Stage 9: Tidjikja to Atar January 8, 2005 Liaison 3 km - Special 361 km - Liaison 35 km Total 399 km In this final stage before the rest day driving enthusiasts will here be in their element. The 300 kilometres of track will be very fast...
Stage 9: Tidjikja to Atar
January 8, 2005
Liaison 3 km - Special 361 km - Liaison 35 km
Total 399 km
In this final stage before the rest day driving enthusiasts will here be in their element. The 300 kilometres of track will be very fast running even if the end of the stage is punctuated with difficulties. 20 kilometres from the end, competitors will find themselves at the foot of the immense and mythical Chinguetti erg.
19:20 Trucks – Tchaguine wins special
In the truck special, late starter (36th) Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM) captured his third special on the rally. The Russian driver beat Hans Stacey 'DAF) by 17'45" and Loprais (TAT) by 18'55". The overall leadership remains in the hands of Firdaus Kabirov (KAM).
16:12 – Alphand wins special
Frenchman Luc Alphand (MIT) grabbed his first stage success of the 2005 edition on the special between Tidjikja and Atar. Alphand finished with a 1'31" lead on team mate Stephane Peterhansel. Third was Robby Gordon at 17'29. Jutta Kleinschmidt (VW) finished 19'13" adrift while Masuoka (MIT) was at 23'50". Title holder Peterhansel however appeared to have engine problems after the finish line on the liaison to the bivouac.In the overall Peterhansel keeps the leadership with a 20'01" advantage on Alphand. Jutta Kleinchmidt loses ground on the two Mitsubishi drivers and is now 40'26" behind.
16:11 Race situation
137 bikes, 110 cars and 49 trucks started the day's stage 9 between Tidjikja and Atar. Here is a list lof those wo have retired from the race before the start of the special:
Algeri (155), Kronsseder (106), Favre (132), Le Cocq (183), Mikajiri (139), Delaby (105), Houache (67), Arredondo (163), Pelletier (230), Sanna Cocco (41), Fonjallaz (143), Dubuy (51), Stefani (179), Ferrer Garcia (225), Quick (100), Town (99), De Beaufort (93), Arragones (104), Defelice (38), Sevault (72), Linares (24), Hamonic (65), Manning (204), Houllemare (50), Champion (123), E.Vuillet (74), Pichegrain (157), Blanpain (221), Kawai (138), Renders (203)
Jean-Joseph (223), Schlesser (300), Strugo (322), Van Cauwenberge (404), Ten Harkel (408), Patissier (324), Hutten (407), Beckers (405), Martin (382), Arnoux (399), Kroon (430), Round (409), Jerie (386), Men (373), Bailey (380), Van Vliet (428), Onoue (387), Galan Perez (410), Meier (397), Touly (432), Laplace (390), Nielsen (452), Turki (457), Girard (431), Guy (411)
Banyard (554), Versino (523), S.Lambert (549), C.Lambert (540), Walcher (513), Hoebeke (511), Gaverini (505), Ducroux (545), Myers (550)
15:53 Cars – Saby back in the special
After suffering front left wheel problems at km 126, Bruno Saby was given a new wheel by team mate Juha Kankkunen and is now back in his car and driving.
15:18 – Stacey new leader at CP1
Late starter Hans Stacey (REN) eventually grabbed the best time of the day at CP 1 (km 101). The Dutchman had a 58" lead on Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM) also a late starter, while De Azevedo was at 5'15 and Kabirov at 5'23.
15:13 Cars – Alphand leader at CP2
At the second check point of the day (km 264), Luc Alphand (MIT) had the fastest time with a 52" lead on team mate Stephane Peterhansel. Third was another Pajero Evo driver Hiroshi Masuoka at 4'26 while Robby Gordon was fourth at 6'21. Alphand who took off after Peterhansel this morning is moving closer to his team mate and can see the dust behind the Mitsubishi.
14:21 – Esteve wins special
On the finish line of the day's special between Tidjikja and Atar (361kms), Isidre Esteve clinched his first victory on this year's rally. The Spaniard beat Fabrizio Meoni by 1'29. Third is Ullevalseter at 4'09, followed by Caldecott at 8'10, Cox at 9'45, Despres at 11'40, Coma 13'52 and Fr?tign? at 14'22. The leading eight arrioved bunched on the finish line. Fabrizio Meoni captures the new overall leadership with a 2'55 advantage on Despres and 4'49 on Caldecott.
13:53 – Saby in trouble
At km 130, Bruno Saby (VW) was seen stopped with serious problems on his front left wheel. The Frenchman is waiting for his assistance truck...
13:39 – Situation for the BMWs
After suffering crashes around the 57km mark, here is the latest update concerning the two BMW vehicles: - No serious injuries sustained, - Nasser AL Attiyah has announced that he is retiring from the race, - Jos? Luis Monterde was able to repair and is back in the special.
13:25 – Kabirov in the lead at CP1
At the first check point of the day (km 101), Firdaus Kabirov (KAM), overall rally leader had the fastest time with a 32" advantage on Gerard De Rooy (DAF) and 3'42 on Hans Bekx (DAF). Fourth was Jan De Rooy (DAF) at 4'07. The leading trucks were in trouble in the sand portion after the check point.
12:33 – Esteve leader at CP2
At the second check point of the day (km 264), Isidre Esteve (KTM) had clocked the fastest time with a 1'26 advantage on Meoni and 3'21 on Ullevalseter. Fourth is Caldecott at 7'40 while Cox is 9'41 adrift. Fr?tign? (YAM) who had chosen a different navigation option after CP1 eventually had the 6th time at CP2 at 10'51. Despres is 12'08 adrift.
