Pan Africa Rally 2019 : Day 5

280km special stage
DNS – 33rd in category / 42nd overall

Day 5 of the 2019 Pan Africa Rally was a forced rest day for Andrew Houlihan.

Yesterday’s incident in the sand dunes did plenty of damage to the Sherco 500 SEF, particularly to the subframe. The good news is that Andrew did not suffer any injuries in the incident.

The team mechanics were able to repair the damage to the throttle body and housing, but the subframe needs to be replaced and with limited time and parts availabilty in Africa, the bike could not be repaired in time for the start of today’s stage.

It looks likely though that the bike could be ready in time to complete the final day which Andrew says is all big sand dunes. That will give him the chance to check the repairs done to the bike in a competition environment before moving on to the 2019 Rallye du Maroc which starts in Fes, Morocco on the 5th October.

Despite the incident and asssociated dissappointment, Andrew remains upbeat.

“Had a really positive day yesterday and was going really well until the throttle problem and then subframe. There has been quite a few accidents and the conditions and weather are brutal. Having a great time and learning a lot every day.”

The day away from competition obviously has an effect on his overall time for the event, but appears to not have affected his placing in his category. Today’s provisional results show that he has been given a default time of 12:32:46 (hh:mm:ss) and despite that he has held on to 33rd in category and 42nd overall.

Last years rally winner Michael Metge also had a DNF yesterday and did not race today, which has dropped him to 38th overall.