Tuareg Rallye 2014 - OFFICIAL Event coverage thread - follow our ADV Inmates here!

Discussion in 'Racing' started by JMo (& piglet), Feb 23, 2014.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Scrutineering (Friday March 7th 2014) - #318 Gabriel Bolton

    “A big challenge”

    As a first-time desert-rally participant Gabriel Bolton together with his Dirtpunk/ZenOverland teammate Paul Castle initially signed-up for the 2014 Tuareg Rallye in the amateur category, but have elected to race in the Moto Profi classification after all.

    “We both felt it was actually better to start off in Profi category, and see how we fair after the first day” Gabriel reveals. “We understand there is some fantastic and technically challenging riding during the week, and it would be a shame to miss out on that” he grins “If we don’t try it in the first place, then we’ll never know if we were good enough after all!”

    While no stranger to desert riding himself, and indeed an accomplished Baja 250 racer and UK enduro rider, this is Gabriel’s first road-book navigation rally.

    “There seems to be a good mix of people here - some who don’t seem to be taking things all that seriously; while others who have some very professional looking kit, and have clearly invested a lot of time and money in their campaign. It’s lovely to be involved in an event with so much variation” he exclaims.

    Gabriel’s personal approach is rather more modest. “The only really important thing is to finish without injuring ourselves” he says. “In fact to be honest - it doesn’t really matter if we don’t actually finish - just as long as we still have a great time” he smiles.

    “At the same time, it would also be nice if we could actually achieve a reasonable [overall] result too by the end of the week” he continues. “Both Paul and I have raced in UK rallies together before, and it usually ends up getting a little competitive - between ourselves and the rest of the competition” he adds with a smile. “It can be very difficult to resist that, and I think for both of us that is going to be one of the biggest challenges.”

    Gabriel Bolton #318 - will be riding the Tuareg Rallye 2014 with his Dirtpunk/ZenOverland teammate Paul Castle #317, in the Moto Profi group.

    ends.

    Stage result: not applicable

    Overall position: not applicable

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.zenoverland.com www.dirtpunk.co.uk
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Scrutineering (Friday March 7th 2014) - #47 Tony Landh

    “The need to focus”

    For a rider more used to battling through snow and Scandinavian forest enduros, 53 year old Tony Landh delivered a stand out performance last year during the Tuareg Rallye, finishing 9th overall in what was his first desert navigation event.

    Returning this year with the intention to improve on that result, he also has a brand new bike - albeit it his tried and trusted combination of 450cc KTM and the innovative Swedish Raid Designs MRS rallye kit - offering a very lightweight and maneuverable machine.

    “Last year I was finding my pace - it was my first time using a road book, so I treated if more like an adventure ride - we even stopped on the second day to take photos!” he laughs.

    “This year however, it is my intention is to get into ‘race-mode’ right from the beginning - then I will be able to see exactly what it will take [to improve on last year]” he says.

    Despite a slightly smaller field than in 2013, Tony doesn’t feel that is going to be any advantage “It is the cream of the crop that is here” he suggests “And as always, the caliber of competition is very high...”

    “I still feel my weakness is in the navigation” he reveals “Last year I was able to find each individual waypoint - but what I need to do now is concentrate on linking all those together, and try to eliminate the opportunity for errors.” Having witnessed the pace of the front-runners, Tony also admits “The other thing I’m going to have to do is raise my speed just a little more, and also try to avoid riding as part of a pack.”

    Certainly for someone more used to close-contact enduro style racing, the desert particularly holds new-found appeal “For me I like the solitude - and the need for [total] focus” he says.

    ends.

    Stage result: not applicable

    Overall position: not applicable

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.facebook.com/landhofracing Youtube: alwaysktm
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 1 (Saturday 8th March 2014) - #317 Paul Castle

    Profi Moto class: 130 kms - 30% dunes, 70% sand piste.

    “Thank goodness for Mondo Sahara!”


