Pharaons Rally Cairo - Baharia summary


1-9 october 2006


TRANSFER: Km 58,63
TOTAL: Km 398,76


The first SS starts at 60 Km from Cairo on the Oasis' road and it remains at North of the Cairo-Baharija road until the CP5. The start is located in the outskirts of a little alley flanked with trees in an hammada of dark dusty rubble. The distance between the start and the CP1 (km 60,12) develops along a fast track fairly marked with some undulations, surrounded by gigantic petrified tree trunks, some of which are perfectly preserved.

At the middle of this first section, around km 32, the getting over of some small dunes will serve as a warm up for what will come in the stages of the following days. On the way between CP1 and CP2 (assistance point km 100,33), the ground and the landscape are not much different, but from time to time the track becomes more sandy. Hence for around 40 Km we run with CAP 250 along a thin track towards the Ghard el Rammak dune, that has to be crossed immediately after the CP3 (km 143,01), and then coasted, first following direction SE and then the SW.

The track becomes more compelling and, approaching the CP4 at km 232,24, slowly it passes into big sandy ouadi sloping down, surrounded by little eroded stone hillocks and, here and there, by sandy dunes with lively colours, including some distance of fesh-fesh with spectacular passages between the dunes. At CP5 (km 268,46) the landscape changes again while running on a stony track that appears on a steep descent from which it is possible to admire Baharija from high. We will go down along an old track with some bends and then we will coast the green gardens of the oasis flanking the great falaise.

Now the tracks are many and going in all the directions, the ground becomes progressively sandy and very fast.

We drive round the oasis' vegetation arriving from South and, coasting little villages of farmers, we will reach a sandy track that takes us to cross the road of Baharija - Farafra at km 328,67. Going on a blackish and rambling ground, we coast again some barcane with very clear sand and, pointing to NE in the last part, now we coast the big falaise that is at N of the oasis to find the arrival near the new road to Siwa. The Bivouac is not far away on a sandy plateau.

Baharia, 3 october 2006

Podium 100% Spanish at Baharija

Full course for south for the first stage of the 9th Pharaons International Cross Country Rally. Almost 400 km, 340 of which were in time trial between Cairo and the oasis of Baharija. The race started at sunrise under the kindly stare of the Sphinx, next to the great pyramids of Giza, but quickly brought its batch of surprises. and misfortunes. From the bikes side, even if the Spanish pilot Jordi Viladoms (KTM) won the stage with a single second difference in front of his team leader Marc Coma, Victor Rivera (Rieju 450) taking the third place of this Spanish podium, some others like David Casteu had to face their first problems. In the car category, the Russian buggy from Shmakov (Buggy Zil), leader of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, managed the fastest time and then took the head of the cars ranking, whereas Monterde with his BMW X5 suffered technical problems.

BAHARIA - 102 teams (73 bikes, 22 cars and 7 trucks) took the start this morning of the 9th International Pharaons Cross Country Rally, whose start line was established on the famous Giza plateau. First biker to take off, the French pilot David Casteu (KTM) opened the track in front of Marc Coma (KTM) and Jordi Villadoms (KTM). The two Catalans closed the gap shortly after the CP2 (km 100), leaving Casteu behind them. As he was reaching the arrival camp, Casteu experienced carburetion problems, forcing him to disassemble the complete system on the track and to wait for the help of Laurent Lazard and the Chilian Jaime Prohens before to continue his road to the bivouac. Unfortunately, the misadventure of the pilot from Nice did not end there, since he fell down few kilometres before the finish line. Almost 1h20 were conceded by the present leader of the World Championship, who arrived 19th, very far behind Villadoms, who signs here his first victory on African soil. The young Spanish pilot Victor Rivera (Rieju 450), who took benefit from the technical problems (exhaust system) of Fransisco Lopez (Honda 450), is completing this podium 100% Spanish. With this good result, Rivera is taking the head of the 450cc category with his prepared bike from the famous "craftsman" Fernando Pradès.

A lot of unexpected developments in the cars category as well, where a tough competition was foreseen between the Russian Buggy Zil from Sergey Shmakov and the BMW X5 from Monterde. The purple "beetle", which started shortly ahead of its main opponent, did not manage to get out of his sight. However, some transmission problems on the X5 forced its driver to lose the contact few kilometres only before the CP 4 (km 232). Spending more than fifteen minutes at the assistance point, the Spanish driver and its Belgium co-pilot, Jean-Marie Lurquin, had to repeat the same operation in the second half of the stage before to arrive 4th of the stage won by Shmakov. Second came Yvan Muller with his Proto Dessoude, very enthusiastic from his first stage in an African off-road rally. With a careful way of driving (at least over the first kilometres), the king of the ice and present official driver for Seat in WTCC, masterized his car to stay ahead of the BMW X5 of the Bresilian Paulo Nobre. In the T2 category, the Totani s brothers (Mitsubishi Pajero) achieved the victory in the first racing day before the Mercedes ML from Jean-Pascal Besson and the Nissan Pathfinder from Laurent Rosso. As far as Christian Laveille (Nissan Pathfinder) is concerned, the rally started with some electronic problems with a defaulting ignition sensor. Despite this imperfections, which cost him a precious time, the present leader can stay confident as for its objective: only a podium would guarantee him the desired world title.

As expected, Giacomo Vismara (Iveco) won the stage in the truck category, by managing the fastest time, giving him the excellent 11th position of the general ranking.

-credit: jvd international

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Yvan Muller , Jean-Marie Lurquin , Marc Coma , David Casteu , Jordi Viladoms , Paulo Nobre , Laurent Lazard