Champagne moment for 2010 World Rally Champion Marc Coma (center), Rancisco Lopez (left) and Helder Rodriguez (right).
KTM factory rider Marc Coma on Saturday wound up the six stage Pharaons Rally in Egypt’s desert sands with a victory that also secured the 2010 World Rally Championship title for the Spanish rider.
The rally was also important for KTM’s Tim Trenker, competing for KTM-UAE who finished sixth overall but won the 2010 World Championship Open Production title, the first ever to go to the Emirates.
Coma won four of the six stages in this race that took riders from Cairo to El Alamein on the coast of the Mediterranean through exquisite but always challenging classic desert terrain. The “four” turned out to be a magic number for Spain’s Coma who said after reaching the finish: “Four, four, four! Four for the stages I won, four times the Pharaons Rally, and four world championships. With this fourth victory I have reached the same number of victories of Fabrizio Meoni at the Pharaons so this is a special time to remember him.”
It was in Stage Two, a difficult run of 366km from El Rammak to the bivouac of Bir Karawein, and on a day where the heat was the main character that Marc began to take control of the race. Lying in a tactical third overall, Coma was by then really enjoying himself and attacked right from the outset.
Stunning scenery but over hard stony surfaces and seemingly endless dunes was what the third stage delivered and Coma, ever the tactical maestro as well as superb on his KTM 690 took the prudent strategic approach to finish third in the overall results on the even of that was going to be the longest leg of the rally on day four – 436 km to the Sitra Oasis.
Marc Coma: When we got to the fastest 100 km of the day, the sun was high above and it was impossible to distinguish obstacles so I left off the gas a bit.” The Spanish rider said he was happy to reduce the gap between him and the overall leader and that he had been able to keep off advances by the Polish KTM rider Jakub Przygonski, who was the only rider able to challenge him for the world title going into the rally.
Day four was an occasion for Marc to celebrate his second stage win and also his birthday in an environment where he was clearly feeling like a winner as he made a decisive attack on the overall rankings. At the end of the day Coma was trailing Chile’s Francisco Lopez by eight minutes overall, draing the battle lines for the final two stages.
Closing in for victory
Stage five was another triumph for Coma who set off at dawn from Sitra and quickly mastered the dunes in the first special of 412 km and at the end of the day he had closed down on Lopez in the general standings and set the stage for a thrilling battle for the final honors. Coma was primed with confidence and went into the final day with one intention – to wrap up the 2010 Pharaons Rally in style and secure his world championship rally title. It was a classic finish to the rally and delivered yet another triumph to the Spanish rider and KTM.
The sole woman quad entrant Camelia Liparoti of Italy finished the tough Pharaons Rally in mid field at 31st competing in a KTM 525 XC,
2010 Pharaons Rally Results:
1. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM 690 (World Rally Champion 2010) – winning margin 8 minutes 23 seconds
2. Francisco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia 450
3. Helder Rodriguez, Portugal, Yamaha 450
4. Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM 690
5. Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM 690
6. Tim Trenker, Germany, KTM 690