Africa Eco Race 2024
Submitted on Sat, 01/13/2024 - 00:20


Up until now, the AFRICA ECO RACE has been spared from weather problems. Unfortunately, on Friday morning, for the 10th stage, a violent wind swept across the Amodjar plateau causing a sandstorm that prevented the organisation's helicopters from taking off. Without a helicopter, it was impossible to ensure optimum safety and to monitor the race, so the decision was taken to send the bikes, cars and trucks in convoy to the petrol station from where the start was given. As a result, the 387km special stage was shortened by 190km, cutting out the section of dunes planned for the start of the stage.

On four wheels, Gautier PAULIN and Remi BOULANGER once again put their APACHE to the test. The Frenchmen were 26 seconds ahead of the CAN AM of Portugal's Ricardo SOUSA and Jorge BRANDAO. On the eve of the finish, this legend of world Motocross, who is taking part in his first Cross-Country Rally, now has a lead of almost 4 hours over the TOYOTA Hilux of Belgian Pascal FERYN, 3rd on the stage. Nevertheless, he remained cautious during the interviews at the finish:


"I was really keen to score another stage win on this AFRICA ECO RACE. At the same time, it's the best way of consolidating our first place. But be careful, as long as the chequered flag hasn't fallen, anything can happen! Let's not get carried away and wait until tomorrow".


In the truck category, Aad VAN VELSEN, Michel VAN VELSEN and Marco SIEMONS made amends for their antics yesterday and spent a good part of the night repairing the SCANIA which had been damaged after lying down in the dunes. The Dutchmen finished 9th overall, ahead of the TATRA of Tomas TOMECEK and the GINAF of Belgians Cedric FERYN, Bjorn BURGELMAN and Tom DE LEEUW. Overall, barring a catastrophe, victory should not elude TOMECEK, who has a lead of over 2 hours.

As always on the AFRICA ECO RACE, Saturday's final day will be the last stage to include a timed sector. This will be the only opportunity for some competitors to put in a good performance before the finish, which will be judged not far from Nouakchott after 247km of special stages. All that remains for the finishers is a 255km liaison to the bivouac near Saint Louis in Senegal, where they will be reunited with friends, family and partners who have come specially for the occasion.

Submitted on Sat, 01/13/2024 - 00:20