    Paul Castle was clearly in a confident mood at the end of the first day, finishing comfortably in the top half of the Moto Profi class having avoided any penalties.

    “It was absolutely brilliant” he grins “It was very very sandy, but really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be - although I am glad we did Mondo Sahara (three weeks riding in the Mauritanian and Mali desert), otherwise we’d have been in real trouble I think!”

    “I came off quite a few times - flying over the bars, and got stuck numerous times too, but overall I think the cooler weather [this year] means thankfully the sand isn’t quite so soft.”

    The first day of the Tuareg Rallye in Tunisia is notorious for throwing the Moto riders right in at the deep end - and therefore allows riders to change class without penalty should they feel.

    “I’m so glad we chose to enter Profi” says Paul “I think we’d have felt short-changed at the end of the first lap if we’d thought that’s all there was today...”

    Despite to prospect of riding double the distance required by the amateur competitors, Paul and his teammate Gabriel Bolton attacked the 2nd loop with confident enthusiasm; and together with overcoming Gabriel’s mechanical problem, actually managed to finish the second half of the stage faster than the first - crossing the line together with a total time of 5h 41m.

    “The navigation was fine - and to be honest after the first lap, we realised there were so many [GPS] waypoints to guide us [in the open dune terrain] that it was more about sticking to the compass headings and following the GPS arrow, rather than the roadbook instructions.”

    “Everything went really well, really smoothly, other than Gabe’s clutch problem of course - but fortunately we were able to pick our way through the dunes and get to the end with no penalties. “I had a small issue with my brake hose rubbing, but again an easy fix once the bikes were back with our support team [Desert Rose Racing] - while we could relax with a beer!” He grins.

    ends.

    Stage result: day 1/7: 29th (5h41m)

    Overall position: day 1/7: 29th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.dirtpunk.co.uk www.zenoverland.com
  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 1 (Saturday 8th March 2014) - #318 Gabriel Bolton

    Profi Moto class: 130 kms - 30% dunes, 70% sand piste.

    “I still feel 100%”


    Gabriel has a successful first day, despite a mechanical problem towards the end of the stage.

    “Fortunately it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared” he begins. “Both Paul and I had built up a picture after hearing these stories [from last year] about how soft the sand dunes were, and how difficult it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised.”

    “We stuck to our plan to take it easy and stay together for the first day” he continues “We just jogged to the bikes [during the Le Mans style sprint start], then kept a steady pace and concentrated on our navigation - making sure everything was spot-on, and it seems to have paid dividends - we made every checkpoint, which was our goal.”

    “We rode well within our limits - passed a few riders, were passed by others, and finished the first loop (target time between 2-4 hours) in three hours, which we were very pleased with.”

    “Of course we got stuck from time to time, and came off a few times - but we helped each other out - and by the end of the first loop [the Profi group ride double the distance of the amateur riders on the first day] we both felt perfectly able to continue the second half - which was reassuring that we’d made the right choice entering Profi after all.”

    Gabe suffered a minor set-back late in the second half, when his clutch cable broke while tackling the soft dunes. “I had a [brand new] spare cable with me, but unfortunately they had supplied the wrong one, and it wouldn’t fit the bike!” he exclaims “The was nothing else to do by try and ride to the end without using the clutch - fortunately we were only about 15 kilometers from the end, and I wasn’t going to forfeit the final checkpoint.”

    “It’s only the end of the first day, but I still feel 100% ready to tackle a good few more days like this” he says “Had we tried to ride faster, I’m sure we wouldn’t be looking at the rest of the rally with such optimism!”

    ends.

    Stage result: day 1/7: 29th (5h41m)

    Overall position: day 1/7: 29th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.zenoverland.com www.dirtpunk.co.uk
  5. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 1 (Saturday 8th March 2014) - #47 Tony Landh

    Profi Moto class: 130 kms - 30% dunes, 70% sand piste.

    “I’m where I want to be...”


