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14 2004 - 16:54
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Masuoka wins the stage and becomes the new leader !
Dakar 2004 : Leg 6

Stephane Peterhansel started the event as the favourite and very quickly the Mitsubishi driver took control of the race. Unfortunately for him, transmission problems during a liaison section yesterday and a puncture in today's 351 km stage cost him the lead.

His Mitsubishi teammate Hiroshi Masuoka won today's stage and took over the lead of the rally. Peterhansel was not the only Mitsubishi driver to have a difficult day. Miki Biasion had mechanical problems (not specified at the moment) and rolled over his car. The "Mitsu" was still running after the incident, but at a very slow pace.

Giniel de Villiers finishes second in the stage, ahead of 1995 World Rally Champion Colin McRae.

Gregoire de Mevius and Luc Alphand continue their excellent work with another solid performance in this stage: they bring their BMW X5's in fifth and sixth places respectively. Unfortunately, The Belgian will receive a five-minute penalty (just like De Villiers and Philippe Gache) for going too far from a GPS reference point yesterday.

In the motorcycle category, Spaniard Nani Roma gets his first stage win in front of his countryman Isidre Esteve Pujol. Caldecott is third, staying ahead of the works team KTM riders.

Following the top three, Despres, De Gavardo, Cox, Brucy, Sainct, Meoni finished today's stage in that order.

Giovanni Sala was injured to his ribs after a fall. The Italian was taken to Fidelia medical centre in Tan Tan.

Hugo GIGUERE
CAPSIS International [06/01/04 - 16:06]

***

Masuoka stays in the lead, Peterhansel's not far behind
Dakar 2004 : Leg 7

Schlesser's buggy was trapped on a dune

Today the Dakar competitors had to face a long, gruelling 1050 km leg. Hiroshi Masuoka was once again the stage winner, followed by his teammate Stephane Peterhansel.

Jean-Louis Schlesser completes the top 3, even if his buggy was trapped on a dune for a short period of time.

Luc Alphand had transmission problems with his BMW X5 but was able to reach the finish. "We lost more than an hour with this problem and on top of that we lost another ten minutes with a puncture!" said a disappointed Alphand.

Thierry Magnaldi finishes the stage at a commendable ninth place, just in front of Bruno Saby at the wheel of his VW Touareg.

In the motorcycle category, Richard Sainct won his first stage since the start of this year's Dakar. The KTM rider finished a little over 7 minutes in front of Jean Brucy in second place and 8'33" ahead of Cyril Despres in third position.

Despres is the new race leader since Fabrizio Meoni broke his front wheel 580 km after the start of today's stage. Isidre Esteve Pujol also lost valuable time after falling, a few kilometres past CP2. Nani Roma is second overall, followed by Richard Sainct in third position.

Andy Caldecott finished the day in the top 10 despite suffering from a broken ankle. The Australian is seventh in the overall results.

Hugo GIGUERE
CAPSIS International [07/01/04 - 20:39]

***

Al-Attiyah hits trouble in longest stage of his rally career
Dakar 2004 : Mitsubishi Ralliart - Leg 7

Pajero / Montero driver Nasser-Saleh Al-Attiyah began the longest stage of his rally career in ninth position but hit problems and has slipped down the leaderboard for unconfirmed reasons.

The reigning Middle East Rally Champion has however been highly impressed by the enormity of organization surrounding this epic event. “I have been so impressed by this rally", said the Qatari. "The scale of the organization, the logistics; it is so impressive".

Dominique Housieaux has now taken over leadership of the Mitsubishi Ralliart customer teams, the Frenchman setting a highly-impressive eighth fastest time in T1 Pajero / Montero machinery to climb from 15th to 8th this evening. "For me this is where the real meat of this year's Dakar Rally began", said Housieaux.

Mitsubishi Ralliart mechanics changed the battery on team-mate Klever Kolberg's Pajero / Montero prior to the stage start today, and the Brazilian powered through the stage to set tenth fastest time. He also climbs four positions up the leaderboard into 12th overall.

Poland's Lukasz Komornicki began the section in a positive frame of mind after losing over 25 minutes into Tan-Tan last night. "I was running well into Tan-Tan and then we lost the rear left-hand wheel", said the Pole. "The wheel studs had completely sheared off. We had to drill out the old nuts and fit a new wheel. It was so frustrating and I dropped two places as a result". The Pole was ninth in today's stage and now holds 13th overall in another Pajero / Montero Spaniard Jos-Luis Monterde began the stage in 17th with a new gearbox fitted to his Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero. "We had a small oil leak on the stage into Tan-Tan yesterday and decided to change the gearbox as a precaution,” he said. “This was going to be a very long stage and we could leave nothing to chance". The Spaniard then lost two hours before the second passage control today, for unconfirmed reasons, and was forced to wait for his assistance truck.

