2001Paris-Dakar Rally

MMC COMMUNIQUE 19
20 January 2001
Tambacounda - Dakar
Liaison 347 km - SS 217 km - Total 564 km

KLEINSCHMIDT GRABS THE LEAD FOR MITSUBISHI
AS DAKAR REACHES EXTRAORDINARY CONCLUSION

photo

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Team Mitsubishi Germany
J. Kleinschmidt / A. Schulz

The 2001 Paris-Dakar Rally will be remembered as the most hotly contested ever, no matter what the result on the final 25km tomorrow - and indeed, for probably the first time in the event’s history, no-one can be sure who the winner will be. For the moment, Germans Jutta Kleinschmidt and Andreas Schulz hold first place in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero after today’s extraordinary 217 km stage held over the sandy savannah tracks in Senegal. But after almost 10,000km of competitive driving, they’re only 2m 55s in front of second-placed Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero crew, Hiroshi Masuoka of Japan and Pascal Maimon of France.

But it has been an incredible day. At the start in Tambacounda, Masuoka looked as if his seven minute lead was enough to secure victory. The tracks that lay ahead on the final "real" stage of the event were narrow, and it would be impossible for his nearest rival, Jean-Louis Schlesser, to pass and make up any time. And then, and incredible charade began that few would have predicted.

photo

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Team Nisseki Mitsubishi Ralliart
H. Masuoka / P. Maimon

While Masuoka and Maimon waited patiently at the start line for their due time to begin the stage, both Jean-Louis Schlesser and his Buggy team mate Jose Maria Servia jumped the queue, driving straight past to start the stage early. They claimed to have made a timing mistake, but the move put Masuoka at a distinct disadvantage. Clearly upset, the Mitsubishi driver started on his correct time, but tore off after the buggies at high speed in an attempt to catch up and overtake them.

First he was trapped behind Servia, who then broke his suspension and twisted his steering system, thus giving Masuoka the opportunity to pass. But to get past his arch rival Schlesser, Masuoka was forced to take to the bush at high speed, bumping over rough ground. He got ahead, but he’d damaged his car in the process, and was forced to stop just a few kilometres later with a suspected broken rear suspension. Schlesser took the lead, and for a moment, it looked as if Masuoka had lost the race as he struggled for nearly an hour, with fellow Mitsubishi crew Jean-Pierre Fontenay and Gilles Picard of France working along side, to repair the car.

At the finish, it seemed that all was lost for the Mitsubishi crew. Masuoka and Maimon were down to third, Kleinschmidt had moved up to second, and Schlesser was first, over 35 minutes in the lead, and seemingly unassailable. All that remained was to see if Schlesser would get a time penalty for jumping the start.

photo

Mitsubishi Pajero / Montero
Team Hewlett Packard Ralliart
J.P. Fontenay / G. Picard

Then came the shock. The Stewards of the event decided that Schlesser should be awarded a penalty of one hour, along with his team mate Servia. Kleinschmidt was now promoted to the lead, Masuoka just a few minutes behind in second, and Schlesser dropped down to third. Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa was fifth in his Mitsubishi L200, behind Servia, fourth.

It will make for a tense and exciting end to an amazing event that has been so closely fought. The battle will be between the two Mitsubishis driven by Kleinschmidt and Masuoka. Normally, the blast along the beach and around the Rose Lake at Dakar is just a show for the many thousands of people who come out to watch and celebrate the finish of this legendary event; but this time, the last 25 km will be fought out for real, and the victor will not be known until the final finish line in Dakar.


