Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Edwards report

#86 Ed Taylor finally got his 300EXC running without boiling over:

#87 Tony Schattat’s team-mates who are all racing under the Macad banner and competing Malle Moto, were in a confident if slightly apprehensive mood before the start yesterday: form Left to Right: #24 Polytimi Kyriakopoulou, #22 Guillaume Martens and #86 Edward Taylor:

All of them suffered in some way during the first stage while Ed found for some reason he was struggling with a severe lack of power from his 300 EXC – not something you would usually attribute to that machine! Fortunately on the way back from refueling in the evening, Tony spotted that the tail pipe was glowing red hot with the heat, and after some investigation, it turns out Ed had bought a replacement front pipe that had an emissions restrictor welded inside – severely limiting the exhaust gas exit, and no doubt the cause of his constant over-heating problems… With a quick beg and a borrow around the bivouac, Ed found a German car team who were able to slice open the pipe, removed the offending gauze, and re-weld it together again overnight – result!

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Tony’s report

“Still alive. Long and hard day today.
Nothing but fech fech…tomorrow is more fixed tracks…navigation is easy.”

by Jenny Morgan

After a long day preparing his own bike and helping his Macad team-mates solve various mechanical and electric problems prior to scrutineering, Tony was looking forward to just getting out and riding a competitive stage.
Prior to this event, Tony had completely rebuilt his original Yamaha WR450F rally bike, and made a number of improvements to the [fuel] weight distribution, together with a completely new cockpit featuring his latest RNS navigation equipment.

“It was definitely a tough day today. The sand was incredibly soft at certain points – every time you get stuck, you have to throw it on it’s side and drag it out – I must have picked up the bike at least thirty times!”

“The bike worked very well, although about half way through it felt like I picked up a gearbox problem between 1st and 2nd gear – although that may just be the way I was shifting when in the dunes, as the water tank is very close to [the toe of] my boot.”

“Compared to racing in the sand in Abu Dhabi (in 2010), the dunes seem to be much softer here” he continues. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow – we’ll be heading north away from these dunes and following more pistes. I had no issues with navigating [via the gps] today, but there will be more detailed navigation tomorrow – so I will have to follow the roadbook more cautiously as the possibility of getting lost increases.”

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Polytimi’s report

First day of the Tuareg rally and is really tough to drive in soft dunes. I made one round and I am really satisfied for myself !

Tomorrow is a big day of more than 300 km.. Douze to Gafsa… So my bike is ready and need to sleep..so see you after the race…:-)

Below a video impression of the Le Mans style start and the struggle in the dunes:

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Guillaume’s report

Start of the Tuareg Rally: an impression of the first day:

Le Mans start
I had a real good start, driving behind Oscar Polli, laying in third position. Marc Smith was leading. After a couple of minutes I could pas Oscar and we where swapping places a couple of times.
Le Mans start
At CP 2 and CP3 I was in 5 position, I was told by the timekeepers. At that time I was driving in a very controlled way, took no risk at all.

A kilometer or so after CP3 a photographer from the organisation took some pictures at a medium size water hole, so I drove through to get a nice picture.

About 500 meters further I saw a car crossing a big water hole (70-90 meters wide, 70-90 cm deep) and there the shit happened. I followed the car without thinking about the risk of going into the water hole. I was driving to fast, the water was spraying all over me, no problem, I liked that. After 30 meters my bike stopped running at one third of the waterhole. A second bike just behind me made the same mistake. His bike fell over, got down under water, but he could pick it up real quick, started it and could drive on. My bike did not start anymore, I tried for 5 minutes and called Rainer Authenrieth to send me his crew to get me out of this nasty situation. From that moment on there were no bikes or cars passing the water hole (of course). After 20 minutes (guess) a big truck came with 2 helpers and 3 minutes later the bike was safe. We tried to jump start, no result. I took of the saddle and both front tanks and took of the air filter: it was 100%WET. Shit… Then I saw water in the air filter box, even WORSE. Shit, shit… Try to start without air filter, no result. Demounted the spark plug, thanks god we have no electrical problem, the sparks where there. After mounting the spark plug, we tried again. I was almost giving up, but thanks to my 2 helpers I tried again… and yes, this time the engine was giving some positive sounds but still not running. So after trying again and again, another she was running. This whole procedure took us about 90 minutes (guess).

Lesson learned
Don’t drive into the water if it is not really necessary. In the desert, this should be possible.