    An eventful day for Tony Landh - but despite mechanical trouble early on, he still finished a very respectable 13th overall, just an hour off the leaders at the end of the first stage.

    “My plan to start off in ‘race-mode’ caused me problems” he begins. “Just 3 kilometers after the start I crashed, quite heavily, somersaulting over a small dune... I just wasn’t paying enough attention. “Unfortunately it damaged my navigation tower and it came lose - so I had to battle with that until about halfway through the first loop, when it finally became detached from the frame completely - held on by just the wiring cables!” he groans.

    A rudimentary repair with zip-ties, saw him able to finish the first lap without further drama, other than some lost time.

    “When I came in for refueling, they managed to repair the tower sufficiently for me to continue the 2nd half confidently” he explains. “Riding with the loose tower meant the mounting bolts finally broke and needed to be replaced. “The second half was fine, other than a calibration problem developed with my trip-meter, and ultimately we decided to replace it with a spare ICO from my service team [Torque Racing].”

    Despite the setbacks, Tony was more than pleased with his overall result at the end of the first day “I’m very happy with 13th position - I thought I’d be far lower with the problems I had, but it’s where I want to be” he says with a smile.

    “Overall I thought the dunes were easier than last year” he adds “Or maybe I learnt something from the experience last time that I was able to use to my advantage today” he grins. “I certainly did not get stuck as many times, nor get as tired.”


    ends.

    Stage result: day 1/7: 13th (4h10m)

    Overall position: day 1/7: 13th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.facebook.com/landhofracing Youtube: alwaysktm
  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 2 (Sunday 9th March 2014) - Team Dirtpunk/ZenOverland - #317 Paul Castle & #318 Gabriel Bolton

    Profi Moto class: 310 kms - 95% hard piste, 5% sand piste.

    “A real feeling of adventure...” - Paul

    “There is a temptation to try and compete...” - Gabe


    Riding together as a team for the second day, Paul & Gabriel keep to their strategy of riding a steady rally in an effort to finish with no penalty points - despite the temptation to try and increase their speed, encouraged by their unexpected result the day before.

    Catching up with them both that evening as they prepared their road-books for the following day, they were equally enthusiastic about what lay ahead.

    “The route today was fantastic - very different to yesterday, and the real feeling of adventure - of traveling across country from one place to another” Paul begins. “The terrain was stunning - we climbed into the mountains, then descended into valleys, crossed wide open plains - it was really vary varied.”

    Paul also revealed they were becoming increasingly confident with the road-book style navigation: “It was a great feeling to be following the road-book for hour after hour, and finding that actually every instruction was exactly where you were expecting it! - it was very reassuring [we were doing things right]” he adds.

    “There was one particular section that was pretty confusing” he admits “But it was a relief to see all these tyre tracks on the ground in different directions, that we weren’t the only ones to get lost!” he says with a grin.

    Gabriel shared his delight at the variety of the terrain, and at the same time, their relief that the going wasn’t as overly challenging as they had been expecting: “I think we were pleasantly surprised - there were no real nasty surprises on the route” he begins “Although that might have been because we weren’t really going fast enough to get into trouble!” he adds with a smile.

    Paul agreed: “It was really nice to not be ploughing through dune after dune today - the faster rocky tracks and the dry lakes were much more enjoyable. It was also far kinder on the bikes too!”

    Gabriel admits that after such an encouraging first day, he feels a temptation to perhaps go a little faster where possible and try and improve their overall standings: “I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the competitive side of things” he says “Although it’s still very early days, I think no matter where you are in the rankings, you are always looking ahead and thinking how nice it would be to move up a few positions.”

    “The highlight of the day for me was when we’d been following a group of riders who had initially overtaken us, only to see them take a wrong turn, while we continued at our pace and knowing exactly where we were [supposed to be], and took the correct turning” says Gabriel, illustrating perfectly why their considered approach is already paying dividends with another penalty-free day.

    ends.

