Stage 1 Wednesday 1 January 2003 Special 1 km - Liaison 264 km - Total 265 km Motobikes 20:15 - Cyril Despres (KTM n.7) clocked the fastest time of the Telefonica Dakar prologue based in Marseille's Parc Chanot on a 1km track in 1m39.89s. The...
Wednesday 1 January 2003
Special 1 km - Liaison 264 km - Total 265 km
20:15 - Cyril Despres (KTM n.7) clocked the fastest time of the Telefonica Dakar prologue based in Marseille's Parc Chanot on a 1km track in 1m39.89s. The Frenchman managed to beat Spaniard Joan Roma (KTM n.4) while surprising privateer Cyril Raynal (KTM n.31) took third spot. Last year's race winner Fabrizio Meoni took things easily settling with 15th place, 8 seconds adrift. His runner-up of the previous edition Alfie Cox (KTM n.2) finished in 10th position.
The times set during this prologue will have no incidence on the overall classification. The positions however are taken into account for Thursday's special. Cyril Depres will therefore take off in first position in Corbieres.
22:09 - Japan's Kenjiro Shinozuka (Nissan n.201) managed the best time of the Telefonica Dakar prologue in Marseille's Parc Chanot. The 1997 rally winner clocked a time of 1min43.73s. On his new Pickup, 'Shino' beat Mitsubishi's Stephane Peterhansel (n.206) by less than a second. His compatriot and last year's winner Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi n.200) took third spot.
The good surprise came from former two time WRC rally champion Miki Biasion (Nissan n.207) who claimed a very interesting fourth position in his first experience on the Dakar. Jean-Louis Schlesser (Schlesser-Ford n.208) finished in 8th spot in front of team-mate Josep-Maria Servia while Jutta Kleinschmitt (Volkswagen n.203) had to settle with 12th position as she discovered for the first time what her new car was capable of on a real track.
The first BMW of the prologue standing was that of Belgian Gregoire De Mevius (n.205). While the times are not taken into consideration, Shinozuka will still start Thursday's Corbieres special in first position.
23:42 - Brazil's Andre De Azevedo (Tatra n.410) managed the best time of the prologue in Marseille's Parc Chanot. On his Tatra truck alongside co-pilots Tomecek and Martinec, the Brazilian beat Belgium's Johannes De Rooy (DAF n.409) in a time of 2mn33.18s.
Third place went to Italy's Corrado Pattono (Mercedes n.402). Winner of the previous edition of the Dakar, Vladimir Tchaguine (Kamaz n.407) finished in 8th spot.