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Old 01-10-2014, 04:18 AM   #78
barrier
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: North Wales UK
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AER Update!

NEWSLETTER RALLYE SONANGOL AFRICA ECO RACE
Thursday January 9th 2014
STAGE N°9: AKJOUJT / TOUEILA: 309 km
SPECIAL STAGE: AKJOUJT / TOUEILA: 289 km
TRANSFERT: TOUEILA / BIVOUAC: 20 km

Even if the two dune fields of the day were not easy, this second last Mauritanian stage was not as hard as René METGE had expected it. It was actually not a bad thing as a lot of participants came in really late the day before and it really affected the caravan of the SONANGOL AFRICA ECO RACE. Except some exceptions, the majority of the 40 cars and trucks, the 20 bikes still in the race had arrived at the bivouac in the afternoon.

Bike: ROBIN comes back
As the SONANGOL AFRICA ECO RACE goes forward, the objectives of the participants are various. Of course, Michael PISANO, which is leading in the general rankings, is doing his best to take good care of his 450 HONDA bike whereas Dominique ROBIN, second for the moment is pushing as hard as he can to get back some time on PISANO. Some bikers such as Robert THEURETZBACHER real want to stand out by doing nice performances and others like Harite GABARI or also Norbert DUBOIS just want one thing, arrive to the end of the race.

Dominique ROBIN was delighted at the end of today’s stage: “ After yesterday’s difficulties, I took a lot of pleasure today and I’m really happy to have won the stage. It makes me forget yesterday and winning is always a great feeling. For me the victory won’t be possible in my opinion, so I’ll do my best to keep my second place until the end.”

On Michael PISANO’s side, he was quite happy with his second place, 4’10 behind the winner: “ All I did all day is do my best to take care of my machine, especially for gear changes. It worked! But the problem when you use this policy is to increase errors and decrease concentration. Of course I prefer pushing, but I’ll stay as is until the arrival in Dakar."

Behind the two leaders of the day and in the general rankings, Austrian Robert THEURETZBACHER had great day once again as he finished 3rd at 4’47, right in front of Harite GABARI from Morocco, staying 4th whereas Guillaume MARTENS finishes 5th..

A little further behind, Christophe CONREAU was really lucky has he seized the piston of his engine 55 km away for the end but after waiting a while he managed to restart. The mechanics of the Team Motards du Desert are doing their best to repair for tomorrow’s stage in order to arrive to DAKAR.

Car: Father and Son FROMONT win today
In this last episode of the battles in the Mauritanian dunes, Michel TURON BARRERE was facing a quite big issue as he spent the whole day trying to get out of a bowl where he got stuck in the first dunes. It’s finally with some help, given generously by Jean Luc and Marlene VIDAL, but also with the Balai Truck that TURON BARRERE managed to get out before continuing. Except him, no real problems happened in today’s stage.

Today’s victory was for Yves FROMONT, navigated by his son Jean. The Frenchman was glad of his performance at the wheel of his VW Tarek: “ We started 17th, and as we could not see much mainly due to dust, during the first 50km, we took a parallel track which gave us the opportunity to overtake a lot of opponents. We were also very competitive in the first dune field, where a lot of participants were stuck. The second dunes field went well as well even if SABATIER overtook us. It’s nice to win after such a complicated rally.”


Once again Stephane HENRARD finishes 2nd of the day at 2’26, proving the performance of his VW Dunbee on this kind of field. The Belgian is 15 minutes in front of SCHLESSER and Gilles FLORIN finishes 4th. Jackie LOOMANS classifies 5th and strengthens his 2nd place in the general rankings in front of HENRARD.

One word concerning the long battle between Philippe PORCHERON with his Buggy and Jean Noel JULIEN at the wheel of his Megane Prototype. The fight was finally taken over by JULIEN, finishing 2’50 in front of PORCHERON.

In the rigid axles category, victory was for Remy CHAPOT on his BOWLER.
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