Stage 4: Tanger to Er Rachidia Sunday, January 4, 2004 Liaison 233 km - Special 75 km - Liaison 444 km - Total 752 km The rally changes landscapes. It will go through Tangier, cosmopolitan city on the doorstep of the African continent, ...
Stage 4: Tanger to Er Rachidia
Sunday, January 4, 2004
Liaison 233 km - Special 75 km - Liaison 444 km - Total 752 km
The rally changes landscapes. It will go through Tangier, cosmopolitan city on the doorstep of the African continent, before heading south through northern Morocco on a 750km stage. During the day : two liaison sections and a 75km special in sandy tracks staged in the middle of pine forests. A stage for real pilots and a first taste of Africa before serious business.
At the arrival in Er Rachidia, the rally stops at the entrance of the Ziz valley, part of the passage that the " Blue Men " used to head to the forgotten oasis of Meski.
12:40 SAINCT FALLS
Last year's winner Richard Sainct (KTM n01) suffered a fall after only 5kms of the special between Tangier and Er Rachidia. He's back on the bike but it's well damaged.
13:41 MEONI WINS SPECIAL
Fabrizio Meoni (KTM n03) clocked the fastest time of the stage 4 special between Tangier and Er Rachidia. The Italian makes the best of his 950cc twin machine, beating Gauloise team mate Alfie Cox (KTM n010) by 43sec. Third is Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM n019) at 1min13, ahead of Caldecott (KTM n072) at 1min27 and Vinters (KTM n0183) at 1min43. Richard Sainct (KTM n01) suffered a fall after 5kms and finishes in 29th, 6min51adrift. Yesterday's special winner David Fretigne (Yamaha n012) is 36th so far at 9min33. The new overall leader therefore becomes Esteve Pujol with a 14sec lead on Meoni.
14:17 TWO NON STARTERS
191 bikes took off for this morning's stage between Tangier and Er Rachidia. Did not start the special : Kazama (Yamaha n0108) and Verzeletti (KTM n093).
15:30 ESTEVE LEADS OVERALL
Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM n019), second of the day's special takes overall leadership. Second overall is Fabrizio Meoni (KTM n03) at 14sec. Third is Cyril Despres (KTM n02) at 17sec.
15:32 NUMBER 50 FOR VATANEN
Ari Vatanen (Nissan n0205) grabbed his 50th special victory on a Dakar by clocking the best time in the stage between Tangier and Er Rachidia. The Finn beats Peterhansel (Mitsubishi n0203) by 10sec. Third is Miki Biasion (Mitsubishi n0206) at 33sec, followed by McRae (Nissan n0202) at 41sec and Masuoka (Mitsubishi n0201) at 49sec. In the overall, Peterhansel keeps the leadership ahead of Biasion at 1min07 and De Mevius at 1min28.
15:45 ACCIDENT FOR METGE
At km 67, three time Dakar winner Rene Metge (Nissan n0234) appears to have crashed and his car is on its roof. Driver and co-pilot appear to be fine. The car is now back on track.
16:58 FOUR NON STARTERS IN THE CAR SPECIAL
Four cars failed to start the special of stage 4: Cretier (n°331), Guinot (N°248), Benyo (N°318) and Petraitis (N°324)
17:55 GERARDUS DE ROOY FASTEST AT CP1
Gerardus de Rooy (DAF n°417) has the fastest time at CP1 (km 47). Second is Kabirov (Kamaz n°410) at 1min51, followed by Tchaguine (Kamaz n°414), Mardeev(Kamaz n°423), Beckx (Ginaf n°416) and De Azevedo (Tatra n°412). So far Johannes De Rooy (DAF n°411) has not gone through CP1.
17:58 KABIROV WINS SPECIAL
Firdaus Kabirov (Kamaz n°410) clocked the fastest time of the day's special. Second is Gerardus De Rooy (DAF n°417) at 17sec, ahead of Vladimir Tchaguine (Kamaz n°414) at 1min38. In the overall Gerardus De Roy remains the leader in front of Kabirov for 13sec.