Third and fourth place for X-raid Today's 337-kilometre long special stage from Er Rachidia to Ouarzazate gave the drivers a foretaste of that, which is awaiting them in the days to come. The crossing of the sand-mountains Erg Chebbi, as well as...
Third and fourth place for X-raid
Today's 337-kilometre long special stage from Er Rachidia to Ouarzazate gave the drivers a foretaste of that, which is awaiting them in the days to come. The crossing of the sand-mountains Erg Chebbi, as well as passages consisting of coarse gravel- which at times were extremely shaky stretches, kept all teams on their toes today. That's where the X-raid team's BMW X5's once again proved themselves to be favourite contenders. Both X-raid pilots, Luc Alphand and Grégoire de Mévius, are just behind the top-favourite Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi), holding third and fourth place in the overall rankings.
Luc Alphand took fourth place in today's standings, 13:38 min. behind Peterhansel: "We lost some time because we missed a turn-off. So many spectators were standing there that we overlooked an orientation point. Our car is running flawlessly and we didn't have any problems staying up in the front. The BMW X5's engine performance is simply superb and the hour has come to take it into the long sand-stages."
Grégoire de Mévius came in fifth today with a 14:05 min. deficit behind the day's leader Peterhansel: "I believe we found a good mix today between a willingness to take risks and a controlled driving style. This was the first stage that really challenged us, and everything was there that a typical Dakar-stage has to offer. We were quite thoroughly shaken-up on the track today but we found a good rhythm despite that. Unfortunately, we lost time behind some bikes; it was incredibly dusty and I didn't want to take any chances passing them.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) the total distance is 803 kilometres from Ouarzazate to Tan-Tan. The special stage is 351 Kilometres long.