Andalucia Rally 2022: Thir Overall for Loeb after first big stage

Andalucia Rally 2022: Thir Overall for Loeb after first big stage

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After sprinting away from the start line following their stage 1A victory yesterday, Sebastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin had the bit between their teeth as they went into the very tough 319 kilometres of stage 1B on the Andalucia Rally today. At speeds of up to 170kph they made terrific progress but were hampered by what has later been discovered as a technical problem with the validation of a waypoint to competitor’s digital road books. Intermittent problems with the power steering resulted in the Frenchman adapting his driving over the final kilometres but Loeb’s experience and prowess got the Prodrive Hunter to third position on the day; an incredible achievement.
GCK Motorsport with Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq were equally hampered by the strange waypoint glitch but were much more hand in glove with their Hunter over the longer stage. Some steering problems right at the end lost them a little time but they returned to the Seville based service ready for the 335 kilometres of stage two.
It must be noted that at the time of writing the results are provisional until the navigational problems that saw so many struggling to find waypoint number 100 have been resolved. 
 
Tomorrow’s stage is in the hills north of Malaga close to the El Torcal de Antequera nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range that is known for its unusual landforms and is one of the most impressive landscapes in Europe.
 
Sebastien Loeb - Bahrain Raid Xtreme - 3rd overall - “It was a complicated stage. The navigation was difficult in the initial kilometres so soon the other cars arrived around us. That was really tough. At the end of the first section some problems with the power steering appeared but fortunately it didn’t completely ’go’ but it stayed with me. In some slow corners it was difficult to turn the wheel but in general we didn’t lose so much time with the actual technical problem as it was the navigation that was so hard. If you get a little bit wrong in the middle of the olive trees, everything looks the same and then it’s very difficult to hit the waypoints as so many have been positioned so close so if you are a little bit wrong you have to turn around immediately. Tomorrow is another day; we’ll be back.”
 
Guerlain Chicherit - GCK Motorsport -  5th overall - “That was a big stage in there. Early on we couldn’t find one way point (the same way point Sebastien was looking for) so we lost about five minutes there and then soon with many trying to find a waypoint. That’s annoying as you’ve lost time for almost no reason. Then over the last 30 kilometres I lost the power steering so that was a big physical effort but we got to the finish in fifth and we’ll be ready for stage two.”
 
Gus Beteli  - Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team Principal - “A surprisingly difficult stage with the amount of waypoints, single tracks and trees so tricky navigation but the guys did a very good job to bring the cars back to service with the power steering glitches. They really did very well there. It’s our first time here on the Andalucia Rally so we’re always learning and still keeping the push on for the world championship. With three days to go we’ll try to score as many points as we can and see what happens come Sunday.”
 
Andalucia Rally - Overall after Stage 1B.
*please note these are provisional positions as times are being adjusted due to a problem with a navigational waypoint 
1        Al-Attiyah/Baumel           Toyota                    
2        Al Rajhi/Von Zitzewitz    Toyota         
3        Loeb/Lurquin                  Prodrive Hunter 
4        Van Loon/Delaunay Toyota         
5        Chicherit/Winocq           Prodrive Hunter 
 
Source Bahrain Raid Xtreme

 

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