Veteran Chinese driver Lu drops out Dakar Rally
Updated: 2011-01-04 08:07
Veteran Chinese driver Lu Ningjun briefs the media on his exit from the 2011 Dakar Rally in Argentina, Jan 3, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
Latest news: Veteran Chinese driver Lu drops out Dakar Rally
Veteran Chinese driver Lu Ningjun has to withdraw from the 2011 Dakar Rally after one night's urgent repair on his Chery Rely X5 failed, according to Lu during a new conference in Cordoba, Argentina.
Related story: Double trouble for Rely x5; Lu's fate uncertain
Veteran Chinese driver Lu Ningjun, making his seventh trip to the world's most gruelling rally, failed to start on time in Argentina on Sunday.
Officials later confirmed Lu's Chery Rely X5 suffered mechnical problems and failed reach the first-stage start point on time. But it is said Lu was still keen to finish stage one in the hope that the organizers would allow him to continue his campaign.
According to regulations, Lu could be ruled out of the race or could get a hefty time penalty.
Lu finished 28th last year, also at the wheel of a China-made Rely X5.
Lu, 53, once said racing off-road rallys was in his blood and that he could keep on competing in the Dakar rally if chances were given to him.
The Rely-Double Star Rally Team also had more misfortune on the first day of the event when last year's 29th-place finisher, Jiang Yaohuan, also driving a Rely X5, crashed but went back on the course after repairs. Jiang also faces a time-limit fine.
The best Rely X5 driver was Liu Kun, nicknamed King of the Desert in China, who finished 93rd in three hours, 24 minutes and 37 seconds.
Chinese driver Zhou Yuande finished 73rd in three hours, 14 minutes and 21 seconds, nearly an hour behind stage winner Carlos Sainz of Spain.
Zhou Yong was 85th, Guo Hongzhi 97th and Ma Junkun was 109th after the 222km special stage.
In the motorcycling section, Argentinian Pablo Busin, racing for a Chinese team, finished in 60th place. China's Su Wenmin and Han Baohua were 109th and 159th respectively.
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