rum. The bravest had given themselves a few minutes' contemplation during the night. The starry sky of Wadi Rum is one of the most beautiful in the world. Enough to find a few instants of serenity, after the terrible "mano à mano" that the competitors have engaged in since the beginning of the rally.

The 20 motorcycles and the 28 cars leave behind them the splendid bivouac of Wadi Rum, recessed between the majestic pinkish ochre cliffs, the starting point of SS13 to go to the finish in Ras An Nagad.

SS13 : Wadi Rum - Ras An Nagad : 159 km

The twenty kilometres of sand gave way to a stony trail. The finish was judged at the summit of a plateau to which the competitors gained access by a sinuous and stony trail. It was Kleinschmidt who signed the last scratch : " I am not disappointed because I ran a really good race... It was played according to the number of punctures, I punctured six times, Schlesser only once... Thanks to André, my new navigator, we were able to remain at the level of Jean-Louis all the time. Either in front or just behind". Delavergne finished at only 16'' : " It really gives you pleasure to finish with a flourish after the small troubles we encountered, and particularly in such a setting, it was fantastic".

Wambergue took his revenge after his trials and tribulations the day before, by finishing third: it was not enough to catch up with the lateness accumulated on arriving in Wadi Rum yesterday. Fourth, Schlesser drove cautiously. He crossed as the winner the last time control of the Master Rallye 2001: " I am delighted with this Master Rallye 2001. It is practically faultless, which is rare for a Rally of this length. This opinion was unanimous amongst the competitors. I thank René Metge and Master Group. Thanks to them we have crossed fabulous landscapes." De Mevius finished fifth of the special. The Belgian driver was also determined to ensure his third place on the final podium! " I drove at the utmost limit of what I could do on the stones, Kleinschmidt attacks more and I don't know how to follow her! " Vigouroux clocked in at only the seventh place, a little disappointed with the result: " we let go of a special which was made for us. I got stuck in the sand and wasted a great deal of time. But we'll get even one day, I know now that my Protruck is made to win Off-Road rallies. "

Amongst the motorcycles, Tiainen once more won the special of the day, thereby confirming his place as leader in the overall rating. Great winner of the motorcycle race in the Master Rallye 2001, he crossed the time control at the finish with his arms raised: " Of course it is a good feeling, it is the first time for me to win ". Tiainen, seven times enduro champion but who has never won an Off-Road Rally declared " It is a great victory and I hope there will be plenty more !"

Sala clocked in at 42''. When he was applauded, Sala declared with humour " Why am I getting this welcome, what did I do ? " Then he shouted " Bravo Kari ! " Brucy achieved the 5th time of this last special " I covered 50 km without a GPS, after a while I got annoyed and I hit it and then it started to work again ! It is incredible " Borsi gently wore out Griep who arrived on the special by the tarred road: " You were looking for a house to buy? You found it on this last kilometre? " Merkit, is a " traditional " in his engagement in Off-Road Rallies competitions. He performed the whole Master Rallye 2001, without assistance, and connecting up the specials on his motorcycle explained his choice " I take part in all the rallies without assistance because I find that it is better this way. If you know each other well there is no problem. As for a serious mechanical breakdown, there is always solidarity between us, we know each other well and help each other. Also it my responsibility to go on till the end"

The podium

Emotion was high in Petra when the first competitors finished. Everyone had something to say. Already souvenirs were being stored away, joys, troubles, successes and defeats encountered throughout the 5700 kms covered since the start at Le Cannet. All the participants in the Master Rallye 2001 were present to applaud the Champions of this adventure.

Tiainen, Sala and Brucy, were the first to be elected to crack a bottle of champagne! Followed for cars by Schlesser, Kleinschmidt and De Mevius. In T1, Lansac is the winner after a superb battle with Strugo, second and Georget, third.

The prize-giving ceremony, organised this evening in Siq Al Barid, called little Petra, is bound to be grandiose, the same as the welcome reserved for the Master Rallye in all the countries crossed. One last time the enchantment of the Orient will cast a spell on all the guests at this festivity worthy of the legend of the thousand and one nights.

Rendezvous in 2002 for more adventures...


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Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers René Metge