Mayer takes second place in Baja Germany
2003 BAJA GERMANY
For immediate release
Sunday, June 22nd, 2003
MITSUBISHI'S MAYER TAKES
SECOND PLACE IN BAJA GERMANY
Alphand wins Baja Germany; Mayer wins final stage and beats rival Kleinschmidt
LEIPZIG (Germany): Germany's Andrea Mayer and co-driver Andreas Schulz finished second overall in the Baja Germany in a Ralliart-prepared Mitsubishi Pajero. The three-day, 633 kms event finished on Sunday in Leipzig and was won by Frenchman Luc Alphand and his British co-driver Matthew Stevenson.
In taking the runner-up spot, the 35-year-old Mitsubishi factory driver also beat her German rival Jutta Kleinschmidt - the first woman ever to win the Paris-Dakar Rally - by 4m 22s.
After making the switch from a successful career in enduro riding to four-wheel competition, Mayer has gradually quickened her pace this season and finished fifth overall in April's Rally of Tunisia and set several top five times in Morocco earlier this month after early delays.
~It is a fantastic result for Andrea and the whole team,~ said Mitsubishi's Team Director Dominique Serieys. ~We are all delighted with the way the weekend worked out. After a small confusion on the Prologue, which meant she started from a position in the twenties on Saturday morning, Andrea climbed back through the field and set the fastest time today. To take a result like this on her home event was even better. It is a great result for the classic Pajero.~
After tackling the Prologue stage on Friday evening at the Weigsdorf-Koblitz race circuit, alongside Frenchman Luc Alphand, Mayer slipped down the running order after a co-driving error meant that she tackled one too many laps of the circuit.
She climbed back through the field on Saturday and finished the opening 113 kms special stage between Reichwalde and Nochten in third place, behind Prologue winner Gregoire de Mevius and BMW team mate Alphand. In so doing, she gained a 1m 05s advantage over Kleinschmidt's fourth-placed Volkswagen.
Alphand won the second 245 kms section to move into the lead and third-placed Mayer duly extended her advantage over Kleinschmidt to 68 seconds at the overnight halt.
The Mitsubishi driver kept up her momentum through Sunday's stage to take the outright fastest time by 33 seconds and consolidate her second position in the overall standings. De Mevius was badly delayed with a broken wheel, but Alphand's fourth position on the final stage was sufficient to claim the win.
Held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Saxony, the event attracted 23 starters and began in the main market square in Bautzen.
Three specials followed on Saturday, including two runs at the stage between Reichwalde and Nochten and a pass through the Skado-Klein Koschen-Sedlitz area. Servicing was centralised in Boxberg, near to the Lusatia special stage, before the route headed to Leipzig on Saturday evening.
Sunday's 180 kms stage was based near to the open cast mine at Espenhain, before the final podium in Leipzig. Fifteen cars reached the finish.
Positions after day 1 (SS2):
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Matthew Stevenson (GB) BMW X5 4h11m 01s
2. Gregoire de Mevius (B)/Alain Guehennec (B) BMW X5 4h 15m 48s
3. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi Pajero 4h 22m 22s
4. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) VW Tarek 4h 23m 30s
5. Stephane Henrard (B)/Alain Low (B) VW Tarek 4h 42m 00s
Final positions after day 2 (SS5) - top 4 only:
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Matthew Stevenson (GB) BMW X5 7h 22m 26s
2. Andrea Mayer (D)/Andreas Schulz (D) Mitsubishi Pajero 7h 34m 15s
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (D)/Fabrizia Pons (I) Volkswagen Tarek 7h 38m 37s
4. Stephane Henrard (B)/Alain Low (B) Volkswagen Tarek 7h 54m 47s