12:30 Cars – Peter fastest at CP1
At the first check point of the day (km 101), Stephane Peterhansel (MIT), who took off in first position this morning has the fastest time with a tiny 6" lead on Robby Gordon (VW). Third is Alphand (MIT) at 15", followed by Masuoka (MIT) at 57" and Kleinschmidt (VW) at 1'47". Meanwhile, Nasser Al Attiyah (BMW) was forced to quit the race after a crash at km 57.
12:15 Cars – Monterde crashes
On the way to CP1, Spaniard Jos?-Luis Monterde (BMW) suffered a crash at km 62. The car flipping over. The vehicle is back on its wheels. The co-driver has asked for medical assistance.
11:47 Cars – At Attiyah crashes
At km 57, Qatar driver Nasser Al Attiyah crashed his BMW. The vehicle rolled over. The driver appears to be in good condition, his co-driver Alain Guehennec has asked for medical assistance.
11:43 Bikes - Meoni fastest at CP1
At CP 1 (km 101), Fabrizio Meoni (KTM) had the fastest time in the bike race. Caldecott was second at 30" ahead of Esteve at 1'34",Ullevalseter at 1'38 and Cox at 2'12.
Mechanical worries, late arrivals, injuries, bad luck and withdrawals… All you need to know about what happened on the bivouac during the night.
22h20 – Party time in Norway
Well over 24 hours after starting stage 7 from Zouerat to Tichit, Norwegian pair Tollefsen – Nielsen finally made it to the finish, almost sure their time had come to say goodbye to the rally. But once at the organisation tent for competitors they were told that they could carry on and that they had to head to Tidjikja for the start of the next special. A great big “Yeeeeaaaaaah, that’s fantastic…” came out of the mouth of Ivar Tollefsen, a member of this first ever-Norwegian team to compete in the car race. The Northern crew went through hell with no more four wheel drive system and had to count on the help of another team that had gear box problems to get the necessary fuel to carry on… After explaining his problems, Ivar immediately phoned his 18-year-old son Nick back home to give him the good news. “He’s going crazy…” A glass of wine later and they were off to Tidjikja...
22h35 – Tchaguine at last
Truck race favourite and four-time winner Vladimir Tchaguine certainly wasn’t expected so late on the Tichit bivouac. Fuel problems made things go completely wrong for the Russian that remained stopped in the desert ever since 23h00 on Thursday night. Hopping out of his Kamaz, Tchaguine however didn’t look too devastated. When asked how he felt now victory seems to have faded away, he answered: “C’est la vie! (that’s life)…” but insisted that another Kamaz truck (Kabirov) was still in the lead and that that was the most important.
0h30 – Round and Round again
Britain’s Paul and Mark Round, father and son almost had as many problems leaving Tichit than they had to get there. On the liaison road to Tidjikja for the start of the next stage, Round and Round had to come back because a broken turbo. After calling their assistance, already in Tidjikja, it looked as though the truck wouldn’t have been able to come and repair on time. They eventually decided to take off with their broken turbo and hope to make it to Tidjikja. Just in case, the British pair have precious allies in a Croatian team that promised to help out in case of a problem.
1h00 – Work for Hoebeke
Roland Hoebeke and Fran?ois Beguin went through quite a few worries during stage 7. Like many, they had to find out a way to cope with the lack of fuel: a mixture between kerosene, gasoline, engine fuel and oil did the business. But the Belgians had another problem: the chassis of their vehicle was broken. Fran?ois therefore went to work while Roland enjoyed a well deserved but short rest.
1h25 – Strugo to T2
Jean-Pierre Strugo who had captured the lead in the T1 marathon class made it to Tichit knowing that his leadership had gone for good. 200kms from the finish, after having gone through CP2 in 11th position, the Frenchman broke the transfer box of his Mercedes. 25 hours later, his assistance repaired the problem but their initial goal had disappeared in the sand wind… “Not only are we too late in the overall, but added to that, the fact that we changed pieces on the vehicle makes us change class from T1 to T2.”.
2h05 – The 2 longest kilometres
Spaniard Amparo Ausina will remember her stage to Tichit. Luck certainly wasn’t on her side. It first started with fuel consumption problems, her Yamaha then had ignition worries just 2 kms from the finish line. She therefore had to wait ‘forever’ for an assistance truck to give help her out. Amparo took advantage of the situation to sleep a little. Enough to take off in top shape to Tidjikja.
2h45 – Still expected
2 bikes were still on their way to the finish, as well as around 15 cars and 12 trucks, all spotted in the desert. The Tichit stage is almost over!
07:01 Back to business
After a ‘forced’ one day break, that wasn’t however a rest for the competitors who still had to continue their rally with a liaison to Tidjikja after the hell of stage 7 to Tichit, the day’s special will be another tough one. No camel grass for the first 361 km. The driving experts that still have some energy will take advantage of the fast first 300kms before the main difficulties of the special. Theoretically, most competitors should make it to Atar before sunset and take full advantage of the rest day
Among the favourites of the rally, the leaders could increase their advantage. Peterhansel, who will take off in first position (like in Zouerat) proved that his Mitsubishi could well head for a hat trick (after wins in Zouerat and Tichit). The KTM bikes should have a slight advantage on this type of special but David Fr?tign? would be happy to come up with yet another surprise.