Dakar Rally : Team Maxdata Mercedes - Leg 1
For Ellen Lohr and Antonia de Roissard in their M-Class prototype entered by ‘Team Maxdata Mercedes-Benz', the start into the 2007 Dakar Rally turned out to be a difficult one. On stage one, a stump hidden deeply in the sand got
caught exactly in the triangle of the rally vehicle's lower wishbone.
As the sand was extremely deep and soft at the venue of the incident, it turned out to be very time-consuming to get the car running again. « Basically, it was anything but dramatic but very unfortunate, » said Ellen Lohr. « At the end of the day, it took us 1:45 hours to refloat the car. Fortunately, the incident didn't result in any damages. »
Hundreds and thousands of people between Lisbon and Portimao at the Algarve were inspired by the first stage of the 2007 Dakar Rally.
At the same time, the Slovenian crew of the race Unimog completed the 117-kilometre stage one without experiencing any problems whatsoever. On 7th January, the teams will have to cope with the 2007 Dakar Rally's second stage, starting in Portimao and adding up to a total mileage of 507 kilometres. Still, it features just one 67-kilometre special stage, to be completed on Portuguese soil.
Afterwards, the competitors will cross the border to Spain and will drive on to Malaga, located 425 kilometres away, for the crossing to Morocco : « Today's first special stage in the deep sand represented a foretaste of the desert, » said Ellen Lohr, « And it was a truly challenging one. »