Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 6: Guillaume’s reports

I slept very well. No frustration. No disappointment. I’m very proud that the driving was going very well, in the sometimes very difficult terrain, which is not easy with the heavy 690RFR. I always filled up to maximum, so the conditions where harder then when filling up only half.

After having so much penalties on the first competition day, this race became a preparation for the next Africa Race (AER). The navigation at the Tuareg rally btw is totally different from the AER. My main goal for this year is PHARAONS rally and AER 2014. I will try to start training in motocross and enduro. To get better in navigation, I will do some eastern Europe rallies (Hellas, maybe to early, Albania & Serres of course).

The accident I had was just a little unlucky, because the guy in front of me was driving slow and he suddenly went of his line, so the only way around him was driving over a camel grass hump. With about 80km/h and a fully loaded bike (36 liters gas on board) it was not possible to tame the bike. It was kicking like a wild horse, so I made a nice hi-sider and landed on my chest and helmet eating some sand & dust. Took me only 2 second to get on my feed, so I thought everything is OK. After driving on for another 3 km I noticed that my hand was not having enough power to occupy the clutch handle. I stopped, took of my left glove and yes: my hand was swollen quet a bit, I was not able to hold on the handle bar in a proper way, so I had to return to the start.

After that it took a long time to get photos in the hospital in Douz and the rally doctors told me that my bone needs a little operation to put it back in place. So next week I will visit my doctor in Switzerland.

Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 5: Guillaume’s report


Guillaume out of the race:
update: “Guillaume broke his small finger of his left hand” (looking at the photo’s one can’t tell whether he broke his small finger on his left or right hand :) ).

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Jenny Morgan: “I was surprised to see #22 Guillaume Martens arrive in the hotel lobby, sporting a braced and bandaged wrist… he explained he’d crashed just 5kms from the start in the camel grass trying to overtake a slower bike (Guillaume started toward the rear of the pack today because of a large time penalty for missing a check yesterday on stage 4) – his wrist is siue.edu almost certainly broken and although he was able to ride one-handed to the checkpoint, he is now out of the race.”

The paragraph of Jenny Morgan’s report together with one of her photos of Guillaume and Edward.
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Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 4: Guillaume’s Report

Despite his injuiry on day 2, the ‘Flying Dutchman’ is still in the race. A small impression of the 4th day…

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Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 3: Guillaume’s report

Western union agent The damages taken on the very hard enduro section on the second day of the Tuareg rally: This will give a lot of work after the rally. I crashed in a big stone driving down the boyler pass. My mechanic Fabio Zanone is currently fixing my clutch cylinder:


By the way: I had a long thought about a solution for crossing water in the dessert, until Karl-Heinz Radke posted a solution: :)
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Tuareg Rally 2013 – day 2: Guillaume’s report

early morning
It’s 4:35 and I can’t sleep anymore. I went early to bed (about 22:30), so I had my few hours of sleep. At the moment I’m afraid that I can’t drive on this morning. My right forearm is hurting a lot, not shure if it is from falling of the bike two days ago or because I was pushing it to hard yesterday in the dunes.

For the moment I still don’t know which place I made yesterday, I will have a look after writing this.

update
I went out and could finish the day. Again it was a VERY DIFFICULT stage. Also the navigation was not easy.

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I started second last today. I got 20 hours penalty time, because they did not have my time card. I told them the time card got wet, while I was swimming with my bike in the water hole and I gave the wet card to the CP4 time keepers. So tonight I have to write a protest form and I hope to get some time penalty reduced.

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An overall impression of day 2:

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.
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Photographer
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.

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Racing
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 0: scrutineering

A day of technical and administrative scrutineering. The competitors on the Tuareg Rallye are ready to get to grips with the 1700 kilometres of pistes and dunes that they must tackle between Nefta in the west, Matmata in the east, Gafsa in the north and Douz in the south.


The first day of competition tomorrow will show us how the drivers manage the soft sand in the south of Douz. It can be like hell on earth.

