5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 the count down has finished ! We are now at the last stage of this rally for a total racing length of 234km. Today, the survivors of the Turkmen Desert Race had to navigator a mixture of narrow corners filled and at the same time fast tracks. On the today's menu, washboard, trial, and all of this under a thick layer of thin dust and some mistakes. The clerk of the course had announced at the previous briefing : "be carful, read your road book well because the race is not over yet, and it can still bring you many surprises. You will have to find the only way up the mountain in order to find the sacred graal at the door of heaven on the edge of the Caspian Sea."
In the early morning the caravan started full throttle through many "pif paf" corners (a quick section of left and right hand corners). Right from the beginning the leader are doing the show and raise all the dust into the air. The first 3 leaders stay in a handkerchief and push hard throughout the whole stage. In the meantime many competitors are trying to find the perfect route that René METGE found during the creation of the road book and had explained the evening before.
Finally it is the liberation for the competitors. In the distance they can see the finish line and finally relax after such an emotional week. Happiness wins over doubt and all signs of tiredness disappear. At the foot of the finishing arch, you can find the members of the organization and a lot of public who have gathered in mass' to see the heroes of this first ever Amul to Hazar Rally and many will never forget this special moment. Once out of the car it is the breaking point for all the emotions, tears of happiness are flowing down the dust covered faces and cuddles all around.
Jean-Louis SCHLESSER and René METGE can now blow out their first candle for a successful first rally here, which we all hope will not be the last ! Up next in the menu is prize giving and of course the party with the flavours of the local people with their unique music, amazing catering and their history filled songs.
They where 83 on the start line in Amul and they are only 59 at the finish line. Nani ROMA and his teammate Alex HARO BRAVO are the winners of this fantastic race using all the power their Mini John Cooper X-Raid has to offer.
The final ranking:
1st: N° 200 Roma/Haro Bravo X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rallye Team (1st T1)
2nd: N° 201 Zapletal/Sykora Hummer - Offoadsport
3rd: N° 401 Viazovich/Haranin/Zhyhulin Camion Maz - Maz-Sport Auto (1st T4)