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Hellas Rally Raid 2023: Day 1 resume
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Hellas Rally Raid 2023: Day 1 resume

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The well-known rally raid that premiered back in 2011, is coming to life once again in Karpenissi. After a few days of light rain in the foggy mountains of central Greece, the terrain where the first day of Hellas Rally Raid took place, was quite challenging. Located in one of the most iconic parts of Greece, Evritania, it offers the ideal scenery for rallying.
Everyone gathered early at the bivouac and anticipation among the contestants was rising. After a quick briefing held by the event organizer to the medical and road assistance crew, everyone moved quickly to the designated points of the route, guaranteeing safety for all the contestants. Every possible weather prediction is expected in this high-altitude region. With scattered rainfalls throughout the day, the debut was made with most of the special stage passing through muddy trails, in the dense pine-tree forest.
The first starter of the prologue, Engel Milan in the Moto M3 category, was given the green light at 8.00 am, with the participants following, giving it all in the first meters for a dynamic first impression. The special stage started with an uphill dirt road, continuing in a circle of 30 kilometers around the town, a small run for this kind of event, for the participants to fight for a better starting place the next day.

In the Moto category, it was the Austrian Ebster Tobias (M3 class) that set the standards high with an impressive time of 30:20:13, taking also the first position overall. Another remarkable achievement was that the next two contestants, were riding in Quads, which proves that additional traction provided by four wheels can be beneficial on muddy terrain. Second came the Frenchman Souday Sebastien (Q class), only 02:07:75 behind Ebster. Jawien Rafal (Q class) from Poland, finished third in the Moto category with 32:42:88 time.

In the SSV category, the French duo Hugues Lacam and Max Delfino were the fastest with a time of 33:17:20, followed by the French crew of Philippe Herbain - Paul Durame with 34:27:18. The third fastest team was the Austrian Lukas Lauda together with the German Stefan Henken crossing the finish line at 35:31:09.

In the Rally 2 category, the French Cairel Charles - Edouard (R2) achieved the fastest time of 38:12:88, leaving in second place Poudevign Gauthier (R2) from France, 3:37:67 behind him. Third in time was the Czech Splichal Vit (R2) finishing after 42:47:19 of racing.

The organizers did a great job, taking advantage of the satellite tracking, keeping track of each of the 325 contestants, monitoring their speed and exact location at any moment. This way, they prevented the contestants from moving falsely at the opposite direction and in a couple of cases they were able to directly contact each participant that seemed lost, check for any damage and make sure everything was okay.

The athletes came to cross amazing landscapes as an introduction to the rally. It was only a taste of what’s coming next. They expressed their enthusiasm and eagerness to challenge themselves on the next stages, even with weather forecast currently predicting rainfalls.

 

 

Text: ICARUS Sports
Photo: Actiongraphers
Video: ICARUS Sports

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