Saturday, June 28, 2008


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Baja Racing LIVE COVERAGE of the longest off-road event of 2008, the first Transorientale Rally!

Last Stage Into Peking:


"“I want the Transoriental to finish up at the foot of the Great Wall of China” (René Metge) A course driven only in liaison and in convoy to rally through the Huangya Guan site in front of the Great Wall of China. 38 motorcycles, 1 quad, 29 cars and 14 trucks finally brought this first Transoriental to a close. Victory of the Czech Jaroslav Katrinak on KTM in the motorcycle category, of Spaniard José-Luis Monterde with Belgian Jean-Marie Lurquin on a Schlesser Buggy in cars and of the Benelux trio of Hans Stacey, Charly Gotlib and Bernard Der Kinderen on MAN. An early wake-up (once does not make it a habit!) was needed in order to reach the Chinese capital. To make the job easier, the Chinese authorities played their role perfectly. They quite simply escorted us on the motorways leading to the capital, or even rerouted part of the very considerable road traffic heading to Beijing. In convoy, the competitors, organisers, press and medical corps were able to fully appreciate the efficiency of this welcoming and marvellous country. Throughout the route, local groups played their parts perfectly, and particularly the FASC, the Chinese Automobile Sport Federation. They therefore deserve all of our thanks for a job well done. And what enthusiasm from the crowd at the foot of the Great Wall. The valorous heroes were the subject of a magnificent reception. To the sound of their traditional drums and wearing their most beautiful customs, the Chinese experienced an apotheosis on this liaison day. René Metge had said it before the start of the Transoriental. His wish was for the competitors in the world’s longest Rally Trek to live out a dream and to complete this trial by fire in front of one of the world’s most visited sites. Emotions were therefore at their peak when Katrinak, Ullevalseter and Kolomytsyn, at the handlebars of their motorcycles, pulled into the little street of this Chinese village. Flags were everywhere, the crowd applauded and was touched as everyone began to truly understand the efforts of these new Knights of Modern Times. Travelling more than 10,000 km under climatic conditions ranging from atrocious to brutally hot was something that the Chinese had never before seen. A trial deserving of admiration and deep respect. The car racers were also able to fascinate the crowd that gathered in front of the buggies and other monsters of steel, rubber and noise. It was a strange sensation to see the Chinese Dragon opposite François Delecour’s own fire-breathing prototype. Finally, these two extremes were drawn to one another like magnets, to the great enjoyment of the assembled masses. More noise and happiness with the arrival of the trucks. These imposing vehicles managed to slide into this enchanted venue to the sound of their powerful engines and enormous statures. So much for fatigue and worry, tension and short nights now left behind. On this night, the campsite resembled a fantastic melting pot. A meeting ground of brotherhood and conviviality. Tension had slipped away, faces relaxed into smiles, warm embraces were exchanged. Yes, René Metge had succeeded with his wager, and the Transoriental has taken its rightful place in the history of the great Rally Treks."

Stage 15

Start and Arrival city :

Last Special :
Lang Shan Pao TO Shih La Chao

Last Special Stage of 2008 Transorientale. Very fast but very tricky. All has happened for the remaining runners. More than 121 km of dunes where it’s not so easy to find your way out The road-book won’t be any help. Competitors could find it the longest stage! The Great Wall Finish Saturday!

Stage 15 Bayan Hot-Hohhot

Selective Sector: Lang Shan Pao-Shih La Chao: 125 Km

A beautiful finish!

Medium category dunes but, more importantly, “funnel dunes” where careful navigation was once again more important than speed. On the shores of the majestic Yellow River, today’s Special Stage offers a somewhat bumpy ranking. However, the winners are still fantastic on the road to Beijing.(Old Peking)

In cars, Kahle, cranked up the stakes for the last special event of the 2008 Transoriental. The German team successfully managed to avoid the many traps laid by René Metge. At the gates of Beijing, Kahle stands out as a true strategist in difficult situations. His tactical sense made all the difference. It’s too bad that he was not able to demonstrate his talent earlier in the competition. After two consecutive successes, his performance will still secure third place in the final rankings. Glory goes to the deserving. First winner of the 2008 Transoriental, José-Luis Monterde. This Spaniard and Jean-Marie Lurquin (Schlesser buggy) have finished up the top of the leader board of the world’s longest Rally Trek. The Gibon brothers followed their footsteps in the top rankings (at 4’05”49) ahead of Kahle-Schünemann, who finished 10 minutes behind the French fandom.

Amongst motorcycles, Alexey Kolomytsyn triumphed in the end. At the handlebar of his KTM, this Russian outpaced Mugnaioli and Borsi, the two trans-Alpines who had often travelled together since the start of the Transoriental. Ullevalseter came in ahead of his great rival, Katrinak, but only for the show of it since the general rankings had already been secured. Jaroslav Katrinak (KTM) won the 2008 Transoriental. His runner up was Paal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM). The blond Norwegian never managed to challenge the final victory of the Slovak motorcyclist, and finished more than 25 minutes behind. The last step on the podium went to Kolomytsyn, who finished 1’44” out of first place.

Amongst the French, Dominique Robin (KTM) put in a fine effort and continues to prove himself to be France’s best representative. His 10th place finish for today also provided him with a position in the general standings, ending up on the 3rd step of the final podium in the Marathoncategory.

Because of yesterday evening’s late arrival of the trucks at the Bayan Hot Site, the College of Sports Commissioners decided to add three hours to the maximum allotted time. Yesterday’s stage saw the victory of the German racer Mathias Behringer on Man, ahead of the Spaniards in theTeam Epsilon on Mercedes and the overall leader, Hans Stacey.

For this category’s survivors, today’s special was once again very difficult. Only 2 trucks crossed the finish line in the allotted time. The Dutchman Bekx on Daf won this last special ahead of Stacey. In the final rankings, we therefore have Hans Stacey, Charly Gotlib and Bernard Der Kinderen who won the truck category in this first Transoriental. Vila Roca on Mercedes and Bekx on Daf rounded out the podium of this exceptional and particularly difficult race for trucks.

In the Consistency Rally Trek at the end of his first Transoriental, Latvia was in the spotlight. The Riga Rally Raid Team (Toyota) secured its first victory, with a total of 457 points. In second place was another Toyota of the Sports Antilless Mécanique team (538 points), and the Land Discovery of the Swiss from the Gstaad Automobile Club (737 points)."