There are fiveteen different nationalities at the start. 170 Motobikes and 40 cars are racing. At the Sahara Douz-Hotel we have a big camp with a fascinating Rallye atmosphere. The actual peekyou.com rallye starts tomorrow a bit further south…more than 400 people and 200 vehicles have assembled here for the peekyou.com rallye . The service teams set up a huge area for last minute preparations.

Timetable

day 0
day 1
day 2
day 3
day 4
day 5
day 6
day 7
friday 8 March 2013
saturday 9 March 2013
sunday 10 March 2013
monday 11 March 2013
tuesday 12 March 2013
wednesday 13 March 2013
thursday 14 March 2013
friday 15 March 2013
arrival /scruteneering Douze
Douze Douze
Douze to Gafsa
Gafsa to Nefta
Nefta Nefta
Nefta Douze
Douze Douze
Douze / Winnerparty


Tuareg Rally 2013 – preparing: training day 2

I was a bit overconfident again… Today we had our second training day. Timi and I where doing two training sessions together, one after breakfast and one after lunch. At the end of the day I spent one session on myself to train some speed in the dunes and on the pistes. Some locals where watching this training…

Let’s start at the beginning. Timi did very well on the first smaller dunes but this was just to warm up and soon we both got several times stuck in some really soft and difficult dunes. She could improve her skills in picking up the bike, turning it around, pushing it down, picking it up again and so on… This is a very exhausting matter.

After 2 hours the batteries of Timi where pretty empty and a little frustration and disappointment was recognizable (she is a very ambitious woman). She showed a lot of willpower and perseverance. I was really proud of her, these dunes are not as easy as the ones we know from Morocco. I think next Saturday there will be a real battle in the dunes here in the dunes of Douz when around 190 motorcycle racers will start for the first special and some first timers will have to suffer a lot.

In the afternoon session, after a good lunch, Timi got her energy back and her confidence was growing again. She had a lot of fun, reconicebly at her big smiles. All in all a very good performance on her second day in the dunes.


As Timi was not in the mood for another session in the dunes, this was the moment for me to decide to have a quick round on myself through the dunes in a speedy session, which I enjoyed a lot. After a very satisfying training ride of 1,5 hours I was a little overmotivated and fell of the bike while making a wheely (like I do every second year ) on a sandy piste for the local public (shame on me). So I fell pretty hard on my back and it hurts a lot. I think I’m lucky that I can start on Saturday and it is probably the nessecairy signal from above, that tells me that I have to control my emotions more again, like I did in the Africa Race last January. Always when things are going well I get overexited and then this kind of things do happen… (me stupido).

Tomorrow, Tony Schattat will help me to fix the bike, especially some broken parts on the navigation tower. The disassembladge of the broken plastic and bend metal parts could be done by myself this evening. And tomorrow I will start asking around in the bivouac if some friendly fellow racers can help me out with selling me some parts for replacement of the broken ones. If not available, we will have to go to town and let them be custom made by a local craftsman. In Douz there are more car workshops then anything else. It’s the most important trade in town, by the looks of it .

Tuareg Rally 2013 – preparing: training day 1

Today we had a perfect day to train in the dunes and on the piste near Douz. Polytimi did very well on her first day in the sometimes very soft Tunisian dunes. I’m really curious how she will perform in the race. Tomorrow we will have another training day, we will go to Gsar Ghilane and back, approximately 200km dunes and piste. This will give her a good impression, of what the race will look like.

Speaking about my feeling of today’s training: I’m really confident for the upcoming days. I hope my right hand will be fit for the whole race, so I can perform without pain. The driving in the dunes went quit good and on the piste at high speed (151km/h), I felt very well. Now I have to keep a cool mind and drive at 80-90% of maximum speed in the race.

At the end of the day, we both had problems with the clutch. Timi got a little nervous, but after filling up the oil reservoir of the clutch, everything was OK and she was relaxed again.

Tuareg Rally 2013 – preparing: 3 days before the start


Two members already arrived at Tunesia.

The other two members are already at the airport.
Tony and Edward at airport