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Gearbox failure forces Ellen Lohr into retirement
Dakar Rally : Team Maxdata Mercedes - Leg 3
A gearbox change was impossible as the service Actros had to take a different route, according to the regulations.

Supported by the Actros 6x6, the Team MAXDATA Mercedes-Benz entered race Unimog is going to continue contesting
the truck competition.

For Ellen Lohr and Antonia de Roissard, the 2007 Dakar Rally took an early and sudden end. The pairing was stopped on yesterday's liaison to Malaga by a gearbox failure, some 30 kilometres away from the ferry boarding for the transfer to Morocco. In normal circumstances, the team could have changed the broken gearbox but the service Actros was driving on another route.

The team tried hard to avoid the early end but when the Actros arrived at the rally prototype at 21.00hrs, it was too late to change the gearbox as the last ferry for the rally competitors left Malaga just one hour later. The crew of the race Unimog also wasn't able to help as the vehicles contesting the truck competition already had boarded their ferry to Africa.

“My blood is curdled with horror,” said Ellen Lohr. “This truly is the worst possible case. In normal circumstances, our service crew could have changed the gearbox but in yesterday's situation, they hadn't the slightest chance of doing so. It's true, even in Formula cars fail to make it off the grid but there, you've got 17 chances over the course of the course of the season. And we had only this one. Our entire team worked extremely hard and our sponsoring partners supported us in all areas. I'm just lacking the words to describe our disappointment.

The Team MAXDATA Mercedes-Benz entered race Unimog is going to continue contesting the 2007 Dakar Rally truck competition, with the crew of the service Actros 6x6 now fully focusing on supporting this vehicle. “Now, it's the team's main ambition to make sure that our Unimog will make it to the finish ramp, on 21st January,” added Ellen Lohr. “We massively cross our fingers for the second half of our team.”

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