Er Rachidia (Morocco), Monday, 02 January 2006 - The Gauloises Team Raphael Sperrer boarded the "Mistral" boat late yesterday evening and spent the night catching what sleep they could in a narrow cabin shared with two other Swedish competitors.
"The night on the boat gave my
co-driver Ola Floene and I the opportunity to look back on a very exciting and challenging two days. As the boat reached Nador we realised that the main part of the rally was only just beginning. It's been a really amazing experience so far and today was just as challenging racing through gravel and dirt but we're getting over the problems we had yesterday and were 41st over the third stage with a good time of 3:31:32. It was a real fast track though."
The strong drive over stage three brings Sperrer's Buggy into the top 100 and recovers strongly from Sunday's electronic problems. The team's overall time is now 07:20:56 and the team is confident of make another leap up the order tomorrow.
Dakar rookies Sperrer and co-driver Ole Floene ended day three of Dakar 2006 with broad smiles on their faces, but knowing that tomorrow they will have to do it all again.
“From the start things were going much better,” said Raphael Sperrer. ”The rhythm was there right away, but then we had a few problems with all the dirt and dust. All the dust meant that visibility was so poor it was impossible to overtake anyone. There were also a lot of large stones and trees lining the side of the roads so we had to be very careful not to make any mistakes. It was very difficult but our navigation was perfect so all credit to my brilliant co-driver Ole. The day was rough and tiring I'm glad I worked so hard on my fitness in preparation. The key is to remain focused and not to lose your concentration even for a split second. To be honest, we had a great day and I cannot complain because we gained 60 positions in one go. To be in the top 100 overall at this stage is not bad and I look forward to climbing further up the order tomorrow. Between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate with 639 kilometres ahead of us and the first dunes and the stony wadis."
Ole Floene added: "It was really the first time that I was seriously "on duty" for the really critical navigating in this rally. It's so tough in the car driving for so long, so fast in such difficult conditions. We were careful not to make any mistakes and at the end of today I feel very proud. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's special staged between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate where I expect it to be even more of a challenge navigating! Tonight we have completed 1,609 kilometres, but still have 7,434 ahead of us…”
Press release Team Gauloises Sperrer