Pharaons Rally : Leg 6 - Summary
The sixth stage of the 9th Total Pharaons International Rally brought the group of competitors back to the direction of Cairo for the third and last stop in Baharija before the finish, this Monday in the Egyptian capital city.
it is as a leader that Marc Coma (KTM) won this penultimate stage, whereas in his trail, Carlo De Gavardo (KTM) was forced to withdraw after he fell down. The Chilean, third on the overall ranking this morning, has been evacuated by the medical staff with a broken left leg. In the cars division, Brazilian Paulo Nobre clinched victory with his BMW X5, in front of the Buggy Zil from the Russian Shmakov, who is still comfortably leading the category.
Some dunes to start with and then some technical tracks before to continue with navigation: the 6th stage of the Total Pharaons International Rally offered a very varying and exhausting track for its come back to Baharija.
A timed special, which turned in a drama for Carlo De Gavardo (KTM). The Chilean rider, who was closed to jump on the third step of the podium on Monday in Cairo, fell down badly around the kilometre 320 of the stage. After having destroyed completely his bike, he has been evacuated toward the hospital of Cairo with a broken left leg.
Riding again in a group at he head of the race, the leaders have spent the complete day watching each other.
All benefit for Marc Coma (KTM), leader of the rally, who is clinching victory again, after having taken advantage of the excellent navigation of David Casteu. It is a good omen for the Catalan, who is hopping for a triumph in Cairo.
Behind the winner of the last Dakar, Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter is achieving a good result. Second place for the ‘Viking of the desert' today, who took advantage of the withdrawal of De Gavardo to climb up on the provisory podium. Immobilized during about one hour next to his friend Carlo, Francisco Lopez (Honda 450) logically conceding a lot of time in his 450cc category, on this stage, which saw the victory of Laurent Lazard (KTM 450). However, in the overall standing, the Chilean revelation ‘Chaleco' is keeping a large advance and should celebrate his world title in his category.
A world title is something that Sergey Shmakov (Buggy Zil) is also waiting for, this Monday at the great Pyramids feet. Ideally, the Russian driver would like to double the success with a second victory in World Cup after the first one he easily obtained in South Africa.
Leading the rally with 46 minutes of advance on his runner-up, the winner of the stage Paulo Nobre (BMW X5), Sergey Shmakov should logically enter Cairo as a winner. Unless the car race jury members impose him a penalty for the extra fuel he put in his tank at the assistance point at CP2. A forbidden action, but that only ended in a warning for another competitor in the same situation few days ago.
What could have been just a small anecdote almost turned wrong at the assistance point. Very unsatisfied with his car, the Russian asked his mechanics to repair the front axle of the buggy, whereas some others were refuelling. The intervention of the stewards made the situation … flammable! Some fuel that had been sprayed on the welding spots started to ignite, starting a small fire quickly extinguished.
Some worries today also and again for Jose Luis Monterde (BMW X5), who, after his gear-box and transmission problems of yesterday, had some troubles with the air-intake system shortly before CP2 and finished the stage with suspicious noises.
Third today, Israeli Heyman Raz and Segal (Mitsubishi Pajero) continue to surprise, whereas Prisca Taruffi (Nissan Navara) is ranking 4th today. In the T2 category, the Mercedes ML from Jean-Pascal Besson is clocking the fastest time of this stage adrift of the Nissan Pathfinder from Laurent Rosso. Fourth of his category today, Christian Lavieille (Nissan Pathfinder) slowed down his pace on purpose, in order to settle his position of leader without taking any risk, and to make sure that he will cross the finish line successfully on the Gizeh plateau.
Press release JVD International