After mounting the air filter, tanks and saddle I started to drive again. Now I was in the racing mood, overtaking a lot of bikes. Nice feeling, but because I was in racing mode, I used a lot more energy than when I drive economically in rally mode. In the end of the very hard stage, with many soft dunes, I ran out of energy so that the last couple of kilometers where even harder than all the almost 6000km of the Africa race. In this first stage I picked up the big heavy bike at least 20 times, probably even more then 30 times, I did not count. This could also be the reason for my insured right forearm. Like I wrote, it hurts a lot, I will start driving and hope the pain will be forgotten by the adrenaline production of my adrenaline driven body.

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Rallymaniacs’ report

bron: www.rallymaniacs.nl – geschreven door Marcel Vermeij | 09-3-2013 | 20:14

Zoals verwacht kregen de deelnemers aan de Tuareg Rally meteen hun vuurdoop vandaag. Al meteen na de massastart werd het veld uit elkaar getrokken in de kleine maar lastige duinen en maakten de snelle rijders het verschil.
Het roadbook was 130 kilometer lang, verdeeld over twee rondes. Ruim de helft daarvan liep door de duinen, die erg zwaar waren. Veel deelnemers hebben de tweede ronde deels of helemaal niet gereden en velen kwamen behoorlijk versleten aan de finish.

Het EAO team deed goede zaken, met 6 rijders bij de eerste 7 in de uitslag van vandaag! Alleen oud-Dakar rijder Oscar Polli (IT) wist zich er tussen te rijden, hij was 2e achter snelste man van de dag Mark Smits. Hij kan wel eens de te kloppen man zijn deze week. Bart van Acker had het zwaar vandaag, hij besloot na de eerste duinenpassage op te geven en terug te rijden naar het bivak. De etappes van de komende dagen zouden hem beter moeten liggen. Guillaume Martens ging goed van start, kwam als 5e door bij cp3 in de eerste ronde, maar in een doorwading reed hij zich vast en verloor zo’n anderhalf uur.

De temperatuur liep flink op in de loop van de dag, wat de duinen nog even wat zachter maakte. Echt iedereen reed zich meerdere malen vast. Zonder waarschuwing doken rijders tot over het voorwiel in het poederzachte zand, met als gevolg vaak ook een afstap over het stuur heen. Juist dat maakte het rijden zo zwaar. De motor weer lostrekken, overeind zetten, het werd velen al snel te veel.

Bij de auto’s pech voor het duo Alwin Oud en Mark Luijckx, die het achterdifferrentieel van hun nieuwe Bowler kapot reden. Jammer, want ze kwamen als 2 auto door bij cp1 in de 2e ronde. Zij gaan morgen weer verder met een nieuw differentieel. Het duo eindigde vorig jaar nog als 5e algemeen, maar een topklassering zit er niet meer in normaal gesproken.

Morgen is een heel ander soort dag. Vanuit Douz gaat de route meer noordelijk richting Gafsa. Een route zonder duinen, met veel snelle paden en twee lastige bergpassen die gepasseerd moeten worden inclusief een technisch moeilijke klim, die naar verwachting voor de nodige problemen gaat zorgen. Het roadbook van dag 2 is 310 kilometer lang.

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 1: Lost Places

bron: Tuareg-Live: Lost Places

An expedition to forgotten places. They’re near, but most we’re not aware of them. The Rallye started in Le Mans style. Within a few minutes they knew the real meaning of soft dunes. CP1 wasn’t far, but 6 km was a long way in the dunes. At CP1 it was easy to drive back to the hotel. But if you didn’t give up, the next change was at CP2 and CP3, which was by the lake in the desert. At that point half of the stage was done, but then the real soft dunes followed. The day ended by the ruins of the lost city. The Pro’s did this twice, but the second round was different to the first.

Mark Smith won this spectacular first stage through the really soft dunes in the motorbike prof category, followed by Oscar Polli only five minutes behind, closely followed by Gwen Backx. In the amateuer group Gintautas Igaris is the lucky winner. The priority of this stage was the dune-riding…you have to go for it or you will go down – sink or swim!

In the car category Team Machacek is on pole position. He did a fabulous race with perfect navigation and clever dune-reading. Followed by Team Tosenovsky and Lipponen/Riihimäki in third place. In the amateur group Team Kleer came in first.

The truck battled through and got there in the end. 82 of 103 riders in the motorbike prof category managed to complete the stage; in the amateur group 22 out of 36 riders. In the car prof category 19 out of 22; in the amateur group 15 out of 16 cars. All the competitors out there know what these riders/drivers achieved today!