PHARAOHS RALLY (Egypt) – 1st/8th of October 2011
World Cup for Cross Country Rallies
LEG 5 : SAHL BARAKA – TIBNIYA (7th of October)
Liaison : 91,59 km – Special Stage : 444,88 km – Liaison : 4,80 km
Team Sonangol Schlesser : straight to the top!
The fifth and penultimate stage of the 2011 Pharaohs Rally was a true highlight. A long and difficult stage, typically “African”. For the fourth consecutive day, the Sonangol Schlesser Buggy gives the right pace and signs another victory. The “Desert Fox” can see now the royal way to the Pyramids of Giza wide open. Tomorrow, the last stage to reach Cairo will be decisive.
Announced as the most terrible of stages, the 445 km stage between Sahl Baraka and Tibniya was decisive for the competitors still racing. The difficulties were real especially the crossing of cathedral dunes and portions on very soft sand.
“This leg was very beautiful but also very hard. Some competitors will certainly spend a lot of time to cross these dunes. We had a good part of soft sand and a 100% off-piste route. I do not think we have made one kilometer on a « real » track… The biggest challenge was to catch the waypoints in the middle of very tough dunes. At the end, we were shaken during about 70 km of closely spaced jumps. There is still a leg to run and I am well placed to say that a rally is never finished until you have crossed the finish line … ”
Tomorrow, back to Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza, for the finish line of the 2011 Pharaohs Rally. Another 350 km stage where many traps will have to be avoid: fast track, sand and bumps to be negotiated with skill. Then, a 78 km transfer before the podium …