Leg 7 : Aleppo - Palmyra (Syria) <I>"Dear Friends, Today we lost one of the Off-Road Princes, John Deacon. For many of us a joyous friend, who overcame every enterprise. For us all, for me, he will remain an example of kindness. We miss...
Leg 7 : Aleppo - Palmyra (Syria)
Today we lost one of the Off-Road Princes, John Deacon. For many of us a joyous friend, who overcame every enterprise. For us all, for me, he will remain an example of kindness. We miss John already.
For him, the Master Rallye family will observe a moment of silence."
This is René Metge's message, this evening at the bivouac. René profoundly regretted that he himself could not read these few words. Surprised by the rapid night fall whilst he assured the end of the course of the last competitors, he was prevented from reaching the bivouac by helicopter. He will be there as soon as the first light of dawn arrives.
John Deacon fell heavily at kilometre 285 in the day's special. The medical helicopter intervened rapidly on the site of the accident but the rider had died.
It was on arriving at the bivouac that all the Master Rallye participants heard the tragic news. For everyone, racing news, although abundant today, was of relative value.
SS10: Samaan - Palmyra
530 km long, including 347 in the special, the leg of the day which took off at hell's pace saw the victory of an lively Jean-Louis Schlesser. For this first Syrian special, the driver-carmaker set off the knife between his teeth, determined to make the "break" with Jutta Kleinschmidt and the Pajero. The beginning of the timed event saw a "mano à mano" taking place between these two protagonists turning to the advantage of the German before two punctures definitively signed away her chances of victory.
Behind them, José-Maria Servia attempted navigating off the track, a little before mid-race. Between PC2 and PC3, buggy N°202 somersaulted. Getting out miraculously with only bruising, driver and co-driver were repatriated very rapidly in the helicopter to the bivouac.
Great animator of the race since the beginning of the rally, Philippe Wambergue and his Protruck N°207 obtained third place in the leg propelling them to a very good fifth place in the overall rating that the mechanical problems during the first days prevented him from hoping for any longer!
Other power takeover of the day, that of Georges Lansac in T1. Navigating perfectly in the mountainous maze at the end of the special, he finished at a good ninth place, rising to seventh in the overall and in the lead of the series cars. For the Reboux-Reboux team in Toyota N°228, the rally definitively finished in Aleppo as the result of an accident on the road section leading them to the start of the timed course.
This evening amongst the motorcyclists it is not the time for comments. For information, Borsi, on Honda N°6, won the leg and Tiainen remains in the lead in the overall.
On the programme tomorrow ...
Tomorrow's leg will lead the competitors to Al Mafraq in Jordan. René Metge's briefing is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock.