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Dakar 2006
Dakar 2007
TransOrientale Rally

click the image to visit Dakar website

Team Members include:

James Embro # 108 - David Croot Mechanic/Driver

Elmer Symons # 107 - Philip Symons Mechanic/Driver

Steve Laroza #109 - Duane Schwab Mechanic/Driver

Chris Jones #197 - Paul Dubinski Mechanic/Driver

George Young and Kenny Hardee will be in Portugal to assist the team members with logistics.  Member images in the Photo Album

Latest News From The Team

This is the most complete article I have found so far about Elmer and the circumstances of his crash.

01/09/2007 - My day began with the greatest sadness for the loss of our friend Elmer Symons.  It was impossible to reconcile in my mind.  My sense of loss made the rest of the rally of no consequence to me.  I know Elmer was well aware of the dangers of the event, and chose to pursue his dream in spite of them.  My sympathies go out to all his family and friends, of which he had many.  His ready smile and good nature will always be remembered.  

 See Johnny's message below.

01/08/2007 - A very eventful day for the team.  Assistance truck is giving trouble and will need repair.  James has dropped out of the race to check on the truck and then returned to Spain with his bike.  The truck will get sorted out in Casablance.  Rod is on the way tonight with spare parts for the truck.  Elmer is doing well...From the Dakar results 

"18:40 - moto Stage 3 summary

Pending validation, Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) has won the third special scratch time stage, 56" ahead of American Chris Blais (KTM) and 2’57" in front of Spaniard Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM), who nonetheless has taken over the lead in the general standings, 26" ahead of Coma. In the 450 cc category, the stage victory went to Chilean Francisco Lopez (Honda), who recorded the 10th scratch time. In the Marathon category, South African Elmer Symons (KTM) was triumphant, finishing with the 15th scratch time. Finally, for the quads, Spaniard Carlos Avendano (Suzuki) won with the 58th placed scratch time.... "    

Stage 3
Pos. N°    Name               Make   Time     Variation    Penalty
15  107  SYMONS (AFS)  KTM    3:26:55   0:19:16       0
100 109  LAROZA (USA)   KTM    4:19:47   1:12:08       0
143 197  JONES (USA)     KTM    4:38:39   1:31:00       0

Pos.  N°    Name              Make    Time      Variation    Penalty
18   107 SYMONS (AFS)   KTM    6:10:33   0:28:21      3:00
117  109 LAROZA (USA)    KTM    7:56:43   2:14:31     10:00
139  197 JONES (USA)     KTM    8:18:59    2:36:47  

01/07/2007 - According to the Dakar Standings page here are the results of Stage 2 as of 9:00 A.M. EST.  I don't know what the penalties mean in the overall standings yet.  Elmer was second in the Marathon class in today's stage, but is still leading the class overall.

Stage 2
Pos. N°   Name               Make    Time       Variation    Penalty
31  107   SYMONS (AFS)  KTM    1:08:43     0:05:59
87  109   LAROZA (USA)   KTM    1:14:56     0:12:12
137 197   JONES (USA)   KTM      1:18:24     0:15:40
226 108   EMBRO (USA)  KTM     1:30:56     0:28:12

Pos.   N°  Name                Make   Time    Variation    Penalty
20    107  SYMONS (AFS)  KTM   2:43:38   0:18:31    3:00
149  109  LAROZA (USA)    KTM   3:36:56   1:11:49   10:00
154  197  JONES (USA)      KTM   3:40:20   1:15:13  
178  108  EMBRO (USA)    KTM   3:55:05    1:29:58    13:00

FLASH!  Elmer Symons won the Marathon Class today.  Class definitions here - page 8

Text from Breaking News section of Dakar site:  10:36 - moto Stage 1 summary

Pending validation, Portuguese rider Ruben Faria (Yamaha) ahas won the first special scratch time section and heads the general rankings as well as the 450 cc category, 16 seconds ahead of his countryman Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha). Third place went to Spaniard Isidre Esteve Pujol (KTM), 5 minutes behind. In the Marathon category, the stage victory went to the South African Elmer Symons (KTM). Finally, on the quads, Spaniard Juan Manuel Gonzalez (KTM) was triumphant.

01/06/2007  -  In the scratch standings from the Dakar website, it shows that Faria is 1st. with a time of 1:22:07; Street and Blais finished at positions 6 and 7 5 minutes later.  Elmer Symons has finished at 16th with a time of 1:31:55. James and Steve finished almost together at positions 144 and 145 with times of 2:11 and 2:12.  Chris Jones is at position 162 with a time of 2:21:56.  Preliminary results here:

Interesting photos of the new KTM 690 Rally and Team Repsol

01/05/2007 - Interesting bit just gleaned from ADVRider forums.  According to a post by a Dakar Veteran, Jonah's wife called and said that a last minute rule change has removed the speed limit rule.  This would favor the bigger displacement bikes in the faster sections. Stay tuned in to ADVRider to see how this plays out.  I will try to get confirmation from our team in Lisbon ASAP.

01/02/2007 - Email from Lisbon:They have been up really late for the last few nights working on the bikes and trucks, and Kenny says that the team will do some testing today on the prepared bikes and truck(about 125km).   

Tragic News From  JJE/ Sunday Social Club 
10 January, 2007

By now, most of you most know of Elmer Symons death.Elmer lost his life yesterday in Africa while competing in the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally.  Upon receiving this
tragic news all members within the Sunday Social Club and SET&RA were absolutely crushed beyond belief . Elmer was an accomplished  desert racer and champion,
and most of all, a friend. Elmer's dream after helping James compete last year in
the Dakar Rally, was to do it himself.  Most tragically it has cost him his life. Elmer will truly be missed.I have come to know of how many lives he has touched in
these last days, only to know that he has lost his. There are no amount of words that I will ever be able to express of the reaching out and outpouring of love and support that we
have received from everyone.  
Our sincere wishes and prayers go out to everyone who knew Elmer, his family and everyone who knew him as a friend.

Once again thanks again for your overwhelming love and support.
We will all ride again someday.

God Speed Elmer

Sincerly, Johnny Futo