Dakar: Stage three Castell?n to Valencia notes

Stage 3 Friday 3 January 2003 Liaison 5 km - Special 8 km - Liaison 82 km - Total 95 km O9:49 - A special that finishes on a beach. Like in the Marseille prologue, it'll be a real show special. Set on a beach and an airplane strip, it's an ...

Stage 3
Friday 3 January 2003

Liaison 5 km - Special 8 km - Liaison 82 km - Total 95 km

O9:49 - A special that finishes on a beach. Like in the Marseille prologue, it'll be a real show special. Set on a beach and an airplane strip, it's an artificial course. The competitors will have to be careful in the sand of the beach that promises to be very trcky. The last special before crossing the sea and heading for Tunisia.

Jutta Kleinschmidt and Fabrizia Pons.
Photo by Volkswagen Racing.

Motobikes:
11:39 - Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM n.7) claimed the timed special of Castellon in the third stage taking the competitors from Castellon to Valencia (95kms). On the beach of playa del Pinar, the Frenchman clocked a time of 6min20s on the 8km circuit.

After winning the prologue in Marseille on Wednesday, Despres wins his first real special of the 2003 rally, beating surprising Dutchman Eric Verhoef (KTM -- n.29) by just two seconds. Third place went to local hero Marc Coma (KTM -- n.10) of Spain.

In the overall standings, Richard Sainct (KTM -- n.3), winner yesterday and 6th today, remains the race leader with a 10 sec advantage on Alfie Cox and 18 on Despres. Italy's Fabrizio Meoni (KTM n.1) finished 48 seconds off the pace in 15th position.

Cars:
13:01 - Japan's Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi -- n.200) grabbed victory in Friday's special staged on the beach of Castellon. On the shortest special of the rally, an 8km course, last year's winner managed a time of 6min42s leaving his team mate Stephane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi n.205) five seconds behind. The Frenchman however remains top of the car overall standings 29sec ahead of Masuoka.

Third place of the special went to Stephane Henrard (Volkswagen - n.215) who appears not to be having the same technical worries his team mate Jutta Kleinschmitt (Volkswagen -- n.203) is going through. The German pilot however finished in a better position today, 15th and 50 seconds off the pace set by the day's winner.

Trucks:
15:11 - After his father beat him to victory in Thursday's Corbieres special, Gerardus De Rooy (DAF -- n.414) took revenge on the 8km beach special of Castellon beating Johannes (DAF -- n.409) by four seconds. Third place went to last year's winner Vladimir Tchaguine (Kamaz -- n.407). In the overall standings, Johannes De Rooy remains the leader with a 34sec advantage on his son while Italy's Corrado Pattono (Mercedes -- n.402) is third, 2min11s adrift.

-aso-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Stéphane Henrard , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Fabrizia Pons , Hiroshi Masuoka , Stéphane Peterhansel , Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Richard Sainct , Marc Coma