The Repsol rider commands the last special stage and claims his fourth stage victory, his fourth in Egypt and his fourth Cross Country Rally World Championship title.
After Friday’s performance that took Marc Coma to the top of the overall standings of the Pharaoh’s Rally, the Repsol rider dominated again in the last special stage of the race, confirming his fourth win in the Egyptian race and his fourth Cross Country Rally World Championship title. Opening the track in the last special stage –240 kilometres long –, Coma not only took advantage of his margin in the overall standings but also claimed his fourth stage victory in this edition of the rally, which also secured the final victory.
With an advantage of just 27 seconds in the overall standings after 2000 kilometres, the last timed 240 kilometres of the Pharaoh’s Rally, which was held today between Siwa and El Alamein, changed from being purely a formality to the rally finish line to an authentic final sprint for victory in the fifth rally in the Cross Country Rally World Championship. A sprint involving Marc Coma, opening the track, and ‘Chaleco’ López, following hot on his heels.
As he did yesterday, the Repsol rider managed not only to stop the Chilean from catching him but also reached the end of the special stage with an advantage of almost eight minutes, claiming his fourth win in the six stages held, winning a race that, after the first day on which he lost 16 minutes, had become very tough. This is the fourth time that Coma has prevailed in Egypt, after his wins in 2005, 2006 and 2007, a victory that also allows him to secure the Cross Country Rally World Championship title for the fourth time, which he also won in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
“The most important thing was to win the World Championship but doing so by winning the race and in the way we have done makes me very happy. Furthermore, it was a mixture of many things because it was the last KTM 690 Rally, the fourth time I have won in Egypt and the fourth world title, which makes it feel very special. This win has given me a lot of confidence because it proves that all the work we are doing is well-done and the merit goes to everyone, from the first mechanic to those who work in the factory and those who have helped me prepare.
The strategy for today’s stage was very simple: ride as fast as possible and don’t let anyone gain any ground. It was a very fast special, with little navigation and that benefitted us, because when you open the track, you appreciate not having to have to keep checking the roadbook. I was careful at all times not to make any mistakes and the reward was a victory that has been very hard to reach since the beginning. It has been a rally in which I have been trailing behind from the start, fighting against the tide and making the most of the opportunities without giving up the fight or conceding defeat”.