Stage 7 - First Marathon Special Wednesday 8th January 2003 Liaison: 5 km - Special stage: 584 km - Liaison: 102 km - Total: 691 km 09:17 - The first marathon stage of this 25th edition. On the first 300kms, fast and various tracks will take...
Stage 7 - First Marathon Special
Wednesday 8th January 2003
Liaison: 5 km - Special stage: 584 km - Liaison: 102 km - Total: 691 km
09:17 - The first marathon stage of this 25th edition. On the first 300kms, fast and various tracks will take the competitors to the Erg of Awbari already crossed back in 1989. From there will follow 50kms of giant dunes. With solid sand, the dunes are 40, 50 and 100metres high. Easy to go up, the toughest part will be going over the dune and the descent. Under the threat of staying stuck on the dune, the competitors will have to zigzag to find the best way through. The strongest on the other hand will try to go through using the fastest way. The track then goes through canyons and long portions of sand. At last the competitors will see vegetation between rocks and sand.
10:50 - Lafon-Lelievre (KTM - n.58) is stopped 8kms after the start of the special. Meanwhile, the favourites on two wheels are about to make it to CP 1, about 309kms from the start of the special.
11:02 - Richard Sainct (KTM - n.3) has the fastest time so far at CP1 after 309kms of the special between Ghadames and Ghat in Lybia. The Frenchman leads ahead of Meoni (KTM - n.1), Despres (KTM - n.7), Roma (KTM - n.4) and Cox (KTM - n.2). It appears that all five are riding together.
11:33 - Saniard Marc Coma (KTM - n.10) appears to have mechanical problems and has lost time before eventually making it to CP1.
11:34 - At km 153, Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206) has a 15s advantage on Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200). Third is Shinozuka (Nissan - n.201) who appears to have overtaken De Mevius (BMW - n.204).
11:34 - At km 161, Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206) has a 15s advantage on Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200). Third is Shinozuka (Nissan - n.201) who appears to have overtaken De Mevius (BMW - n.204). Shino is 1min55s. De Mevius is 9min55 off the pace.
11:59 - At km 182, Spaniard Esteve Pujol (KTM - n.10) has broken his engine.
12:00 - At the 2nd CP of the day's special ater 360kms, the first five bikers overall are bunched. That of course means that the best time so far is for Sainct (KTM - n.3) who left in fifth position. Second is Meoni 1min56 behind, then Depres at 4min06, Roma at 5min33 and Cox at 8min10...
12:06 - At km 83, Spaniard Ramon Vila Altimir (BMW - n.238) is stopped with mechanical problems on his back right wheel.
12:49 - At CP1 after 309kms, Japan's Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200) has the best time, 1min ahead of Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n. 206). Third is Shinozuka (Nissan - n.201), 2min behind. Kleinschmidt is fourth, 10min30 adrift. Vatanen is fifth, 14min behind.
12:50 - Belgium's Gregoire De Mevius (BMW - n.205) has made it to CP1 but in the wrong way, meaning he has lost 2 or 3 places.
12:50 - Netherland's Peter Schreurs (KTM - n.139) has broken his engine at km 255 of the special.
13:30 - Richard Sanct (KTM - n.3) has made it to CP3 after 422kms with the best time so far. Meoni at 1min35s, Despres at 4min24, Roma at 5min17 and De Gavardo at 6min55. Cox is sixth at 8min39.
14:09 - 109 cars and 48 trucks have started stage 7. Have pulled out of the rally: Schlesser (schlesser Ford - n.208), Plaza Perez (Suzuki - n.249), Prieto (Mitsubishi - n.259), Haringer (Macmoter - n.274), Benyo (Hyundai - n.294), Riviere (Toyota - n.305), Van Engelen (Toyota - n.314), Van Dalen (Nissan - n.317), Luo Ding (Toyota - n.327) and Cantu (n.329).
14:10 - French rider Laurent Bidal (Honda - n.152) has apparently broken his collarbone on a fall. He is awaiting he organisation truck.
14:16 - On the finish line of the special between Ghadames and Ghat, Rchard Sainct (KTM - n.3) has clocked the fastest time of the day. The Frenchman beats Meoni by 1min30, Roma by 5min30, Despres by 5min35. Alfie Cox finishes 8min18 off the pace.
In the overall, that means that Sainct increases his leadership with a 1min47 lead over Meoni. Roma is third, 5min47 behind.
14:18 - Multiple Dakar winner, Karel Loprais (Tatra - n.408) has had a crash at km320. The three members of the truck are fine but the vehicle is apparently destroyed.
14:19 - At CP2 of the special after 360kms, Frenchman Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206) has the best time. Masuoka (mitsubishi - n.200) who was leading at the previous CP is now 12min04s behind. Third is Vatanen (NIssan - n.204) at 15min14 followed by Fontenay (Mitsubishi - n.202), 20min21 adrift. 5th is Sousa (Mitsubishi - n.211) at 21min59.
14:47 - At CP3 of the special after 422kms, Frenchman Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206) has established the best time. Masuoka (mitsubishi - n.200) is now 11min32s behind, Vatanen (Nissan - n.204) at 22min05s. De Villiers (Nissan - n.217) is fourth, 25min07 adrift. Kleinschmidt (VW - n.203) is fifth, 26min12 behind.
14:57 - At CP3 of the special after 422kms, Belgian Gregoire De Mevius has lost 37min09 on Frenchman Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206), the fastest so far. Shinozuka (Nissan - n.201) is also having a bad day, 10th at 34min04.
15:33 - At CP1, the overall truck leader Jan De Rooy (DAF - n.409) went through with the 15th time, 1h20min56 off the pace set by Tchaguine (Kamaz - n.407). At CP3, Tchaguine still had the bst time ahead of De Rooy Junior (DAF - n.414).
15:36 - At km 498, Tchaguine was seen repairing his Kamaz truck.
16:17 - In the 584km special between Ghadames and Ghat in Lybia, Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi - n.206) clocked the best time in 10h 48' 57". The Frenchman beat Masuoka (Mitsubishi - n.200) by 11' 32". Third place went to Ari Vatanen (Nissan - n.204), 27' 04" adrift ahead of team mate Giniel De Villiers (n.217). Jutta Kleinschmidt (Volkswagen - n.203) claimed fifth spot on the day.
In the overall, Peterhansel has a 12' 21" lead on Masuoka. Shinozuka (Nissan - n.201), 8th of the special keeps his third place but is now 51 minutes adrift.
18:15 - At km 190, Jan De Rooy (DAF - n.409) suffered mechanical upsets. On a jump, the Dutch veteran broke three suspensions.
18:16 - At km 129, Simon Pavey (n.155) was forced to stop for mechanical reasons. He is now on board the organisation truck going to Ghat.
18:16 - With three trucks on the finish line, Gerardus De Rooy (DAF - n.414) has the best time of the day in 6h 15' 46". The youngest of the De Rooys finishes ahead of Tchaguine (Kamaz - n.407) by just under 2 minutes. De Azevedo (Tatra - n.410) is third.
Motobikes: 18:42 - At km 146, Frenchman Christophe Robert (Honda - n.143) is out of gasoline. He is awaiting the organisation truck to take him to Ghat.
19:20 - Six trucks have for the moment made it to the finish line. After De Rooy Junior, Tchaguine and De Azevedo, Kabirov, Sugawara and De Roy Senior have arrived in fourth, fifth and sixth position. De Rooy (DAF - n.409) is close to 2 hours off the pace set by his son.
In the overall, De Rooy is now fifth, 1h52 adrift.