Originally Posted by rickypanecatyl
So if you show up late to your special section is there any grace? Do you get disqualified, do you just have to add as much time as you showed up late to your timed special stage?
I didn't understand the tire issue with Mark Coma last year. Is it that you are not allowed to change your tires in the middle of the day or that someone gave them to him? Can you change your tires in the evening? (If not those would be some pretty amazing tires I suppose!). For "cheating to work" with the tire issue I'm guessing Coma would have had to go extra fast in the liason with enough time left over to change it before the special stage - I can't imagine the difference a fresh tire would make would make up for the time lost changing it if he changed it in the special stage...
OK last "non rule related question". Is everyone on even footing in the evening time? Is everyone sleeping in tents, or are there some guys in luxury, sound proof RV's getting massages and breathing straight oxygen while others are setting up a pup tent in the sand? Anders Green mentioned something about kicking back at the bar... is there really a bar?
If you show up late for your SS time, you get 1 minute penalty for every minute late. You are allowed to start the special until 30 minutes after the last rider leaves, after that, you're DSQ.
Yesterday, Casteu suffered engine failure on the liaison BEFORE the SS. He couldn't repair it in time, so he showed up at the start, clocked in and then left the race course to start repairs. With this trick, he got some penalties for leaving the race course, but had time for repairs until the checkpoints are closed in the night.
Tires: yes, almost everyone gets new tires every evening. I think you are allowed to get fresh tires at the start of the SS if the assistance vehicles take the same course on that day. If not, you have to ride on the same tires you took the liaison on. Last year, Coma allegedly disappeared behind a hut on the special and came out with a fresh rear tire.
You can, however, swap wheels with other competitors. If Despres destroys a tire and Faria, his water carrier, shows up, Despres will take his wheel and Faria needs to wait for the assistance trucks. This is why assistance trucks take part in the race: They are fellow competitors (with factory mechanics and spares on board) and can render assistance on the stage. Hours later, of course.
Bivouac: almost everyone sleeps in tents, although the top boys might have a hotel room for the rest day. And massage therapists daily