ALREADY THE 10Th ANNIVERSARY OF THE AFRICA ECO RACE
The AFRICA ECO RACE was created by lovers of Africa and Cross-Country Rallies, who simply answered to the “call” of Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal wanted to see a great auto, motorbike, quad and truck adventure on fabulous playgrounds. Obviously, everything was not simple and since the first edition in December 2008, the caravan of the Rally grew quietly, respecting the rules of safety and environment, but also considering the populations of the crossed countries. Today, nearly 250 vehicles and 600 people will board on the ferry on Sunday December 31st 2017 in Sète.
FIRST TWO DAYS IN MENTON
Like last year, the town of Menton will be the starting point of the 2018 AFRICA ECO RACE as the administrative and technical scrutineering will take place on December 29th and 30th. The sunniest town in France will once more set everything nicely to welcome all the participants as they should. Starting with the Tourism Office which negotiates the best rates with the various hotels in Menton. For the participants, a person from the Tourism Office will be in charge of reservations. The technical team of the town will also be arranging everything at the Rondelli stadium so that the visitors can be as close as possible to the competitors and their fabulous vehicles. After the scrutineering, competitors will head towards Monaco and place their vehicles in the Parc Ferme.
MONACO, 3rd YEAR FOR THE START
On Sunday December 31st 2017, in Monaco, the first motorcycle will be passing under the arch of the AFRICA ECO RACE on the Quai Antoine 1er, just in front of the Stars'N'Bars, a famous sportsbar restaurant in Monaco and also partner of the Rally since its first start in Monaco. One by one, each competitor in motorbike, atv, car and truck category, will be presented to the visitors attending the start ceremony before passing under the official arch in one of motorsport’s most representative place which is Monaco. A great moment of emotion at the beginning of the adventure, just like for the laureates and finishers, who will pass under the official arch for the finish at the Rose Lake in Dakar on Sunday January 14th 2018.
NEW THINGS PLANNED ON THE COURSE
After four weeks and several thousand kilometers crossing the tracks of Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, the recos team of AFRICA ECO RACE just came back in early October with good news about the 2018 route. Here are some comments:
"These recos "on field have been very challenging in Mauritania since we have faced very strong heat and because we lost a lot of time because due to the gold rush that is currently taking place in the country. Indeed, Mauritanians are digging many holes in the desert seeking for the precious metal. This generates a multitude of tracks that lead nowhere, however, we are rather satisfied with the result since we can say that 1/3 of the 2018 route will be entirely new.
In Morocco, even if it was complicated to make a fundamental change in the course since we are crossing the country from north to south in just 5 days, we have found some novelties on the first three stages, whereas the fourth special towards Laayoune has evolved and that the fifth stage is entirely new. We have indeed gone to the maximum of what is possible in terms of tracks in the great south of Morocco, finding a nice track which was used in the good days of a great rally going from Paris to Dakar!
But it is in Mauritania that we note most of the new things. Starting with the traditional stage out of the border that will be 100% new. There will also be the stage called '' 500 Miles '' over two days with a “Park Fermé” between the two stages. Then a loop of 350 km around Amodjar which should be the highlight of the 2018 edition, both in terms of the beauty of the landscapes and difficulties. This stage will be composed of 95% of sand and competitors will find huge dunes as they rarely saw in the first nine editions. Also, the start of a stage in the heart of an incredible canyon will also allow the assistances to see amazing landscapes. Finally, although the timing was tight on the last Mauritanian stage because of the border crossing with Senegal, we were still able to change it a bit. Throughout the recos, we sought to avoid rocks as much as we could in Morocco and the camel grass in Mauritania. We could not avoid everything but beyond that, I can assure you that the participants will, once again, find what they are looking for, that only Africa can offer !"
AFRICA ECO RACE ON EUROSPORT AND MOTORSPORT TV
The media coverage of an event such as the AFRICA ECO RACE is obviously essential for the competitors, their sponsors and the racing partners. AFRICA ECO RACE has always had its own TV production team and sends footage via satellite, every day from the field in Africa with programs edited by journalists for TV channels in different countries. Broadcasts of these programs vary each year depending on the agreements that can be obtained, most of the time, from the teams or availability in program schedules. For its 10th edition, in addition to the usual agreements, the AFRICA ECO RACE will be broadcasted on EUROSPORT (59 countries) and EUROSPORT 2 (46 countries), but also on MOTORSPORT TV (40 countries). Of course, the programs broadcasted on these channels will also be available at any time on their Internet portals. Moreover, a live show will be performed every night from the bivouac and will be broadcasted on the Facebook page of the AFRICA ECO RACE.
MOTUL, PARTNER OF THE “MALLE MOTO”
The "Malles Motos" riders are the true heroes of the AFRICA ECO RACE since they are pilots who come on the rally without technical assistance and with only a simple trunk containing tools and parts necessary for the maintenance of the motorcycle. An organization truck transports the trunks as well as the personal belongings of the rider. But thanks to the help of MOTUL, every evening at the bivouac, the biker can work under a tent, having electricity, but also and especially of all products of the MOTUL range intended for maintenance of motorcycle. A bargain when you know how the machines suffer in Africa.
SOLAR LAMPS FOR AFRICAN CHILDREN WITH AMADE MONDIALE
AFRICA ECO RACE and AMADE Mondiale, a Monegasque association founded in 1963 with the help of Princess Grace for the protection of children, are joining forces on the 10th edition of the Rally to provide portable solar lamps for children which do not have access to electricity.
A project which perfectly fits with the eco-responsible and solidarity approach of the AFRICA ECO RACE and the commitment of AMADE Mondiale for the protection and the development of the children who need help on the African continent. Firstly, because these solar lamps are manufactured in Burkina-Faso by the company LAGAZEL, thus developing the local economy through 100 jobs created especially for this activity. Secondly, because these solar lamps will allow children, especially girls, to reach their homes at night in a more secure way and to study under better conditions. Finally, because these solar lamps will replace widespread petroleum lamps in sub-Saharan Africa, which, besides being a source of domestic accidents and being particularly expensive, are an important source of greenhouse gases contributing significantly climate change, each oil lamp produces an average of 200 kg of CO2 per year.
The ambitious objective is to deliver in Mauritania and Senegal, via the trucks of the AFRICA ECO RACE, as many solar lamps as possible distributed to the schools crossed by the rally in Mauritania and Senegal. To do this, teams, participants, partners, members of the organization and all individuals who follow the AFRICA ECO RACE can purchase one or more solar lamps, price per unit of 20€, via a donation directly on the website of AMADE.
Beyond the distribution phase, special attention will be paid to sensitizing children and families on the use and maintenance of these lamps (Lagazel is the only manufacturer to guarantee a lifetime of its batteries of 5 years) and on monitoring the impact in terms of access to education
In terms of communication, AMADE Mondiale and AFRICA ECO RACE will produce a video report illustrating the campaigns for distributing lamps and, if possible, follow-up of beneficiary children on the way between the school and their village.