Thailand's Pornsawan Siriwattanakun started the day buoyed by his climb into 26th position last night. "The car is running fine", said the Thai. "I must admit that I prefer the rocky stages to racing in the sand though. But this is the Dakar and there is a lot of sand!"

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart China's Luo Ding started this morning's stage from the rear of the field, after arriving late into Tan-Tan. He and French co-driver Serge Henninot had little opportunity for sleep before embarking upon the 1,055 kilometer section to Atr.

Press Release
Mitsubishi Motors Team [07/01/04 - 22:52]

***

Dakar rally organisers cancel two stages
Security reasons behind route amendments. The pace will be much slower like this...

At an energency press conference on Friday evening in the dusty Nema bivouac, the rally organisers, the ASO, issued a statement announcing the cancellation of two special stages between Nema and Mopti and Mopti and Bobo-Dioulasso today and tomorrow (Sunday).

Information received by both the French and Mali authorities that armed gangs could be present in the area gave the organisers no alternative but to cancel the two stages for security reasons.

Competitors will now head directly from Nema to Bamako on Saturday and will arrive in Bobo-Dioulasso on Sunday evening. The rest day will take place as planned on Monday and the rally will resume on Tuesday with a stage from Bobo to Bamako.

The last time sections of the route were cancelled was on the 2000 Paris-Dakar- Cairo Rally, when a terrorist threat from the GIA caused the organisers to airlift the entire Dakar caravan across the Tenere Desert from Niamey to Sabah in Libya. This resulted in the loss of five days' competition.

Press release [09/01/04 - 19:39]

***

Another stage win for Masuoka
Dakar 2004 : Leg 9

Triday's marathon stage was not only long, it was extremely difficult. The first cars arrived in Nema at the time the first bikers were ready to go to bed!

Hiroshi Masuoka won the gruelling 736 km stage, 18'32 ahead of his Mitsubishi teammate Stephane Peterhansel, who is still the leader of the race by more than an hour.

Jutta Kleinschmidt finished in third place. The Volkswagen driver is concentrating on the development of the Touareg, since she is too far behind in the overall standings to get a good result.

Jean-Louis Schlesser takes fourth place, using his experience to achieve an excellent performance.

Luc Alphand brings his BMW X5 in fifth place while his teammate Gregoire de Mevius had gearbox problems only 10 km from the finish. Thierry Magnaldi pulled the big X5 with his little buggy to the finish !

Another difficult day for Nissan. Giniel de Villiers is far behind while Colin McRae had more gearbox problems and Ari Vatanen's pick-up had clutch problems.

In the motorcycle category, Cyril Despres gets the top spot, more than 3 minutes in front of Alfie Cox. Richard Sainct is third, followed by Isidre Esteve Pujol in fourth place.

Nani Roma is still in the lead in the general standings but the gap over second place holder Richard Sainct is down to 3'33".

Fabrizio Meoni had more problems during the stage, his support for the navigation devices broke and the Italian had to make the necessary repairs, losing valuable time. Jean Brucy, who was in the top three in the overall results, had to retire because of a broken shoulder.

Hugo GIGUERE
CAPSIS International [09/01/04 - 20:42]

***

Hats off to the mechanics!
Dakar 2004 : X-Raid Team - Leg 10

Both BMW X5's are still in the race !

Due to security problems in the northern region of Mali, the Nema-Mopti and Mopti-Bobo Dioulasso specials have been cancelled and the contestants will rendezvous at the capital of Burkina Faso on a liaison run, passing one night in Bamako (the capital of Mali). Back in Nema, at 11:50 this morning, only 46 cars had made it to the arrival checkpoint of the special.

Taking into account the events and the number of teams remaining in the special, the organization modified the rules: to remain in the rally, the contestants must have run the Nema special stage in its entirety and make it to Bobo before 6pm tomorrow.

HATS OFF TO THE MECHANICS ON TEAM X-RAID
The entire X-Riad team worked through the night to repair Grgoire de Mevius' X5 engine. The repairs having been authorized, the engine will be given the once over by the technical officials. But before arriving at the sunny warmth of Bamako, the two teams have over 927 kilometers to get through. They will certainly come in late at night.

Tomorrow, the Bamako-Bobo Dioulasso liaison will be a mere 542 km and then there's Monday, a well-earned day of rest at last!

Press Release
X-Raid Team [10/01/04 - 19:31]


 

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ERC: Rally Matador Tatry – 00 0000 - 00:00
... "X-Raid Team" 12-  – 17 2004 - 19:59
Mitsubishi show their potential – 19 2004 - 17:09
2004 -  – 21 2004 - 22:53
A legendary race - Monte Carlo Rally – 21 2004 - 22:55

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: “ ”  – 12 2004 - 23:09
VW “ ” “” – 12 2004 - 23:07
26- “”  – 12 2004 - 22:59

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