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Essai de la Peugeot 2008 DKR

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Four Overdrive Racing Toyotas bound for Oilibya Rally of Morocco

 

- Rakhimbayev and Issabayev set to represent Team Astana in two Hiluxes
- Pole Dabrowski and Dutchman van Merksteijn Snr. complete line-up
- Overdrive also plans crucial pre-Dakar test session in dune environment

Overdrive Racing has sent four Toyota Hiluxes to next week’s OiLibya Rally of Morocco, the last long distance cross-country rally in the 2013 calendar before attention turns to January’s Dakar Rally in South America.

The Kazakh duo of Aidyn Rakhimbayev and Bauyrzhan Issabayev, partnered by their respective Russian and Kazakh co-drivers Konstantin Zhiltsov and Gabdulla Ashimov, will drive a pair of Overdrive-built Toyotas entered by Team Astana.

Fresh from taking a fine second position in Baja Poland, former Polish enduro riders Marek Dabrowski and Jacek Czachor team up again to drive a third Hilux and Dutchman Peter van Merksteijn Snr. lines up alongside Belgian navigator Eddy Chevallier in the fourth Overdrive car.

“This is the last of the longer rallies before the Dakar and an excellent opportunity for us to test in hot, desert conditions before we switch our attention to preparing for the Dakar,” said Overdrive Racing director Jean-Marc Fortin.

“Peter van Merksteijn will be driving a new car in Morocco and he will be testing some new components for the Dakar. We have a revised air conditioning system for the car, a new injection system and the Hilux is lighter.

“We will also carry out a test drive with our regular team driver Adam Malysz and Marek Dabrowski while we are in Morocco. This will give them more experience in the sand dunes.”

Technical checks for the event take place in Zagora on Sunday (October 13th) before the event - which is organised by the Neveu-Pelletier Organisation (NPO) - gets underway on Monday. This year’s rally comprises six legs and 1,517 competitive kilometres in a total route of 2,051km.

The first three selective sections on Monday (203km), Tuesday (240km) and Wednesday (250km) will be centred around Zagora. Thursday’s stage (295km) heads from Zagora to Erfoud and the remaining two selectives will follow a sandy trail through the Erfoud region with the rally route largely being made up of dune crossings, sandy tracks, wadis, canyons and palm groves.

Friday’s selective section between Erg Chebbi and Oued El-Mader is the longest of the event at 310km before a tricky final selective of 219km through sand dunes brings teams towards the finish in Erfoud.

Neil Perkins,


 


Marie-France Estenave pour MFE-Live.com

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