!Stage 8: Tichit to Tidjikja - Event canceled - now only a liaison January 7, 2005 Special 520 km - Liaison 18 km Total 538 km This stage is a real best of. It will include several stretches of the greatest - Specials raced in the region over...
!Stage 8: Tichit to Tidjikja
- Event canceled - now only a liaison
January 7, 2005
Special 520 km - Liaison 18 km
Total 538 km
This stage is a real best of. It will include several stretches of the greatest - Specials raced in the region over the last 20 years. Competitors will have sand and sand and sand...
After climbing the Nega pass, which becomes more and more difficult every year, drivers must follow a rocky and sinuous track to Tidjikja.
11:25 Night watch
Mechanical worries, late arrivals, injuries, bad luck and withdrawals... All you need to know about what happened on the bivouac during the night.
22h35 -- Kabirov first
The first truck to make to the finish line in Tichit was Firdaus Kabirov. Like many competitors, the Russian suffered fuel worries but managed to adapt his driving to clinch the special victory. "I knew I didn't have a lot of fuel left, so I decided to reduce my speed and it worked out. On the last part of the course, I never went over 80km/h and 2000 rpm".
23h00 -- Fuel distribution
Quite a few competitors were stranded close to Tichit with no more fuel left, the organisation therefore decided to send a vehicle with two barrels to help out. David Castera, a former biker, now working for the organisation took off with a local guide to find the way through the Tichit pass, extremely difficult to find and he helped out numerous vehicles including the truck of Gerard De Rooy, stopped 11kms from the bivouac.
0h30 -- Magnaldi's buggy in pieces
Thierry Magnaldi eventually made it to Tichit but his problems were not over yet. All the front part of his buggy was severely damaged in the last part of the stage. With no possibility to repair (this is a marathon stage)!
1h00 -- Mayer pulled
The German Mitsubishi driver was also stopped 8 kilometres from the finish line, out of fuel. Andrea Mayer finally carried on pulled by a truck. Indeed, she was thankfully caught by the truck of Giacomo Vismara, who used to take care of her assistance when she was on two wheels.
1h10 -- Gordon home
"I only have 1 litre of fuel left... ", explained Robby Gordon when hoping out of his Volkswagen Race Touareg. The American was forced to drive very slowly for the whole last art of the stage. Winner of the two specials on the rally, Gordon also gave rather bad news on his team mate Juha Kankkunen: "He is stopped and his front right wheel is completely destroyed after a shock in the camel grass.
6h15 -- Just a few
76 bikes have made it to Tichit, as well as 43 cars and 16 trucks! Among the absentees are Schlesser, Vatanen and Tchaguine.
6h20 -- Etienne Lavigne troubled
The rally boss spent the whole night centralising the different problems and thinking about the way to sort them out. "The night has been very very long but I also witnessed scenes of bikers so happy to finish that they burst into tears. I have to admit that some also insulted me because of the difficulties they went through. What troubles me now are the competitors injured in the desert like Patrick Martin, for example who has a shoulder fracture and has a medical car looking for him. Three other distress signals have been launched and we are awaiting the first hours of the day to take off and look for them. We hope the weather will be better and that the other helicopters will be able to fly...
11:50 Tichit -- Tidjikja special cancelled
Due to the weather condition on the Mauritanian desert since Thursday on the course of the rally, the organisation has decided to modify the race. The bad visibility has forced most of the helicopters to remain grounded. At 10.00 am today, only 96 bikes, 59 cars and 27 trucks had completed stage 7, and 31 competitors had officially retired from the race.
The race organisation has therefore decided on the following measures :
- Cancel stage 8 between Tichit and Tidjikja.
- The authorized time for stage 7 will be longer.
- The competitors will all head to Tidjikja in liaison.
16:50 Vatanen heading to Tichit
Still in yesterday's stage between Zouerat and Tichit, Ari Vatanen (NIS) was seen pulled by a race truck and heading to the finish line of the special. The Finn was stopped earlier 158kms from Tichit out of fuel.
16:52 Servia out of fuel
Stopped at km 510 of yesterday's stage between Zouerat and Tichit, Josep Maria Servia (SCH) is out of fuel and awaiting assistance from the organisation vehicles.
16:53 The situation at 13h30
At 13h30 (GMT), the arrival CH line was officially closed. 107 bikes had made it to Tichit. 15 of them made it after 24 hours of racing and should be given a 1 hour time penalty. Those who make it to Tichit now have the possibility to start the liaison stage to Tidjikja. They will be given a 9 hour penalty but need to make it within half an hour after the starting time of the last biker for stage 9. As it stands, the 107 bikers that crossed the finish line of stage 7 are currently in the liaison to Tidjikja.
In the car race, 75 vehicles arrived before 13h30 and 8 were given a time penalty.
35 trucks had also made it to the end of the stage including one that should get a penalty.
17:41 Servia at last, Schlesser quits
At around 16h30, Josep Maria Servia finally made it to the end of stage 7 between Zouerat and Tichit. The Spaniard in his Schlesser Ford buggy ran out of fuel at km 510. We was eventually given fuel by the organisation. Servia is now headed to Tidjikja on the day's liaison. Meanwhile according to Schlesser-Ford team manager Regis Sellier, Jean-Louis Schlesser who suffered mechanical problems on his rear left wheel officially quit the race leaving his buggy between CP1 and Atar.
21:20 Update on the arrivals
At 20h00 (GMT), the competitors were still making it to Tichit, where they will then have to take off to go to Tidjikja in a night liaison. They need to make it there within the half hour after the last competitor takes off for the special (12h38 GMT). For the moment, 139 bikes, 86 cars and 40 trucks have finished stage 7. 39 vehicles have officially retired from the race. 77 vehicles, all , are still on the road to Tichit.