Prologue kicks off with a few surprises

The Tunisia Desert Challenge started with a short prologue to and from Djerba. The 39-kilometer scratch was largely run along the banks of the Gulf of Gab├Ęs and immediately caused surprises!

Cars and Buggies

In the cars, there was French success: Thierry Bunel Gourdy was the fastest in the prologue, taking 35.51 minutes. Philippe Lambilliotte was able to offer a match for a long time, but in the end gave up eleven seconds to the winner of the day. Pedro de Uriarte, who is teaming up with Olivier Imschoot this week, finished third with Magda Zajac and Ronald Schoolderman in fourth and fifth place.

Vincent Vroninks conceded five minutes in sixth place and finished ahead of Erwin Imschoot, Rik van den Brink and Yvan Pierre Dard. Agostini Rizzardi completed the top ten.


In the SSV class, the battle is always exciting because of the comparable material and this year is no different. The victory in the prologue was for Stephane Zosso from Switzerland, he and his partner Caroline took about 33.24 minutes in the prologue and that was faster than the times for the cars and motorcycles. Jasper Versteijnen finished second in less than a minute with Martin van den Brink third. Davy Lenaerts was the best Belgian in fourth place, finishing just ahead of Rudy Verheyen.

Gert Huzink was sixth ahead of Monny Krant and Cedric Passarelli. Kees Box was ninth with Stephane Cuttat in tenth place. The Frenchman conceded just over nine minutes to winner Zosso.


For a long time it looked as if Frenchman Dominique Robin had won the opening stage in the motorcycles, but after calculating the penalty times, he dropped back to tenth place. The winner of the day is somewhat surprisingly named Gwen Backx. The Belgian finished ahead of the obvious favorite Mario Patrao and other contenders for success, such as the French Vietnamese Duong Nguyen Khoa and the Chilean Tomas de Gavardo.


In the truck category, Belgian pilot Paul Verheyden triumphed in the DAF. He clocked 42.04 minutes in the 39-kilometer prologue. David Giovannetti finished second ahead of Paolo Calabria, two Italian teams. Eimbert Timmermans finished fourth ahead of Peter van Delm.

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