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Coma and Shmakov, Princes of Egypt
Pharaons Rally : Leg 7 - Summary
At the end of seven days of race, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) in the bike race and Russian Sergey Shmakov (Buggy Zil) on four wheels have crossed the finish line as great winners of the 9th Total Pharaons International Cross Country Rally.

Coma,
winner of all the rallies in which he took part in 2006, is outlined as the main candidate for his own succession, in three months during the Dakar 2007. In the term of an ultimate stage with new developments, the Catalan outstrips Norwegian Ullevalseter ( KTM) and Brazilian De Azevedo ( KTM).

On four wheels, already winner in South Africa, Sergey Shmakov, who finished ahead of the two BMW X5 of Brazilian Nobre and Spaniard Monterde, to get his second victory in the World Cup Championship. The Russian can already “unofficially” celebrate the World Cup 2006, unless the FIA decide it differently within a few week.

In a great plume of smoke, Marc Coma stops his ride at the finish of this 8th and ultimate special of the Total Pharaons International Rally. A smile on his face, sparkling eyes of happiness, the Spanish rider radiates with satisfaction.

Since the last Dakar, he won all the events in which he participated in 2006. One exceptional season without fail, worthy of great champions and making of him the well-defined favourite for his own succession, next January, on the Dakar 2007.

As by reflex, he throws a glance behind him.
The horizon is quiet. Nobody follows. His first anxiety goes for his team member. Shortly before the refuelling station at CP2, the young Jordi Viladoms has damaged the suspension of his KTM which led to the destruction of his tire after that…

Winner of the first stage and brilliant runner-up from his leader during the last six days, he lost everything with the finish line in sight. But that is the tough rule of the race and of the African rally above all.

Arriving right behind the Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM), who is settling in extremis with second spot, David Casteu (KTM) is also here to testify. David, to whom a place on the podium here would have been sufficient to braid already the world crown so desired, saw his illusions fly away last Tuesday, from the first kilometres of this rally. It is nevertheless with the smile and giving evidence of his usual fair play that he stayed at the bottom of the podium to applaud Coma, Ullevalseter and De Azevedo ( KTM) opening the champagne.

Conscious of his progress, even in the adversity, the French rider from Nice will have to be patient a few more weeks and score three more points in Dubai in order to grab his world title largely deserved after an exemplary season.

Hoisting his Honda 450 in front of the Sphinx, just behind the leaders, Francisco Lopez can, as for him, already enjoy his first world title. Indisputable revelation of this World Championship FIM 2006, the Chilean, answering to the nickname of ' Chaleco', as shown all his talent during its first steps on the African ground where he had come in any humility to get experience for his next participation to the Dakar. Literarily flying over the category in Argentina, in Sardinia and in Morocco, the new perfect race achieved here on the Egyptian soil far ahead of the KTM of Oscar Polli and the Yamaha of Mirko Miotto, propels him to the top of the discipline.

'At the top' is also where Sergey Shmakov (Buggy Zil) is finishing, here in the country of the Pharaons. Among the main players of the FIA World Cup 2006 and laureate two month ago in South Africa, the driver from Moscow did not have any choice than stepping on the podium in order to get the world title. And this is with all his art that he managed it, arriving on the plateau of Giza as a winner for a double crown after a tough fight within the Egyptian desert against the two BMW X5 from the Spanish Monterde and the Brazilian Nobre.

Winner of the 9th Total Pharaons International Rally, Sergey Shmakov will nevertheless still have to wait a few weeks before his title is officially ratified by the FIA.

Surprisingly, the Federation is now reconsidering the article, which mentions the requirement for any contender of the World Cup to participate in a minimum of four races on four different continents. No doubt and no hesitation for Christian Lavieille and Arnaud Debron (Nissan Pathfinder).

Winner in T2 category (production cars), Team Dessoude Nissan France clinched the world title at the end of a very good rally, but not without any problems and … fears at the beginning.

In the overall rankings, the French duo is ahead of the Mercedes ML from Jean-Pascal Besson and the other Nissan Pathfinder from Laurent Rosso. As for the trucks category, the final trophy goes to Giacomo Vismara (Iveco), who, in spite of some mechanical problems during the last stage, managed to reach the Egyptian capital city within the due-time…
Press release JVD International


     One stage away from the world title
     Coma and Shmakov on the royal lane
     Lavieille maintains its fifth place in the overall classification
     Shmakov gets the favour of the oracle
     Repsol riders keep leadership un Egypt
     Lavieille and Debron take a healthy lead in T2
     Yvan Muller : a very quick learner !
     The desert in black and white
     Race Touareg survives acid test in Morocco
     Team Dessoude with Yvan Muller and ORECA at Dakar

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