Monday 6 August 2001 Leg 5: Inonu - Konya (Turkey) A mad... mad... day After a restorative night for everybody, it was a difficult day which awaited the competitors of the Master Rallye 2001. At the time control at the start of the road...
Monday 6 August 2001
Leg 5: Inonu - Konya (Turkey)
A mad... mad... day
After a restorative night for everybody, it was a difficult day which awaited the competitors of the Master Rallye 2001. At the time control at the start of the road section, each competitor received the new timing, the new mileage of the specials and the road sections. The motorcyclists set off, as well, informed about the changes concerning refuelling. Hooray for the organisation! Everything was ready at first light. The 310 km of the SS N°8 became derivative SSN°8-1, 157.43 km long. A road section linked up straight to the SSN°8-2, more driveable over these 127 km.
24 motorcycles and 31 cars presented themselves for the departure this morning. All were to emerge with various degrees of happiness. This special was indeed as muddy as announced by René Metge judging by the state of the vehicles at its finish! It was nevertheless possible to avoid the snares by driving on the side. Leader in the overall rating, Jean-Louis Schlesser's aim was to do everything to maintain this advantage over his main rival, Jutta Kleinschmidt. It got hot in the mud!!! Finally, the two cars presented themselves at the time control, wheel to wheel, separated by 14" to the advantage of the German driver. It was De Maevius who was the cat's paw by signing the scratch. Enough to hearten the Dessoud team which has definitely not been lucky since the beginning of the rally! Behind, Buggy N°202, finished at 1'42 after a difficult beginning of the course. Placed very far in the rating of yesterday's leg, the Servia-Lurquin team rapidly found itself close to the wheels of Ak's Mitsubishi N°229, the regional of the leg! Having succeeded in overtaking him, Servia finished more easily. The most unlucky one of this leg was the Wambergue-Cottret team. Protruck N°207 remained immobilised for a good hour on the track due to a supply problem connected with the successive passages in the water. The Protruck wasted almost one and a half hours on the first. The other unlucky one in this leg was N°227. Stuck at kilometre 9, De Haan wasted an hour getting back on track.
Concerning motorbikes, Tiainen won the special in front of Deacon and Brucy. Both Quads threw themselves bravely into this special but had to give up in the middle of the race and decided to return directly to the bivouac.
Amongst the cars, the "mano à mano" continued in the afternoon on a more driveable track. Everyone had his own trajectory, giving, seen from the sky, a show of white smoke scattered over several kilometres. Buggy N°202 drove alone and signed the scratch in front of Nissan N°205 of the De Maevius-Guehennec team, decidedly in good form today. Jean Louis Schlesser took eight seconds back from Jutta Kleinschmidt and maintained the lead this evening in the provisional overall rating. Wambergue and Cottret achieved a good performance by finishing fifth although they had been deprived of their trip since the difficulties in the preceding special.
At the finish of the second special of the day, although very tired, the motorcyclists had a smile on their faces. The track was driveable, rough, sinuous. In brief, everyone found what they wanted! René Metge had concocted a leg of navigation for the Master Rallye competitors, the secret of which is only known to him. "Changes in direction every 100 metres!" exclaimed Didier Py, rider of the Touratech team BMW tired and amused. Kari Tiainen in the lead of the overall rating is the first to have completed the second special of the day, in spite of several navigating errors. Giovanni Sala also made several, but this did not prevent him from winning a place in the overall rating, as he is 3rd today. The big winner of the second special is Jean Brucy of the KTM team. He appears not to have made any navigating errors and to have followed the road book. 3rd in the first special of the day he thought when he crossed the finish line that Tiainen and Deacon had kept their distance. At 20 km from the finish he had seen them take a straighter route than that indicated in the road book. To his astonishment he found out that his time was better, Deacon was 2'43 behind him and Tiainen 4'20. Therefore he has jumped from 18th to 9th in the overall. Although 2h30'393 behind Tiainen, still leader in the overall rating, Jean Brucy appears to be decided to forget this misadventure, two days previously he had spent two hours getting his KTM out of the ditch. The Master Rallye can count on him on the tracks in Syria and Jordan!
They said...They said...They said...They said...
N°200 - Henri Magne, Jean Louis Schlesser's co-driver: "René made a good decision last night. Apart from the flooding, we avoided a village where the population was not expecting us at all. It is so narrow that even driving at 50km/h it would have been dangerous. There was a little navigating in the second portion but the road book was OK."
N°207 - Jean Paul Cottret, Philippe Wambergue's co-driver: "We had an ignition problem in the first portion of the special and wasted a great deal of time. Therefore we had to drive without a trip at the end of the first special and for the whole of the second one! Not easy... We wasted practically one and a half hours with this."
N°201 - Jutta Kleinschmidt: "I set out behind Jean Louis Schlesser and couldn't manage to overtake him although he was driving more slowly. The track was muddy and there were not many places suitable for overtaking. This is Jean Louis' strategy to enable Servia who had encountered mechanical difficulties yesterday to reduce his time difference. De Maevius and Servia managed to pass without difficulty, I also attempted to overtake, it was very dangerous! I left the track and I slipped in the canal. I found myself in over a metre of water. Getting out of my car to see what damage there was, I had muddy water up to my waist but fortunately nothing broken. Manoeuvring rapidly I got out in reverse and got back into the race."
On the programme tomorrow...
Changing from one civilisation to another, the Master Rallye will leave Turkey tomorrow to enter Syria. The choice piece of the day will unquestionably be the passage through the border at the end of the afternoon in Bab el Hawa! Before that the competitors will have to fight over the 198 km of the SSN°9 which will lead them from Yarma to Eregli. In the first kilometres, the competitors who took part in the 2000 will meet up again with the paths crossing the superb salt lakes, taking a more rapid trail. The finish will be judged beyond a mountain that will have to be crossed by driving on a stony trail in the ascent, more rapid but very sinuous in the descent. Rendezvous tomorrow evening at about forty kilometres from Aleppo at the foot of the famous Saint Simeon castle!