    Paul - #317:

    Stage result: day 2/7: 37th (4h06m)

    Overall position: day 2/7: 31st

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.dirtpunk.co.uk

    Gabe - #318:

    Stage result: day 2/7: 33rd (4h04m)

    Overall position: day 2/7: 30th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.zenoverland.com
  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 2 (Sunday 9th March 2014) - #47 Tony Landh

    Profi Moto class: 310 kms - 95% hard piste, 5% sand piste.

    “I felt it was a good day...”


    Tony was looking forward to this second day which featured a long navigation stage combined with two technical sections that particularly suit his riding style, and lightweight rally bike.

    Arriving at the next bivouac in Gafsa well before 2pm, Tony was one of the first bikes home in the Moto Profi class at the end of stage 2.

    “It felt like a good day - a very good day” he smiles “It started out super-fast, full-throttle and even a little scary at times - very exciting!”

    “It was really wonderful riding today - the nature, the scenery, then technical through [the] Scuba pass - that was not too bad... I recognised elements from last year’s route” he adds.

    “But at the same time, you couldn’t relax” he continues “For example, they had put a secret checkpoint at the bottom of the pass, that I think the guys ahead of me missed - I only just realised in time” he says, thinking it was simply one of the safety cars that are stationed along each special stage.

    “That was then followed by a long navigation stage” he says “Very difficult - there were not a lot of [GPS] waypoints so you really had to concentrate on the road book instructions. I think lots of people got lost here, including me!”

    “With such a tricky navigation stage, it is difficult to know whether I made up any positions or actually lost time” he admits “And I did have some trouble with my navigation tower again - after another little crash” he smiles.

    In the true spirit of rallying, during the last sector, Tony even stopped to help a fellow competitor who was having trouble: “I think he was the lead rider in the amateur class, and I couldn’t leave someone stranded... it only cost me two or three minutes anyway, so it is unlikely to affect my overall result” he smiles.

    ends.

    Stage result: day 2/7: 15th (3h26m)

    Overall position: day 2/7: 14th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.facebook.com/landhofracing Youtube: alwaysktm
  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 3 (Monday 10th March 2014) - Team Dirtpunk/Zen Overland - #317 Paul Castle & #318 Gabriel Bolton

    Profi Moto class: 200 kms - 40% hard piste, 55% sand piste, 5% dunes.

    “A lucky escape...”


    As the rally approaches the halfway point, team Dirtpunk/Zen Overland riders Paul Castle and Gabriel Bolton have another successful albeit eventful day, and look forward with some trepidation to day four - billed as the most arduous stage of the event this year.

    By the end of day three, they both feel as if the initially daunting navigation procedure is now becoming second nature, allowing them to concentrate fully on riding the terrain.

    Gabriel: “We’ve learnt so much already, and it’s funny how the days just seem to be blending into one another - while day one feels like it was three weeks ago!” he laughs, and Paul agrees “I feel far more confident, we’re not having to [consciously] think so much about the navigation, it seems to be far more instinctive now.”

    Continuing their plan to ride together for the duration of the rally, due to their slightly differing start times this morning (riders are set off in pairs, each minute), Gabriel shot off at top speed before pulling to a halt at the side of the track after 200 meters and waiting for Paul, much to the bemusement of the rider who had started next to him!

    Once reunited, Paul and Gabriel enjoyed a fast flowing high-speed first half to the day. “We really got into a good rhythm” says Paul describing how they were making really good progress with the tricky navigation compared to many other riders.

    The suddenly he had a moment that could easily have ended his rally: “I’d been holding back overtaking a slower rider, when I saw [what I thought was] the perfect opportunity, only to find that the piste turned sharp right just over a crest that wasn’t marked as a hazard... “I was carrying far too much speed, jammed on my brakes, slid sideways - it was one of those moments where you thought it could only end badly... “I don’t know how I managed to make the turn and avoid ending up in a deep ditch at the side of the track - I really thought it was going to be all over at that point!” Paul sighs with relief.

