ATAR, Mauritania - Brazilians Klever Kolberg and Rouldan Lourival led the five surviving Mitsubishi Ralliart crews into the Atar loop stage of the Dakar Rally in 44th place in the overall standings and set the 12 th fastest time today.
"There were 30 kms of dunes, then camel grass and then soft sand," said the Brazilian. "We came across 100 kms of rocks and it was not easy to find our way. The ascent through the pass was easy, but it was hard to find the way through the next camel grass and the wind made everything so difficult. You could not see any tracks. Then there were 20 kms more dunes and they were just horrible. You got to the top of a dune and then saw the next one and just hoped that it would be okay. The end of the stage was 150 kms of full speed and then a twisty track to the finish. But we made it."
The French duo of Dominique Housieaux and Loic Fagot began the day in 66th place and were 14th quickest on the section, Russian Alexey Berkut set the 18 th fastest time today. Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc and Belgian co-driver Jean-Marc Fortin were classified 36th on the stage. Dutchman Toni van Deijne co-driver Francisco van Deijne started from the rear of the field this morning, after delays into Atar, and were back in a competitive pace from the outset.Published 10 January 2005