Stage 2: Narbonne to Castellon Friday, January 2, 2004 Liaison 6 km - Special 25 km - Liaison 532 km - Total 563 km The competitors will be fighting it out in a 25km special staged around Narbonne. The course will go through the hillcrests of...
Stage 2: Narbonne to Castellon
Friday, January 2, 2004
Liaison 6 km - Special 25 km - Liaison 532 km - Total 563 km
The competitors will be fighting it out in a 25km special staged around Narbonne. The course will go through the hillcrests of the Pays d'Oc just over the abbey of Fontfroide. The track, very technical, should be made for a very careful driver in this only special staged in France.
The competitors will then head to Castellon, 60km north of Valencia in the heart of the Costa Blanca area.
11:31 FRETIGNE WINS SPECIAL
David Fretigne (Yamaha n°12) made the best of his two-wheel drive Yamaha (the only official Yamaha on the rally) to clinch the fastest time (22min47) of the stage 2 special around Narbonne on a 25km course. In heavy mud, the Frenchman beat compatriot Cyril Despres (KTM n°2) by 15sec , and Spaniard Nani Roma (KTM n°4) by 57sec. Fourth was last year's rally winner Richard Sainct (KTM n°1) while Giovanni Sala (KTM n°7) took fifth spot. Fabrizio Meoni (KTM n°3) finished eleventh, 2min04 adrift.
12:42 SERVIA FIRST LEADER
By winning the first real special of the rally, on a 25km course around Narbonne, Spain's Jose-Maria Servia (Schlesser-Ford n°209) becomes the first overall leader of the Telefonica Dakar 2004. The Spaniard clocked a time of 25min00, beating Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi n°203) by 3sec for top spot. Gregoire De Mevius (BMW n°212) took third place, 26sec adrift, while his BMW team mate Luc Alphand (BMW n°207) finished fourth ahead of Miki Biasion (Mitsubishi n°206). Both Kenjiro Shinozuka (Nissan n°215), winner of the prologue and Giniel De Villiers (Nissan n°208) suffered crashes but were able to finish the special. Shino losing over 5min and De Villiers over 2 on the day's winner.
13:54 TRUCK SPECIAL CANCELLED
A car being stuck sideways in the middle of the track (Claude Arnoux in his n°242 buggy), the organisation has decided to cancel the truck special. All trucks will therefore head directly to Castellon on the normal liaison section. Meanwhile the remaining cars are expected to get back in action as soon as Arnoux's vehicle is moved.
14:47 34min21 WILL BE THE TIME GIVEN TO THE CARS THAT HAVEN'T DONE THE SPECIAL
For the overall standing, the time of 34min21 will be given to all cars that were not able to start today's Narbonne special. This time is based on that of car n°301.