Gerard 2nd, father Jan 4th in second Special January 02, 2005 - "We were forced to stop a few times due to the dust and the lack of visibility caused by the first competitors" Just after nine o'clock the motorbikes started with the Special of...
Gerard 2nd, father Jan 4th in second Special
January 02, 2005 - "We were forced to stop a few times due to the dust and the lack of visibility caused by the first competitors"
Just after nine o'clock the motorbikes started with the Special of 10 kilometres after a liaison of 6 kilometres from Granada to Armilla. The course was plotted on a military site, completely different from the Super Special on the beach near Barcelona. Especially for the fast and technical drivers an ideal circuit to catch a few seconds on their rivals.
Giovanni Sala was the first one with a fast time (8.36 minutes). The cheering mood of the Italian disappeared quite fast. First the KTM-pilot Victor Rivera clocked 1 second faster and than the American KTM-pilot Scot Harden finished even 12 seconds faster. The South African Alfie Cox was the first one that finished within 8 minutes. Thinking he was the winner, until David Fretigne showed his class again. He rushed his two-stroke Yamaha 2 seconds faster across the finish. The second stage victory for the Frenchman. Cyril Despres finished 3rd at 3 seconds. Frans Verhoeven and Eric Verhoef were the best Dutchmen, taking a 23rd and 24th place at 38 seconds behind the winner. Verhoef takes the 5th place in the overall rankings behind Fretigne, Despres, Walch and Meoni.
The cars were in no way inferior to the bikes on the dusty and short circuit. Colin McRae flocked first at 7.48 minutes. Peterhansel finished second at 6 seconds; Vatanen 3rd at 10 seconds and de Villiers 4th at 13 seconds. The American wonder boy Robby Gordon finished 5th at 15 seconds; the same time as Alphand. Masuoka took the 8th place at 21 seconds and Jutta Kleinschmidt the 10th at 27 seconds.
The couple van Vliet-Wams were again best of the Dutchies. They took their Landrover to the 41st place at 1.38 minute behind the winner. Former world champion McRae now takes the lead, followed by Gordon at 1 second and team-mate de Villiers at 2 seconds.
Hans Bekx had another great day. He took his 2nd victory in his long Dakar-career. A victory that was negotiable as he started first and wasn't bothered by the dust of the other participants that started at 30 seconds intervals. Bekx needed 9.56 minutes to do the 10 kilometres. Firdaus Kabirov needed 9 seconds more. Gerard de Rooy finished 3rd at 21 seconds and Jan de Rooy 4th at 24 seconds, immediately followed by Hans Stacey who needed 1 second more. Tchaguine took the 7th place at 35 seconds before team-mate Mardeev who finished at 41 seconds. Hugo Duisters took the 10th place, being 43 seconds behind Bekx.
"It was abnormal. It's impossible to shoot away the vehicles with a difference of only 30 seconds. It was a beautiful course but we were forced to stop a few times due to the dust and the lack of visibility caused by the first competitors. It's a miracle that we still took the 3rd place, we must have driven a good Special," knows Gerard de Rooy immediately after the finish. Tom Colsoul adds: "It was a real rally test but I will be glad when we arrive in Africa. I think that we will arrive at the bivouac around midnight. The first Special in Morocco is 123 kilometres long. We will still start between the trucks but with 1 minute intervals. So less dust. The day after it will really begin; starting order will be according the overall standings of the cars and trucks," tells the Belgian who's always ready to laugh. He also tells that the crew of truck number 516 is doing fine. "We've only a problem with the intercom but I can hear Gerard's shouting without it," the young father screams with laughter.
Jan de Rooy is also doing fine: "we're taking it easy. I lost negligible time and had no breakdowns. For me the rally starts tomorrow in Morocco," tells Jan, perky. The rest of the crew agrees: "we were allowed to start quite early because of our results yesterday. Of course there's still a lot of dust but always less than when you start later," tells Yvo Geusens. "Our start position in Morocco is ideal; behind Jan and Gerard." Driver Hugo Duisters enjoys his first rally behind the wheel to the full. "I knew Dakar already but this is great. If it goes on like this, it will be my most beautiful rally." Let's hope that this father of 5 children proves to be right and that the team will be deprived of bad luck.
In the overall list, Hans Bekx keeps the lead being 24 seconds ahead of Firdaus Kabirov. Jan de Rooy takes the 3rd place at 40 seconds followed by Gerard at 47 seconds. The Russian Mardeev is 5th at 1.04 minute. Hans Stacey takes the 6th place at 1.05 minute. Vladimir Tchaguine follows at 1.11 minute and Hugo Duisters at 1.15 minute.
To be continued . . . . .