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Fenix Rally 2023: LEG 1 - Towards Sahara
The race moved to Ksar Ghilane with the second longest stage for this year
The second racing day of Fenix Rally 2023 marked the end of the first leg, and the moving of the convoy from Djerba to Ksar Ghilane in the Sahara Desert. In the menu for the competitors there were more than 430 kilometers, 302 of them – against the clock.
Even that the rally entered the mythical desert, the tracks were mainly hard, with stones and not so much sand. The first part of the day offered wide tracks, which become narrower and narrower in the second part. And the battle was more than serious.
Unlike yesterday, just at the first half of the stage, the different classes were mixed on the tracks, so the fastest cars and SSV were together with the bikes and the quads, which actually start first for the day. So, in the car class it was the reigning champion of Balkan Offroad Doncho Canev from Bulgaria, who set the fastest time. Second, some 3 and a half minutes was Rik Van Den Brink from Nederland (Mitsubishi). Third best time was for Mindaugas Poviliatis (Toyota) from Lithuania.
In the SSV class, the stage win was held by another Lithuanian – Dalius Olechnavicus, with only 31 seconds in front of his fellow countryman Tomas Mickus. The Baltic country has another representative on the daily podium – Rytis Juodnukis.
Fenix Rally champion Matthew Gird (KTM) from South Africa set the pace for the day, taking the stage win with 3:32 advance to Sebastian Tocaben (KTM) from France. Top 3 was completed by Luca Marinone (Yamaha) from Italy.
Rafal Jawien from Poland, with Polaris, was the best ATV rider, stealing some 6 minutes to Gaetan Martinez (Can-Am) from France. Third best time for the day was for another Polish pilot of Polaris – Marcin Wilkolek.
In the truck race, the best result was for Matthias Koerber with MAN, who was one of three German pilots on the top. Second place went to Steffen Braun (Unimog) and third was Klaas Steinhoefel (MAN).
Leg 2 of Fenix Rally 2023 will offer one timed section of 230 kilometers in a tour around the oasis that hosts the race. The day will start with short distance of fast gravel and sandy pistes and then the competitors will cross the big dunes of Zmela, followed by a stretch of technical dunettes. The track becomes faster on nice graves tracks, until a long dunes passage comes with the crossing of a sand mountain – the only way to escape the Grand Erg and enter the valley to the east. The second part of the selective section will be also on sandy pistes and tricky gravel roads along the valley and the flat part east of Ksar Ghilane.
Source Fenix Rally