Liaison : 126 km – Special : 536 km – Liaison : 20 km – Total: 682 km.
This sixth round that led us to Balsas was the longest of the Rally with 536km of Special. On the official KTM camp, the forecasted and expected tyre problems happened to be true. Zé Hélio took advantage of the KTM team misfortune and resumed the race leadership with his small Honda 450.
During the Special, Cyril Despres (KTM), David Casteu (KTM) and Marc Coma (KTM) had to change their tyre foam with air chamber but, although the Spaniard has benefited from preferential treatment, its tyre blew out 60km far from the arrival. Conclusion: a 28th place!
So being, the Portuguese Ruben Faria (Honda) won the Special round, arriving in front of Ze Hélio, Ike Klaumann (Suzuki) and Despres (KTM) – who has fell without gravity.
Jordi Viladom s (KTM), 5th placed, has been able to resume the race this morning but in the last position, but has suffered passing previous competitors. In the sixth position, David Casteu (KTM) has experienced an African adventure by repairing an air chamber in a village. He finished in front of Helder Rodrigues (Honda), Jacez Czachor (KTM) and Ludo Boinnard (KTM). Chaleco Lopez has suffered an accident: with 575.15 km of the Special, the captivating Chilean rider fell and had his forehead deeply cut when hitting a wired fence. He`s already lived a traumatic experience when hit tyre foam melted and caught fire. Fortunately, Zé Hélio arrived just in time, bringing relief and controlling the flames. The Chilean Andres Tamm stayed with Chaleco Lopez while he was taken to the San José de Balsas hospital, in order to have his eyelid sewed back under anesthesia by one of the organization`s doctor, but he should wait until tomorrow to check if his left eye has suffered any injury.
The misfortune of some turns into the happiness of others: the sustainer`s navigation of the Russian Sergei Naumov KTM had broken due to the vibrations, so he was riding holding it on his hand when he arrived at the place of Chaleco`s accident. So, he then traded his bike with Chaleco, having a successful conclusion.
In the cars, without great surprises, Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (Volkswagen) won the round: “it was very fast at the beginning”, explained Giniel, “and easier than I though it would be, but then, we had 160km with very large holes and sand, which made the track slippery”.
Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford (Volkswagen) arrived in second place, with a difference of 41 seconds: “We had a small electrical trouble”, said the American “and I lost the rhythm. I feel frustrated. “.
Krisztof Holowczyc and Jean-Marc Fortin (Nissan Overdrive) were the third to arrive and suffered a lot with the heat: “In the middle of the Special, we had headaches” says Jean-Marc. “One hour later, our water bottle was already warm.”
Tomorrow, the Sertões Rally entourage heads to Floriano in a 492km round, being 216km of Special, and will arrive in a closed park due to the marathon round.