Dakar: Rally Raid UK update 2005-01-14

News from Rally Raid UK .... well we arrived ...... So we made it to Tambacounda .... All very entertaining since the first 100Km's of the assistance route was on a dirt road with loads of stones and dust being thrown up by everything. Loads...

News from Rally Raid UK .... well we arrived ......

So we made it to Tambacounda .... All very entertaining since the first 100Km's of the assistance route was on a dirt road with loads of stones and dust being thrown up by everything. Loads of smiling people everywhere starting from the Senegal boarder.

Pedro again came in first, good news being 25th on the stage and 22nd overall, the bad news being the camera jinx arrived again and he crashed and has destroyed most of the road book and the brand new nose cone that was fitted yesterday. KTM must love this they are selling so many spares it's untrue. Then Ian noticed a large bump around Pedro's ribs and Milly has just taken Pedro off to the medics.

Pedro's just returned for the medical tent they have checked him out and kicked him out as being fine -- he's now sitting in the service area talking on his sat phone which must be costing him a small fortune. BD and Ian are busy repairing the nose cone and road book brackets in a desperate attempt not to spend a small 3rd world countries debt with KTM tonight on spares !!

Mick's also just turned up and has taken a tumble on the right side of the bike. Still he managed to improve his overall position to 46 with a 48th position finish in the stage. Dennis is mothering him right now and the smile has returned to his face. Check out his picture on the diary site at

http://diary.rallyraid.co.uk/default.asp?cal=4&date=20050114

Pedro says that the stage was mostly fine white deep sand and really hard to deal with -- so much for easing off towards the end of the Rally -- the organisers obviously still have a trick or two up there sleeves ....

Charlie has just turned up -- Today was really dusty and starting in the 70's it was impossible to go fast, he made good time and passed 15 or 20 people. Then he came across Gary Innis who had badly broken his leg and he was surrounded by a pile of French bikers but he hung around as nobody spoke English until the medical helicopter arrived and they got an IV into Gary. This cost him 45 min's and every body that he passed passed him again -- also the chance of time off from the organisers is near zero. It's a great credit to Charlie that he does this and I think enters into the true spirit of the event -- to finish is the task and that's what the Rauseo brothers are trying to do and they even find time to help other human beings as well.

Paul Green and Richard are still in there kicking away yesterday they finished the stage and arrived at the service area around 8PM -- Colin & Mike set about the car and for once Paul was just to worn out to assist with the repairs to the car ! After a quick dinner he and Richard were off for a well earned rest. They managed 56th in the stage and were 47th overall at the start of today's stage. The car faired well except for the front diff which worked loose and rattled around till it died and yet another set of wing mirrors were fitted making 4 sets so far ... oh and they killed the front number plate ... still that's better than a engine or a windscreen ! This is the first major work required on the car after the 13th stage, all other work has really just been tightening up nut's and bolt's !! not bad for a small volume car. The guys still are full of the joy's of spring but they are having such long days -- Cars as a rule start after the bikes and so it's a most lonely experience for them now that Paul Round is out. Paul Green's Support team -- Colin and Mike still continue to amaze everybody with there sense of humour and ingenuity to fixing things -- most of which are connected with the support Discovery which I fear is taking a battering at the hands of North Africa !

Paul Green's just arrived in the service area hot dirt and tired and having wasted an hour of time dealing with some large rocks. After starting mixed in with the trucks so the day started as a constant trial to overtake them. Trucks and Rally's normally mean loads of dust and today was no different, Paul had been trying to overtake a number of trucks for ages and finally after honking his horn for some time a truck indicated to the left and made space to let him pass on the right ! Great Paul thinks and goes to overtake only to find three large rocks in the way of his path which he duly hit's and destroyed two wheel's and rim's !! In fairness Paul has a lot of good words to say about the DeRooy race team and the Repsol and VW support trucks but finds it hard to find anything good to say about the others ! Still he's now 45th overall with a stage finish of 59th.

Paul Round, founder of RallyRaid UK said, "Whilst it's been a disappointing Rally for me personally with the issues of lack of fuel in stage 8 this has got to be the best of all the Dakar Rally's that I've had the privilege to take part in. The Team that I have managed to build for this event and the wide range of countries from which we have bikers coming makes for a true multinational team. Pedro has stormed from the start of the Rally and at present is 24th overall, Mick Extance remains the top UK rider but suffered as I did with fuel issues from the Organisation, I can't begin to explain to you how disappointing that was for him to see his hopes of a 20 something place disappear, before the fuel he was 27th and now he's 48th still at least he's still in. Mike Hughes and Mark Eland both brought vast quantities of enthusiasm to the team and it's disappointing to see the Rally take it's toll upon them but I can't help feeling that they will both be back -- neither wants to be beaten by this ! Francisco -- what can I say he deserves to finish so much and yet again is beaten by the Rally another victim to the fuel joke. Our American friends both riders Charlie and Dave and support crew Mike and Zoli have blended in perfectly, Zoli now knows more English slang words than he ever imagined and he's exchanged them for quaint old American sayings Mike just works and appears to require no sleep. Mick Tomkinson suffered for an engine destroying itself and is basically all something beyond his control but still staggeringly disappointing to be let down by a lump of metal. Paul Green and Richard took over the mantel of flying the Rally Raid car flag when I dropped out and they have worked hard to meet expectations, in the mean time I've been marooned in the service area's and had a chance to see the team in action and answer the many questions that have come in our direction to do with the car and there have been a lot. Last I want to say thanks to the mechanics who defiantly do the most work and have the least sleep, Sid, Ian, Mike, BD and Dennis, without them the bikes would not be ready on the start line each day and they are often the people most forgotten in this game. I also need to mention Zoli, Martin and Milly who have driven a staggering number of assistance Kilometres each day, on one three day session last week they did 1055 then 1355 and then 1055 again and they also do it in way that lets the mechanics sleep on the move. Can't help thinking that this is not the last Dakar Rally that RallyRaid UK will be at so till next time ......."

Regards
Martin Coulson

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Series Dakar
Drivers Paul Round , Paul Green , Mark Eland , Mick Extance , Martin Coulson