Leg 19 - Tambacounda - Dakar
SS 19 - 217.00 km - Saturday 20 January

Note: J.L. Schlesser had a 1 h 06 min penalty - J.M. Servia had a 1 h 12 min penalty

Times on SS 19

1 J.L.SCHLESSER
H.MAGNE
SCHLESSER BUGGY
RENAULT MEGANE
2.20.39.0
2 J.M.SERVIA
J.M.LURQUIN
SCHLESSER BUGGY
RENAULT MEGANE
2.26.04.0 +5.25.0
3 C.SOUSA
J.M.POLATO
MITSUBISHI
L200
2.27.20.0 +6.41.0
4 J.KLEINSCHMIDT
A.SCHULZ
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
2.30.22.0 +9.43.0
5 G.DE MEVIUS
A.GUEHENNEC
NISSAN
TERRANO
2.31.02.0 +10.23.0
6 S.HENRARD
J.M.MARTINEZ
VOLKSWAGEN
BUGGY
2.31.30.0 +10.51.0
7 L.BOURGNON
G.LENEVEU
NISSAN
TERRANO
2.37.59.0 +17.20.0
8 J.F.GUINOT
M.KROISS
NISSAN
TERRANO
2.38.51.0 +18.12.0
9 A.KHROL
A.MARZALIOVK
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
2.39.14.0 +18.35.0
10 K.SHINOZUKA
F.GALLAGHER
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
2.39.25.0 +18.46.0
11 C.LE DUC
R.TORNABELL
KIA
2.39.57.0 +19.18.0
12 H.PESCAROLO
S.DE LIEDEKERKE
NISSAN
TERRANO
2.40.11.0 +19.32.0
13 V.RAKITIANSKY
O.PYALIN
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
2.40.30.0 +19.51.0
14 S.PETERHANSEL
W.ALCARAZ
NISSAN
TERRANO
2.50.09.0 +29.30.0
15 B.SABY
T.DELLI ZOTI
FORD RANGER
PROTRUCK
3.07.06.0 +46.27.0
16 J.P.FONTENAY
G.PICARD
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
3.07.14.0 +46.35.0
17 H.MASUOKA
P.MAIMON
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
3.13.00.0 +52.21.0
 

Overall after SS 19

1 J.KLEINSCHMIDT
A.SCHULZ
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
70.22.51.0
2 H.MASUOKA
P.MAIMON
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
70.25.46.0 +2.55.0
3 J.L.SCHLESSER
H.MAGNE
SCHLESSER BUGGY
RENAULT MEGANE
70.46.53.0 +24.02.0
4 J.M.SERVIA
J.M.LURQUIN
SCHLESSER BUGGY
RENAULT MEGANE
72.29.48.0 +2.06.57.0
5 C.SOUSA
J.M.POLATO
MITSUBISHI
L200
72.31.42.0 +2.08.51.0
6 J.P.FONTENAY
G.PICARD
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
74.12.14.0 +3.49.23.0
7 S.HENRARD
J.M.MARTINEZ
VOLKSWAGEN
BUGGY
75.26.41.0 +5.03.50.0
8 G.DE MEVIUS
A.GUEHENNEC
NISSAN
TERRANO
76.51.17.0 +6.28.26.0
9 T.DELAVERGNE
J.DUBOIS
NISSAN
TERRANO
77.49.37.0 +7.26.46.0
10 L.BOURGNON
G.LENEVEU
NISSAN
TERRANO
84.19.11.0 +13.56.20.0
11 J.F.GUINOT
M.KROISS
NISSAN
TERRANO
84.21.11.0 +13.58.20.0
12 S.PETERHANSEL
W.ALCARAZ
NISSAN
TERRANO
84.58.59.0 +14.36.08.0
13 B.SABY
T.DELLI ZOTI
FORD RANGER
PROTRUCK
86.29.54.0 +16.07.03.0
16 V.RAKITIANSKY
O.PYALIN
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
88.11.44.0 +17.48.53.0
17 H.PESCAROLO
S.DE LIEDEKERKE
NISSAN
TERRANO
89.26.08.0 +19.03.17.0
19 A.KHROL
A.MARZALIOVK
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
92.24.09.0 +22.01.18.0
31 K.SHINOZUKA
F.GALLAGHER
MITSUBISHI
PAJERO / MONTERO
107.36.59.0 +37.14.08.0


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