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Day 5

Controversy rained after yesterdays regularity test as the top 3 cars all showed errors of 7 seconds whilst maintaining they'd been bang on the pace indicated. Our crew was pretty disappointed with our error of 9 seconds as well especially as this placed us last of the 21 crews, again showing the standard of the entrants on this rally. Showing in the top 5 officially for the first time on a day was the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow of Yannick and Jacqueline Morizot with just 1 second of error using the Rolls trip and a mobile phone for the timing!


Fast early morning roads in from the coast...

... led to the mountains and spectacular views

 However, since all the top crews had erred similarly the overall placings were unchanged and it was once again the Arnauds that led the crews away from the overnight halt on the holiday island of Djerba on Tunisia's East Coast. With over 430 km beckoning there were many sad to leave the luxury of the Hasdrubal Prestige but the roads soon made up for this. A blast east across the coastal plane back towards the mountains of Matmata where we had lunched yesterday meant after 130km of liaison we were able to take in a superbly sinuous mountain stretch for the Day's regularity.


The best regularity of the rally stretches ahead of us

The Undisputed fastest car on the rally:
the support Skoda Yeti

Following this it was more sweeping roads to the lunch halt, set up by the Sables Chaud crew on a hillside oasis outside Matmata which meant a restart on a piste that wouldn't have been out of place on the Paris-Dakar and hence saw a very ginger restart for us!


Empty roads and stunning views

Local chicanes...

The roads gradually straightened out as the crews headed North, and while some traffic was encountered for pretty much the first time this week, turning off the Tunis road towards the spectacular walled city of Keirouan saw them empty out and meant despite the distance covered the crews were installed at the final overnight stop before tomorrow's return to Tunis early enough to allow exploration of the Souks.


The Lunch Oasis

Afternoon start resembled the Dakar
 
So the final day of the adventure beckons tomorrow with 110km total but including a monster regularity of anything up to 30km. With my co-pilot having been distinctly under the weather today it seems unlikely she'll be able to focus on the average speed tables for that length of time so fingers crossed we manage to revitalise her tonight for a competitive finish tomorrow!
Your "loving those empty mountain roads" correspondent


Rick Pearson

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