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PARIS - GRANADA - DAKAR 1998
Communique 11
LEG 10 : TAOUDENNI - GAO
Distance : 918 KM
Stage distance : 806 KM

STAGE CANCELLED


GAO
Saturday, January 10, 1998


MITSUBISHIS SAFE IN TOP FOUR PLACINGS AT DAKAR HALF WAY POINT

The four Mitsubishis heading the leader board of the 20th Paris-Dakar reached the Gao halfway point safely today after the first marathon section of the event.
With many competitors running late on the three leg section between Zouerat and Gao, plus incidents in Mali which raised security concerns, today's leg was neutralised allowing the remaining competitors to relax and drive slowly into Gao in convoy. Cars will arrive very late, perhaps in the midle of the night.

Thus, after 10 hard days of competitive driving in Europe and Africa, and with seven legs to go, French pair Jean-Pierre Fontenay and Gilles Picard lead the event by 10m 42s in their Team Off Road Express Mitsubishi Ralliart Pajero. Fellow countrymen Bruno Saby and Dominique Serieys are second in their Team PIAA Mitsubishi Ralliart Pajero. Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka and his German Navigator Andreas Schulz are third in the Team Mitsubishi Oil Ralliart Challenger/Montero Sport,
while last year's winners Kenjiro Shinozuka, from Japan, and French navigator Henri Magne, are fourth in the Team Mitsubishi Oil Ralliart Pajero.

Spanish pair Prieto and Gil, driving with Mitsubishi International, achieved their ambition of reaching Gao in the top ten by finishing the first half of the event in ninth place in their Mitsubishi Montero.

In the T1 category for near-standard cars, Mitsubishi is still the dominant force. Despite the tough conditions during the marathon section, French pair Jean-Pierre Strugo and Bruno Catarelli
are enjoying a massive lead in their Mitsubishi Pajero. Spaniards Vila Altimir and Gonzales are second in their Mitsubishi Montero. Also making an impression are Brazilians Kolberg and Larroque who lie 18th overall and sixth in T1.

In the truck category, Mitsubishi has also been the driving force with Gilbert Versino running at the head of the field for much of the event in the impressive Mitsubishi FR415 4WD-RS.

Because many cars got stuck in the sand dunes between Zouerat and Taoudenni on one of the toughest marathon sections ever seen on the "Dakar", and the fact that a number of vehicles were attacked by a group of seven or eight people, thought to be thieves, 11 km outside Touedenni, the stage from Touedenni to Gao was cancelled and the remaining competitors were led in convoy to Gao. During the attacks, Malian military patrols were quickly on the scene along with TSO official cars and no-one was injured. However, a competing Tatra truck was stolen and has yet to be recovered. The attackers have also yet to be located.

 

SS9 - TAOUDENNI - 478 KM

1.H.MASUOKA MITSUBISHI Challenger 06:06:09 T2
2.B.SABY MITSUBISHI Pajero 06:08:14 T2
3.J.P.FONTENAY MITSUBISHI Pajero 06:11:59 T2
4.K.SHINOZUKA MITSUBISHI Pajero 06:15:28 T2
5.J.L.SCHLESSER BUGGY Original 06:19:43 T3
6.T.DE LAVERGNE NISSAN 06:33:06 T3
7.P.ALLIOT NISSAN 06:49:25 T3
8.B.HANCIAUX NISSAN 06:52:31 T3
9.D.HOUSIEAUX NISSAN 07:07:22 T3
10.M.PRIETO MITSUBISHI Montero 07:34:38 T2
11.JP.STRUGO MITSUBISHI Pajero 07:51:22 T1
12.S.SERVIA NISSAN 07:55:43 T2
13.B.TEN HARKEL MITSUBISHI Pajero 07:59:13 T1
14.K.KOLBERG MITSUBISHI Pajero 08:08:19 T1
15.R.VILA ALTIMIR MITSUBISHI Montero 08:38:47 T1

updated : Saturday, January 10, 6:00 PM

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION after SS9

1.J.P.FONTENAY / G. PICARD MITSUBISHI Pajero 29:25:45 T2
2.B.SABY / D. SERIEYS MITSUBISHI Pajero +00:10:42 T2
3.H.MASUOKA / A. SCHULZ MITSUBISHI Challenger +01:41:09 T2
4.K.SHINOZUKA / H.MAGNE MITSUBISHI Pajero +01:43:22 T2
5.J.L.SCHLESSER / A.C. PAUWELS BUGGY Original +03:39:31 T3
6.P.ALLIOT / J. DUBOIS NISSAN +05:17:30 T3
7.T.DE LAVERGNE / L. ARGUELLES NISSAN +06:33:52 T3
8.D.HOUSIEAUX / M. DOMINELLA NISSAN +06:44:33 T3
9.M.PRIETO / F. GIL MITSUBISHI Montero +08:22:05 T2
10.B.HANCIAUX / J. LURQUIN NISSAN +09:08:33 T3
11.S.SERVIA / W. ALCARAZ NISSAN +10:09:56 T2
12.JP.STRUGO / B. CATARELLI MITSUBISHI Pajero +10:18:44 T1
13.R.VILA ALTIMIR/E. GONZALES CARPI MITSUBISHI Montero +11:02:49 T1
14.G.SARRAZIN / T. FUJISAWA TOYOTA +12:03:25 T1
15.S. QUANDT / P. TIEFFENBACH MITSUBISHI Pajero +12:05:26 T1
...      
17.B.TEN HARKEL / H. DEN TOOM MITSUBISHI Pajero +12:08:26 T1
18.K. KOLBERG / P. LARROQUE MITSUBISHI Pajero +12:48:18 T1
...      
20.M.PLAZA PEREZ / A. AMOR CAMPO MITSUBISHI Montero +14:43:58 T1

Tomorrow, Sunday, January 11, 1998
REST DAY: GAO


After all the excitement and drama of the past few days, the surviving competitors in the 20th Paris-Dakar will be relieved to enjoy a day of rest at Gao, a pleasant town on the banks of the River Niger in Mali. In the warm sunshine they will be able to rest under trees or relax in local hotels before continuing on the second half of their adventure on Monday.


MITSUBISHI OIL-PIAA-OFF ROAD EXPRESS-MICHELIN-HALF TIME/JT CORPORATION


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