    Similarly a little later in the day, Gabriel also narrowly avoided a potentially serious accident, thanks this time to teammate Paul. “There was a really long, steep and aggressive climb that was marked ‘Danger do not jump!’ in the road-book” Paul explains “And right at the top I realised why - it was almost vertical on the far side!”

    He continues: “I stopped immediately to avoid flying over the top, only for Gabe to run straight into the back of me, and fall off!” he laughs. Gabriel nods in agreement and appreciation - “If you’d have gone off the top of that peak, even at only 15 mph, it was so steep that I think you’d have simply flown through the air and landed in a heap at the bottom - it doesn’t bear thinking about really.”

    Recomposed, they enjoyed the final sector of the day’s stage into Nefta, and arrived at the bivouac in good time to relax with their respective families, who have travelled out to Tunisia to support them during the race. They were further pleased when the results for the day showed the pair have climbed back up the overall leader board, and are now comfortably in the top twenty of the Moto Profi class.

    However, the both started to look nervous again when it was revealed at that evening’s race briefing that the following day [stage 4] would make or break many rider’s campaigns.

    Featuring a series of loops through the soft sand dunes north of Nefta, it is effectively a race against the clock, with severe time penalties for those riders unable to complete the course in the allotted time.

    ends.

    Paul - #317:

    Stage result: day 3/7: 27th (2h42m)

    Overall position: day 3/7: 26th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.dirtpunk.co.uk

    Gabe - #318:

    Stage result: day 3/7: 30th (2h44m)

    Overall position: day 3/7: 25th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.zenoverland.com
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 3 (Monday 10th March 2014) - #47 Tony Landh

    Profi Moto class: 200 kms - 40% hard piste, 55% sand piste, 5% dunes.

    “I couldn’t get my flow today...”


    Another end to end stage between bivouacs saw the competitors racing at high speed for much of the day - navigating through a mixture of different terrain, that demanded constant attention.

    “I’m not particularly satisfied with my performance today” Tony reveals with a sigh. “Just ten minutes into the stage I made a silly error - and ended up following some other riders who were also lost, I wasted a lot of time.”

    “I just couldn’t get the navigation to flow properly this morning” he continues “Time and again I would pass slower riders, only to have to stop and [double] check my road-book, and have them come past me again...”

    Fortunately during the second half of the day, Tony had managed to find his focus again “The afternoon featured a lot of off-piste, camel grass, very bumpy - and that went very well - I was just able to flow through it” he smiles.

    Tony had also once again played good-samaritan earlier on the stage. “I was riding together with another [Torque Racing] team member, and we came across what looked like a very bad accident” he begins. “An Italian rider had crashed very heavily into a deep wash-out that ran parallel with the piste - it was about a metre deep, his handlebars and controls were all bent up, and he looked to be in a great deal of pain with his shoulder.”

    “He asked us if we could help extract his bike - which of course we did, albeit with considerable effort - we almost had to carry it out!” he exclaims. “We heard later that he eventually managed to ride to the next control point - although I am not sure if he is going to be able to continue the rally.”

    “For me this is all part of rallying” Tony explains “However, stopping even for a short while means you tend to lose [your own] focus, and it takes time to get back into a rhythm again.”

    “People have their own ways of navigation, and I tend to try and memorize the next couple of road-book instructions [so I am not forever looking down] but today I kept forgetting everything. “Ultimately I know I did not perform at my best today, since the other Swedish riders managed to catch me up - and they don’t usually manage to do that!” he laughs.

    ends.

    Stage result: day 3/7: 18th (2h28m)

    Overall position: day 3/7: 15th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.facebook.com/landhofracing Youtube: alwaysktm
  11. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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  12. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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  13. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon -oo-

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    Next thing you know she logs in as KTMmitch :D

    Thanks Jenny, amazing reports !! :clap:clap
  14. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    If Doc Mitch put's his nurse outfit on again, and log's in as Jenny... :huh ... that's it... I'm lockin' this thread!!!! :rofl:rofl
  15. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon -oo-

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    From FB. Sounds like fun :huh

    DaCarl blog @ Tuareg rallye

    So far so good here. Mattias kawasaki failed again at the star wars day. Motor change on day 3, broke down again and once again had to put the old broken engine back in. Working today after a few upgrades. The rest is pretty much as usual with crashes and tired riders. The team works great and we push on. Sand storm today and I've got sand everywhere. Borrowed a bike yesterday and went filming which was great.

