Dakar : Leg 3 - First news
Traditionally providing a relatively gentle introduction to African terrain, the first Moroccan stage will this year be marked by a much more brutal change. The route offers the classic traps to which the Dakar faithful are accustomed, namely
technically demanding and stony tracks, but the drivers and co-drivers will face a particularly rude awakening in terms of navigation. The application of the new rules barring the use of GPS should sow confusion among all those used to this technology. With the sole source of information now being the road-book, the caravan could well start to scatter from today.
Under these conditions, it would be highly fanciful to bet a single dirham on the previous day's winner, Ruben Faria, who is taking part in his first raid rally and has never driven on African soil before. In contrast, this first test might offer a few pointers on the chances of Carlos Sainz, who can depend on the expertise of an experienced co-driver in Andreas Shulz, a former Dakar winner alongside Hiroshi Masuoka.
Schlesser fastest at CP1
At the first CP of the car race, Jean-Louis Schlesser has the fastest time so far. The Frenchman on his buggy has a 56" lead on Giniel de Villiers in his VW Race Touareg. Third spot is for Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsuishi), 1'11" adrift. We then have Kleinschmidt at 1'57", Gordon at 2'23", Miller at 2'24". Overall leader Carlos Sainz is 5'50" adrift. The Spaniard started the special in first position after his win yesterday.
Masuoka in front of Sainz
After CP1, Hiroshi Masuoka (Mitsubishi) has managed to overtake race overall leader Carlos Sainz who took off first this morning. The Spaniard in his VW Race Touareg appears to have had navigation problems, slightly losing himself. Meanwhile behind, Jean-Louis SChlesser is still storming after clocking the fastest time at the first CP.
Caldecott wins special
After clocking the fastest times at all CPs, Andy Caldecott has won the first African special of the rally. In a final time of 3h21'11", the Aussie beats Andy Grider by 3'04". Third is title holder Cyril Despres at 3'07". Overall leader before the day's stage, Isidre Esteve lost 11'12" on the day.
Despres new overall leader
After clinching third spot on the day, Cyril Despres is back in the overall lead. The Frenchman has a 1'16" advantage on Marc Coma and 1'39" on privateer Pellicer.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation