Nov 29, 2015
This 8th edition will also be a “ grand cru “ in terms of sport with a great line-up and ensuing battle between the 4×4’s from Eastern countries and the Buggies which are mostly French. A packed two-wheel drive class, especially this year, as the MD RALLY Sport Team has registered seven OPTIMUS Buggies under the colors of Ecurie de Coeur. Through their participation in the race, gentlemen drivers indeed help the association “Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque” which will operate ten Senegalese children after the AFRICA ECO RACE. On the bikes side Pal Anders Ullevalseter will be back to fight for his title. Also, we will have three women in the race for the first time on the AFRICA ECO RACE which I’m proud of. In the truck category, Team KAMAZ MASTER will be favorite and I want to thank them all for have done the trip from Russia to attend this presentation. I am also very touched by the presence of my friend Vladimir Chagin now boss of SILK WAY RALLY after being the best truck driver,” Cross-Country Rally vetern Jean Louis Schlesser who opened the presentation.
“The 2016 AFRICA ECO RACE will once again not be an easy rally. It will even be fairly tough since the terrain has changed. Where there were dunes, now there are stones and vice versa.
However, we managed to find new tracks in Morocco which will make this first week a little less harsh than usual. We will also have fewer liaisons especially on the final Moroccan stage where we will reach Dakhla mainly by the track”.
“Mauritania will be as always the judge of the race with 80-90% of sand and incredible landscapes. The advantage this year will be the presence of two loop stages. This Mauritanian week will be less complicated for the assistances without undermining the quality of the course at all! Actually I can tell you that more than ever, arriving at Lac Rose in Dakar will be a real reward for the finishers”.
Before concluding this presentation, Jean Louis Schlesser gave a news that triggered a round of applause from the competitors which were present and that should be unanimous to all participants. Indeed, after tough negotiations with the various shipping companies, the ferry carrying the caravan of the rally from Europe to Nador in Morocco, will leave from the French port of Sète located 370 km away from Monaco, on Sunday, December 27th around 11pm. In this way, after two nights and a day to cross the Mediterranean, competitors will be in shape to attack the 12 African stages.
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