    Carl

    [​IMG]
  16. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    holy mackeral youre reporting is amazing, Jenny, thanks a million!

    ANd Alessi's pics are inspirational- I tried to emulate his portraiture during my last race :D no comparison, but its a good goal to shoot for.

    I was wondering: I had heard through RMS that this years Tuareg featured a Heavy, or vintage class. Did no one enter it? Or did they not have it... or is it in the ADV and not the race side?
  17. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    They always had a twin class, over 600cc's. Not particularly vintage, just heavy :) they still feature that class and allow for singles too.

    They used to run amateur only and I think they still do, check moto ama 2 for the only heavy bikes. 2 listed, one being alessio.

    If you fancy, nothing stops you entering a 950 in the profi class, you will only classify for profi then though. Many did it before and with great results.
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    To follow on from what Techdutchie said - #58 Chris Green (GBR) is entered in the Moto Profi Heavy class (albeit a class of two this year) on his XR600, which is indeed Heavy and vintage ;o)

    That said, he's doing rather well on it by all accounts!

    I understood from the regs this year there would effectively be a separate Profi class for bike/fully-faired rally bikes - essentially they would ride the same stages (and number of laps on those days) as the regular Profi group, but miss out the really gnarly 'enduro' sections that proved damaging last year, and instead ride the Amateur/car routes in those sectors...

    However, it seems the Moto Profi Heavy (which is presume is what they have called this class) is riding the exactly the same route as the enduro light bikes... well, certain Chris is at least - maybe they felt (with the limited numbers/type of bikes entered) that a separate route was not required after all?

    Jx
  19. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 4 (Tuesday 11th March 2014) - Team Dirtpunk/ZenOverland - #317 Paul Castle & #318 Gabriel Bolton

    Profi Moto class: 320 kms - 90% sand piste, 10% dunes.

    “We totally pushed ourselves to the limit today...” - Paul

    “The plan remains the same...” - Gabe


    Traditionally the mid-point of the Tuareg Rallye features the toughest stage - and in Tunisia, this means a long day (8+ hours) riding in 100% sand, in the heat of the desert sun.

    Located in a soft sea of sand dunes north of Nefta, an abandoned Star Wars set is the backdrop for what has been billed the ‘make or break’ day for those riders looking to ride the Tuareg Rallye without any time penalties.

    For the 2014 edition, the Moto Profi riders would also have to ride 33% further than last year, in effectively a race against the clock with a sharp cut-off (and corresponding penalty points) for anyone unable to complete the course in the time allowed.

    The evening before, Paul had voiced his concern that they may have to forfeit their plan to make every single checkpoint, in an effort preserve energy for the rest of the week - illustrating perfectly their considered approach so far. “Ultimately we came here to finish the rally” he reiterates “Of course it would be nice to do so avoiding any time penalties - but we have to consider the consequences of exhausting ourselves only half way through the event, which could easily compromise our overall goal.”

    Riding together for the duration of the day, each had their own personal battle with the terrain “For me it was trying to navigate though the camel-grass sections” says Gabe “I found that very exhausting”, while Paul was the opposite “For me it was the long soft sandy sections, that got more and more cut-up as the day wore on” he groans.

    Paul continues “Although I was pretty exhausted when we came in at the end of the third lap [and despite clearly not having enough time left to finish the final lap] at the same time I was really buzzing, and keen to get as far as we could [in an effort to minimise our time penalties]” and Gabe agrees: “I honestly felt I rode the last ten minutes of today right on my limits, and faster than any of the previous laps!” he grins.

