The longest car rally in the world, the Round South America marathon, which takes in ten countries and more than 20,000 miles, reached the halfway mark on Monday (11 September) when the cars arrived at the Brazilian rubber town of Manaus on the banks of the Amazon.
GV PAN & TRAVELLING SHOT Jungle by roadside. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN FROM Dusty straight road TO crashed car by roadside.
SV & CU Wrecked vehicle No.405 of Argentinian Roberto Mussini, who died in accident. (5 SHOTS)
GV PAN Car No.110 driving along twisty jungle road.
GV PAN Car No.316 during event.
GV PAN Car No.213 during race.
GV PAN Car No.421 along road.
GV PAN Car No.422 competing.
GV PAN Car No.401 along road.
SPORT: RALLY DRIVING
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Background: The longest car rally in the world, the Round South America marathon, which takes in ten countries and more than 20,000 miles, reached the halfway mark on Monday (11 September) when the cars arrived at the Brazilian rubber town of Manaus on the banks of the Amazon.
SYNOPSIS: The cars arrived at Manaus two days behind schedule because of bad conditions in the preceding stage which took then through the tropical rain forests of the Amazon. It was a gruelling test for the drivers and cost two lives.
One victim was the Argentine driver, Roberto Mussini, who was travelling at 80 miles an hour down the straight soon after leaving Boa Vista, the last check point. The steering on his Ford Falcon broke and the car overturned. Mussini was thrown out and killed instantly.
The other victim was the rally's doctor who died when his car hit a truck after it had been enveloped in dust raised by the cars. Neither accident stopped the progress of the race.
The Renault entries are almost the only challenge to the Mercedes team who are dominating this year's event. The Citroen entry retired early leaving the challenge to the privately entered Renaults.
Another of the Renaults. So far they've only managed to reach sixth place behind the Mercedes team who occupy the first four places. Behind them, a Peugeot has taken fifth place.
The second place is being held by Andrew Cowan and Colin Malkin. There had been a change in the leadership in the forest stage, but the British pair held their position.
Behind them, another pair from Klaus Kaiser. This year the number of works entries were down, as many companies began to question the high cost of maintaining rally teams.
The present leader, Time Makinen, had to virtually rebuild his car after damaging the engine in the forest stage. In spite of this, he has built up a lead which no other driver appears able to challenge.