CC Peterhansel rolls and slips to third in Patagonia Atacama Rally

FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, round 1


Mitsubishi’s Roma holds fourth position after second leg in Argentina;
Frenchman Peterhansel rolls and continues into San Rafael in third place

Leg 2: General Roca - San Rafael
Liaison: 198.01 kms, Special: 496.34 kms, Liaison: 44.52 kms

Weather conditions: cool, windy and cloudy - 16-19 C

SAN RAFAEL (Argentina); The Mitsubishi Motors Repsol ATS Studios Team slipped to third and fourth places in the Patagonia-Atacama Rally, after the second 496 kms selective section between General Roca in the Province of Rio Negro and San Rafael in the Mendoza region of central Argentina today (Monday).

The French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret had begun the day 5m 40s ahead of Volkswagen’s Bruno Saby and Michel Périn in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution. But they rolled their car after the second passage control and the second neutrisation section and slipped 22m 56s behind French stage winner Saby in the overall standings at the end of the leg.

Peterhansel was forced to wait for team mates Joan ’Nani’ Roma and Henri Magne, 100 kms into the second section of the stage after the accident. ~It was a very slow corner and there was a big rock on the left-hand side, hidden in the grass,~ said Peterhansel.

~We did a half-roll on to the roof and we had to wait for Nani to help us on the wheels with a rope. The power steering was broken and it was very difficult to reach the finish on the narrow and twisty sections afterwards. The stage was very nice, but the dunes were soft and not easy. It will be very difficult for the amateur drivers.~

Roma shadowed his team mate to the stage finish in his Mitsubishi L200 Pick-Up. ~It was not Stéphane’s day today,~ said Roma. ~When I arrived at the scene of his problem I stopped to help and looked around his car to check it was okay. Then I continued and realised that he was not following me and I went back to check that he was going again.

~The last 60 kms were very difficult and will be almost impossible for some of the competitors to pass through the big dunes. Some of them were high and the engine was working very hard.~

Today’s stage began 198 kms north of the agricultural town of General Roca and offered a balance of rocky volcanic terrain, course grasslands, fast piste and several sand dunes towards the finish.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the third leg of the Patagonia-Atacama Rally between San Rafael and Santiago, the capital of Chile. After a 88.47 kms road liaison, the first of three selective sections takes place between Volcan Diamante and Pareditas. Following a second liaison, a 81 kms special guides teams from Mendoza to Uspallata.

A third 239 kms road section steers teams to the start of a third 2.1 kms super special stage in Santiago city center and the overnight halt. The route passes over a wide variety of terrain, with dry river beds, canyon roads and ascents to over 2,000 meters on the agenda. The road liaison will also pass Aconagua, the highest mountain in the Andes.

Overall positions after leg 2 (unofficial @ 16.45 hrs - local time):

1. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 7h 46m 08s
2. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 8h 00m 21s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 8h 09m 04s
4. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 8h 15m 42s

Overall positions on SS2 (unofficial @ 16.45 hrs - local time):
1. Bruno Saby (F)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Touareg 5h 45m 37s
2. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Touareg 5h 51m 24s
3. Joan Roma (E)/Henri Magne (AND) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 6h 10m 25s
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution 6h 14m 13s


Date issued: 07/03/2005

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