    Gabe also recounts the moment when they finished their third lap late in the afternoon, and the event director came over to congratulate them, thinking they had completed all four: “When we admitted we still had one lap more to go - he quickly withdrew the handshake with a look that said ‘Get back out there then!’” he laughs.

    Despite their best efforts to get one more checkpoint before the time cut-off, they were ultimately denied by just three minutes. “Although we didn’t quite make it in time, I really enjoyed the fact we totally pushed ourselves to the limit today” Paul concedes.

    However, he was a little less complimentary about the format for the day itself “I honestly wouldn’t chose to ride in that sort of terrain” says Paul “I really don’t understand why they made you go round and round on [basically] the same course all day - that doesn’t feel like a rally to me - there was no sense of adventure - you’d get through a tricky section, but with dread that you’d have to do it all again and again in a little while...”

    Fortunately it appears the following day will be far more to their liking - at 370 kilometers it is the longest of the rally this year - featuring a long navigation stage interspersed with three more technical timed sectors, through some of the best scenery Tunisia has to offer.

    Gabe revealed that despite the disappointment in receiving a time penalty, their plans had not changed. “As far as I’m concerned, we’ll endeavour to ride the rest of the rally and avoid any more [time] penalties” he says, “If we can achieve that, then we’ll certainly consider our campaign a success” and Paul nods in agreement: “I also think if we do that, then almost inevitably we will finish with a good result” he smiles.

    ends.

    Paul - #317:

    Stage result: day 4/7: 28th (14h17m - inc. 6h penalty)

    Overall position: day 4/7: 27th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.dirtpunk.co.uk


    Gabe - #318:

    Stage result: day 4/7: 28th (14h17m - inc. 6h penalty)

    Overall position: day 4/7: 26th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.zenoverland.com
  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,656
    Location:
    Somewhere west of Laramie...
    Tuareg Rally Report - Day 4 (Tuesday 11th March 2014) - #47 Tony Landh

    Profi Moto class: 320 kms - 90% sand piste, 10% dunes.

    “Just my kind of riding!”


    Located in a soft sea of sand dunes north of Nefta, an abandoned Star Wars set is the backdrop for what has been billed a ‘make or break’ day for those riders looking to finish the Tuareg Rallye without any time penalties.

    Fortunately, Tony Landh was back on top form after what he considered a lack-lustre performance the day before.

    As the first Torque Racing rider home - well within the maximum time allowed for the grueling all-sand stage, and finishing forth overall just an hour and fifteen minutes behind race leader Rob Smits, Tony was very pleased with how the day had unfolded.

    “It was fantastic - terrific riding!” he smiles “A very long day, but that is exactly what rallies are supposed to be of course!”

    “I feel everything went really well today - I made a little navigation mistake during the first lap but nothing major - otherwise it was perfect... no crashes!” he grins.

    This style of fast sand riding clearly suits Tony’s style, and together with a good result last year during stage 4, once again he was one of the fastest riders on the day, and one of only a few who managed to finish all four 80 kilometer laps within the prescribed time limit, reaching every checkpoint with no penalties.

    In what is seemingly becoming a daily habit, Tony even found time to help another rider who had crashed heavily at high speed on the second lap; followed by another later in the day who was having trouble with his GPS. “It’s always like that” he smiles “You have to stop for a second or two and help people here and there.”

    The mechanical troubles that Tony has suffered early on in the rally seem to have disappeared; and clearly after the success of today, he will now embark on the second half of the rally with renewed enthusiasm “Today was terrific - just my kind of riding!” he grins.

    Tony's excellent result on today's stage has seen him leap up the leader board and he is now comfortably in the top ten overall going into the second half of the rally.

    ends.

    Stage result: day 4/7: 4th (7h37m)

    Overall position: day 4/7: 6th

    Photo:

    [​IMG]

    Links: www.facebook.com/landhofracing Youtube: alwaysktm