Leg 4: Kesan - Inonu (Turkey) Things are beginning to get serious! Fierce struggle amongst the cars Total change in the motorcycle rating After a short night's sleep at the bivouac of Kesan on the Turkish border, the Master Rallye set off...
Leg 4: Kesan - Inonu (Turkey)
Things are beginning to get serious!
Fierce struggle amongst the cars
Total change in the motorcycle rating
After a short night's sleep at the bivouac of Kesan on the Turkish border, the Master Rallye set off very early to take the ferry from Gelibolu to cross the Dardanelles at sunrise. 25 motorcycles and 36 cars took the start of special N°6 in Salihli for a first sprint to Biga. Good news for the Vigouroux/Micquiaux team: Protruck team N°210 was authorised to take the departure. For exceptional conditions (6 hours' late at the disembarkation in Greece)...Exceptional measures...
SS6 Salihli - Biga: 136.99 km
Fought on a narrow and sinuous track, with no less than twenty passes to be crossed, this special kept all its promises. The layout, partially made up of small gravel was very slippery. The duel, glimpsed these last few days between the two Buggies and the Mitsubishi, increased in magnitude. Around the scratch, Jeal-Louis Schlesser won 1'28 back from Jutta Kleinschmidt. Sandwiched between Schlesser and Servia, the German driver was still fuming at the finish of the special. "Servia blocked our way, I stayed behind him for fifty kilometres. I am sure that Schlesser has recovered practically two minutes...". The driver of Buggy N° 202 explained his three minutes lateness by the fact that, as he was opening the track, he rapidly found himself in the dust of the motorbikes. He finished fourth of this special behind Grégoire de Mevius. The driver of the Dessoude team did not encounter any problems as opposed to Thierry Delavergne. The driver of Nissan N°203 had navigating problems and wasted a few minutes going back. At kilometre 91.6, he hit motorcyclist N°21. Luc Fernandez fell, luckily without gravity, but was unable to set off again as his front wheel was bent. Clearly very unfortunate, the driver of the BMW will do his utmost to continue tomorrow. The big surprise in the motorcycle race is the counter performance of Giovanni Sala. The rider of KTM N°1 got lost and reached the finish credited with the ninth time. It was Tiainen, on KTM N°2 who signed the scratch, outdistancing Deacon, BMW N°3, by 4'54.
SS7 Keles - Dordurga: 112 km
The first special had opened hostilities, the struggle between the four leading cars was all the better for it. On a track which was as sinuous as ever but with bigger changes in level, new developments succeeded one after the other! Bad luck for Servia, victim of a mechanical failure which immobilised him for almost half an hour. At the end of the special he clocked in at 23'06 from the best of the first time made by Jean Louis Schlesser. In the overall rating he goes down to fourth place. It is Schlesser who achieved the accomplishment of the day by taking the leadership this evening in the provisional overall rating. Yet everything started badly this afternoon. Victim of a slow puncture, the driver of Buggy N°200 was obliged to stop at kilometre 40 to change the wheel. Then he saw Jutta Kleinschmidt pass in front of his eyes. The German driver lost the advantage of this advance a few kilometres further on due to "gardening" and had to submit for forty seconds. Concerning motorbikes, it was the Italian, Borsi, on Honda N°6, who signed the scratch, ahead of Tiainen, KTM N°2 by 3'37 and Deacon, BMW N°3, by 9'28. In the provisional overall rating, Tiainen is in the lead in front of Borsi and Deacon. Sala, fourth in the scratch, is also fourth in the overall this evening.
On the programme tomorrow...
The Master Rallye will remain in Turkey tomorrow. The drivers will once more find the same layout as in 2000. The departure of the SS8, 309'03 km, will be given near to Eskisehir tomorrow morning after a road section of 90'84 km. The competitors will be confronted with very varied tracks and navigating will have a part to play. Then the competitors will reach the bivouac installed in Konya. René Metge announced changes in the road book. Indeed, due to the torrential rains last week, a portion of the initial layout has been totally flooded and will be deviated.