Three cars arrived, in the precise order of departure, beware of appearances: in pole position and first arrived at Ras El Oued was Jean-Louis Schlesser and Konstantin Zhiltsov (Buggy Schlesser No. 300) who concede more than a minute and a half to the Russian Leonid Novitsky (BMW X3CC No. 301).
The duo Roma / Perin (BMW X3CC No. 302), are nevertheless the winners of the day’s special, comforting for the Hispano-French duo after their difficult stage yesterday … As for Jean-Louis Schlesser, now second overall at just over a minute. He will have to take his departure order ( 3rd) in tomorrow’s stage… In the wake of the leaders, Italy’s Roberto Tonetti and Fabian Lurquin (Nissan Pathfinder No. 305) also made a comeback after “drowning” in the dunes of Ksar Ghilane. The Italian and Belgian duo beats the Czechs Zapletal / Ourednicek (BMW X3CC No. 307), Boris Garafulic (BMW X3CC No. 303), is definitely feeling more comfortable at the wheel of his new BMW. …
TRUCKS: JACINTO IS HAVING FUN
Eighth in the combined classification car / truck, of the day is the Portuguese Elisabete Jacinto, accompanied by Charly Gotlib and Marco Cochinho (MAN No. 401). An excellent test in terms of steering and suspension settings for the Lusitanian, unbeaten on African soil since last year …
WILDCAT TROPHY: GUILLOT DID WELL
Ninth passed the finishing line, Christophe Guillot and Jean-Pierre Garcin (No. 312) were nevertheless the first QT Wildcat and therefore first victory in a special of the Wildcat Trophy. Michel Visy and Sébastien Delaunay (No. 315), are still leading the overall trophy in front of Gaetan Ge and Annie Gauvineau (No. 320). As for Eugenie Decré and Patrick Antoniolli (No. 306), they got the 3rd time of the day, despite a puncture on the right rear tire. A small consolation after their 48-hour penalty, following engine trouble yesterday.
Nani Roma (Spa / BMW X3CC No. 302) : “This stage was rolling and technical Michel and I have found our bearings in the BWM X3. We maintained a very high rhythm over 200 kilometers without taking too many risks and it paid off. I am obviously very pleased to offer this victory to my team. ”
Jean-Louis Schlesser (Fra / Buggy Schlesser No. 300) : “It was fast but, paradoxically, not really pro-buggies. However, we kept our own against the BMW. A little over a minute two specials from the end, it will be very difficult, but everything remains open … ”
Roberto Tonetti (Ita / Nisan Pathfinder No. 305) : “A perfect special for us. The car is really great and I am adapting a little better every day … ”
Elisabete Jacinto (Por / MAN No. 401) : “It was not at all comparable to yesterday’s stage. I enjoyed myself in terms of steering, but I also like it when, it’s slower and more complicated for my truck. ”
Christophe Guillot (Fra / QT Wildcat No. 312) : “Beautiful stage for us today with a car that runs like clockwork again. It’s nice to get some speed on the technical stages. ”
Eugenie Decré (Fra / QT Wildcat No. 306) : “A much easier day, despite a flat tire, I had fun. Now I understand why my co pilot sometimes asks me to repeat a note, when one is focused on the driving, it’s not always easy to listen to what the other person says … ”
Gaetan Ge (Fra / QT, No 320) : “Our car is definitely not the fastest, 130 to the most, so this terrain is not our favourite; we took the time to marvel at the incredible landscapes on this classic special. Yesterday we unfortunately stopped three times and lost some valuable time, but all is fine now.”
Amadeus Matzkher (Ger / Land rover Defender No 316) :”Today was nice and fast with a lot of jumps and beautiful landscapes, just as I like it. We are testing different set ups everyday and the car is doing well. So far we had a bit of bad luck on the first day (the prop shaft broke and we finished the special in two wheel drive), but since then things are getting better and better. Oh! And I must say the rally is well organised!”
Ghilene Baaziz (Tun / Toyota, No 323) :”A lot of navigation, very different from yesterday and too many stones…We punctured twice on my side. This is my fifteenth rally in succession, eighteen in total, so I have a long experience here. Tunisia is on the way up; things are changing fast, go Tunisia!”
Hend Chaouch (Tun / Toyota, No 317) : “I did not like this special at all! It was for the powerful cars not for us, and my steering is still faulty so I can’t feel my shoulder. This is my sixteenth year in succession, it’s the absolute record! (Man and woman combined). I want the rally to gain more competitors, and celebrities, come and join us!”
Rainer Krech (Ger / Land rover, No 321) :”Fine stage, not difficult but I still prefer the dunes of the previous days. This is my second trip to Africa and I am liking it. This is a strong and solid car, but not the fastest so in this special we enjoyed the landscapes and the tracks was impressive, so we are enjoying it”.