Hey itÂs Mark calling in from Tichit! ItÂs the first leg of the marathon stage so no mechanics today. ItÂs a long stage, 600km. I donÂt know we started around 8 this morning and finished up 5th on the day and the sun is just setting, so I think everyone outside of the top six cars will be finishing at night. It was quite a long stage and there is no assistance or service. Anyway, we had two dune crossings and we cleaned those, everything was good. It was very rocky at the beginning and I was unlucky with a puncture at the 17km mark. I had just commented to Ralph that yeah IÂm just going to take it easy because of the rocks and I got a puncture! So it was unlucky. But, the first dune crossing was quite difficult and Carlos was starting 15 or 16 min starting in front of us and we caught him in the first dune crossing and we followed him for about 130km and then had another puncture. This one was definitely my fault; I was looking up at Carlos and just completely didnÂt see a rock. The bummer about that was then we just had one spare tire left and we still had 400km to go. So we had to really cruse for about 300km through a bunch of rocks and things like that just to make sure that we made the stage. It was difficult, it was difficult navigation. We had two different times where we were not sure on the navigation and we had to some circling. We probably lost around 15 minuets doing that, but no major ordeal, Ralph is doing a great job. ItÂs not easy at all. So anyway we lost some time to Giniel today, but Giniel did a great job he won the stage and put another 8 minuets on the Mitsubishis. From that standpoint things are looking good. Carlos Sainz had a tough day with a broken power steering pump so he was behind us at the end.
Tomorrow is another super tough stage and there will be huge time gaps again tomorrow and hopefully we will be out front again. IÂm feeling good and the cars is working good, and the team is working good. Right now there are only about 10 of us, normally there are around 150 of us, but there are around 10 of us doing service on the cars. It is kind of funny, the press is getting a big kick out of it. They are taking pictures because obviously no one wants to see me working on a car! Anyway we will check in tomorrow after the end of the marathon stage. Take care, thanks for calling, bye.