Repsol Pharaons Rally Farafra - Baharia summary

MARC COMA AND JORDI VILADOMS CLINCH ANOTHER ONE-TWO FINISH IN EGYPT Current Raid World Champion Marc Coma wins both specials of the day. Repsol KTM team mate Jordi Viladoms is second in both specials. Carlo De Gavardo is third. Again a very...


Current Raid World Champion Marc Coma wins both specials of the day.

Repsol KTM team mate Jordi Viladoms is second in both specials. Carlo De Gavardo is third.

Again a very positive day for the Repsol riders in the Egypt Raid. In today's stage, divided into two specials making up a total of 400 km, the Repsol riders took the leadership clinching the first three places at the end of the day. In a difficult and long stage, with two timed sections in which the riders had to face dunes and a broken and bumpy ground, Marc Coma used his experience to take the victory in both specials. After De Gavardo's victory yesterday and Casteu's second position, the Chilean Repsol rider was the first to take the start today, followed two minutes later by Casteu and later by Viladoms and Coma. The Spaniards, riding together again, quickly caught the leading riders and drove together almost until the end of the stage, with Marc Coma finishing fastest, followed by Viladoms. For the second section, the starting order was the same order of the arrival of the first section so De Gavardo started again first and Casteu second. Third at the start was Coma and fourth Viladoms. Coma caught Casteu and De Gavardo quickly setting a fast pace in some areas, allowing him to open a gap to the rest and to cross the finish line all alone thus taking the victory of the day. Second to cross the finish line was Casteu and some time later De Gavardo and Viladoms together. With this result, Viladoms took the overall second position of the day and De Gavardo the third. In the overall standings, the positions are the same as yesterday: Coma first, Viladoms second and De Gavardo third.

Stage 4 (Special 1 and Special 2). Farafra - Bahariya. 400 Km.

Today's stage was divided into two specials. The start of the first SS was beside the Farafra bivouac and the drivers had to face a sandy, off-track way in the first part. Then the ground became bumpier until the route crossed the asphalt road that connects Farafra and El Dakhla, location of the assistance point. After the break, the route entered a traced but very bumpy ground that took participants around the big falaise of Farafra on the right hand. Once the falaise had been left behind, the ground changed and the riders entered a tortuous ouadi with visible traces that gradually became a very y well traced track, some times very fast. Getting closer to Km 160, the ground became sandy including some passages between dunes. After some 6 Km on the old road leading to Ain Dalla, on an very rough ground, the riders reached the finish of the first special of the day. After the stop, on the asphalt, an assistance point.

A short liaison of a little more than 30 Km first on asphalt in Ain Dalla and then along the road leading from Farafra to Baharija towards north took the riders to the assistance and refuelling point for motorbikes close to the start of the second special of the day. The ground and the landscape changed in comparison to the first special and now the terrain is sandy with small palm-groves to reach an old British track, very fast and fluid that becomes more tortuous as participants ride on. There were some very dangerous parts and a lot of bumps, everything surrounded by a changing landscape. Later, after crossing the asphalt road leading to Bahariya, the last kilometres were covered on a track crossed by many traces that skirts the oasis gardens with tongues of sand contrasting with the darker ground. The arrival is located 1200 metres from the bivouac, that is the same of stage 1 and is located near the falaise of Bahariya, close to the new road Bahariya-Siwa.

Marc Coma: "Today we had to face a stage which was divided into two specials. The first was quite fast and the second more technical, with more navigation points. I had a good starting position in both of them - fourth in the first special and third in the second - and that was a benefit to achieve the stage win. With today's result we have managed to get a larger advantage in the overall lead and that's always good. On the route today we've found first some fesh fesh, then dunes - some of them complicated and cut - and then, in the second special, the ground was more technical, with more sand and stones and also some faster sections."

Jordi Viladoms: "Everything worked out fine today again; we've been able to make good use of the fact that the leg was made up by two specials to make up time with the riders who were in front of us. We finished the first special in a group of four and in the second, although a bit different we were also able to get closer to Casteu and De Gavardo. I think that everything worked out fine and that we've fulfilled all the aims we had set ourselves for today."

Carlo De Gavardo: "It has been a calm stage without any big inconveniences. I started opening the track but some kilometres later I rode together with Viladoms, Coma and Casteu. However, I was able to set a good speed which allowed me not to let them have a larger advantage than the difference at the start. I'm happy because I'm making a good rally. From now on, whoever makes a navigation mistake will have problems and therefore my intention is to be highly concentrated to make a good race. I feel physically in an excellent shape, no pain in the arms or in the legs. As regards the technical aspect, the bike behaved well I've had no mechanical problems and we expect that everything will continue fine until the end of the rally. There are three stages left and it is now when you have to be most concentrated."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series Cross-Country Rally
Drivers Marc Coma , Jordi Viladoms