7TH BEST TIME FOR TERRANOVA OF THE JMB STRADALE OFF ROAD TEAM
The 276 competitors, still in the race after the difficult 4th stage of yesterday, crossed the Andes from Fiambala, Argentina to Copiapo, Chile with a liaison of 394km. The full 5 crew members are present on
this stage despite yesterday's hardships.
It's Orly Terranova who came back to the bivouac with the best time of the JMB Stradale Off Road team by placing 7th of the timed stage of 164 km. He was only 9mn 6s behind today's leader, Robby Gordon from the United States. The duo Terranova-Maimon moved up to 24th place in the general ranking. "I'm relieved", states Orly, "as it's our first day without a problem. We left in 22nd position and were able to pass a lot of cars despite the dust. We stayed behind Giniel de Villiers until the end of the stage. We are very happy to be back at the bivouac in these conditions."
The second best time of the team was obtained by Guilherme Spinelli and Filipe Palmeiro who have moved up to 9th position in the general ranking. "It was a good stage. We lost a little time by stopping to deflate but it was necessary for the driving. We must continue this way as we are only at the beginning of the race" comments the Brazilian driver.
Miguel Barbosa and Miguel Ramalho come in 15th of the stage and are 15th in the general ranking. "We started off the day in the dust of the other competitors and I missed an exit and lost some seconds as we had to turn around. I must admit that this stage was very rapid and not adapted to our car. We are much better off during the technical stages like yesterday. This type of day gives advantage to the diesel cars", explains Miguel.
"The difference in the engine power between us and the diesel car is enormous", proclaims Carlos Sousa who obtains 16th time during today's stage and moves down to 7th place in the general ranking. There was not much to do but to plod on. I was at full speed and even trucks passed us. It's unfortunate that the actual regulations hinder our performance. I'm a little bit let down by the actual rules".
Misslin and Polato finished 19th of the day and are now 21st in the general ranking at 3h 28 mn and 38 s behind the provisional leader, Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret. "As we lost time yesterday, we left today in a bad position which placed us behind a lot of our competitors and we raced in their dust for the whole stage. On top of this, we punctured a tire and lost time obliging us to double again competitors we already had passed with difficulty. As we have less engine power, it's not so easy to catch up now" said the president of the Team, Nicolas Misslin.
For tomorrow's stage, the remaining competitors will run a total distance of 670 km between Copiapo and Antofagasta on a fast and stony Chilean soil. Part of the 483 km timed stage will be off road and in the middle of the fesh-fesh. Tomorrow's stage may bring a lot of surprises!!