Jan 15, 2020
AFRICA ECO RACE REACHES AIDZIDINE AFTER TRICKY STAGE IN REMOTE MAURITANIA
· Lucci wins seventh bike stage as fellow Italian Botturi extends overall lead to 4min 06sec
· T4 leaders Bouwens, Boerboom and Driesmans extend car/truck lead with stage win
AIDZIDINE (MAURITANIA): Italy’s Paulo Lucci and the Belgian trio of Igor Bouwens, Ulrich Boerboom and Frits Driesmans prevailed in the motorcycle and car/truck categories with the fastest time on the tricky 477km seventh stage of the the 12th Africa Eco Race (Monaco-Dakar) between Chami and the village of Aidzidine, near Atar, in Western Mauritania on Tuesday.
From a start position of three, the stage win for Lucci in a time of 6hr 14min 26sec enabled the Husqvarna rider to displace Great Britain’s Lyndon Poskitt – eighth on the day – and snatch third in the overall motorcycle rankings. Overall leader Alessandro Botturi and Norwegian Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter shadowed each other through the demanding special with the Italian beating his Scandinavian counterpart by 2min 01sec to extend his outright lead to 4min 06sec.
Italian Blasco La Cavera achieved his best stage finish of the campaign in fourth place and the fifth quickest time enabled Pole Jacek Czachor to consolidate fifth in the overall rankings, ahead of his young protégé Konrad Dabrowski and Pawel Stasiaczek, the youngster dropping a little time with navigational issues.
Italy’s Franco Picco pipped the United Kingdom’s Edward Lines to the stage win in the over-450cc section, but Sweden’s Anders Berglund retains a comfortable cushion of 40min 15sec over Lines in the rankings and also won the Motul Xtreme Rider category and leads in Malles Motos. Italy’s Gabriel Minelli and Senegal’s Mamadou Bocoum slipped to second and third in the standings for the over-450s.
Bouwens, Boerboom and Driesmans pipped the French crew of Patrick and Lucas Martin to the stage win in the car and truck category by just 38 seconds after over six hours of racing. That enabled the Iveco crew to extend their outright lead to 7min 11sec and consolidate their advantage in T4. It was their third stage win of the campaign and came despite a crash in the dunes.
Hungarians, Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs and Peter Czegledi, stayed in contention for the T4 title with the third fastest time and they remain third in the general classification. Yves and Jean Fromont bounced back from their mechanical issues on the first stage in Mauritania to set the fourth fastest time and second in T1, but they trail the Martin duo by 6hr 40sec as a result of their issues on Monday.
Johan Elfrink and Dirk Schuttel were fifth on the day in a Mercedes truck and the Mercedes Sunreef Yachts Buggy of Jacky Leichleter and Francis Lapp finished sixth. Tomas Tomecek is competing alone in his Tatra truck and the seventh fastest time gave the Czech a mightily impressive sixth in the general classification.
Solo Polaris racer Geoffroy Noel de Burlin continued his run of superb form to win the stage in the SSV category by 1min 52sec from Patrice Etienne and Jean-Pierre Saint Martin in their Can-Am, after they stopped for a time in the dunes. Benoit Fretin and Cédric Duplé reached the night halt with the third quickest time and maintained a comfortable overall advantage amongst the SSVs.
Alexey Titov and Dmitry Pavlov finished 20th on the day’s special and continue to lead the T2 category for series production cross-country vehicles and hold 10th overall. The Bowler duo of Alex Cole and Emma Osman won the day’s stage in the Open class and head fellow Brits Andrew Wicklow and Simon Armstrong by just under an hour and a half.
Tomorrow (Wednesday January 15th), the Africa Eco Race heads to the legendary village of Tidjikja – the capital of the Tagant region of central Mauritania – for the first time. The location was made famous by the great African rallies that crossed its sandy trails and towering dunes and offered some of the most beautiful images ever filmed in Africa.
After a short transfer of 3.05km, the stage runs for 429.01km and a short liaison of 18.77km guides crews to the bivouac.
2020 AFRICA ECO RACE – POSITIONS ON SS7 (unofficial):
1. Paulo Lucci (ITA) Husqvarna 6hr 14min 26sec
2. Alessandro Botturi (ITA) Yamaha 6hr 24min 42sec
3. Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter (NOR) KTM 6hr 26min 43sec
4. Blasco La Cavera (ITA) KTM 6hr 29min 25sec
5. Jacek Czachor (POL) KTM 6hr 31min 53sec
6. Pawel Stasiaczek (POL) KTM 6hr 35min 06sec, etc
1. Igor Bouwens, Ulrich Boerboom, Frits Driesmans (BEL) Iveco (T4) 6hr 10min 50sec
2. Patrick Martin (FRA)/Lucas Martin (FRA) Mercedes (T1) 6hr 11min 28sec
3. Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs, Peter Czegledi (HUN) Skania (T4) 6hr 13min 11sec
4. Yves Fromont (FRA)/Jean Fromont (FRA) Buggy (T1) 6hr 19min 17sec
5. Johan Elfrink (NLD)/Dirk Schuttel (NLD) Mercedes (T4) 6hr 20min 17sec
6. Jacky Lechleiter (FRA)/Francis Lapp (FRA) Mercedes (T1) 6hr 27min 53sec
2020 AFRICA ECO RACE – OVERALL POSITIONS AFTER SS7 (unofficial):
1. Alessandro Botturi (ITA) Yamaha 28hr 04min 03sec
2. Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter (NOR) KTM 28hr 08min 09sec
3. Paulo Lucci (ITA) Husqvarna 28hr 44min 55sec
4. Lyndon Poskitt (GBR) KTM 28hr 46min 17sec
5. Jacek Czachor (POL) KTM 28hr 52min 33sec
6. Konrad Dabrowski (POL) KTM 29hr 52min 00sec, etc
1. Igor Bouwens, Ulrich Boerboom, Frits Driesmans (BEL) Iveco (T4) 27hr 13min 04sec
2. Patrick Martin (FRA)/Lucas Martin (FRA) Mercedes (T1) 27hr 20min 15sec
3. Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs Peter Czegledi (HUN) Scania (T4) 27hr 31min 44sec
4. Karoly Fazekas/Albert Horn/Peter Csakany (HUN) Scania (T4) 30hr 41min 41sec
5. Noel Essers/Marc Lauwers/Tijs Vranken (BEL) MAN (T4) 30hr 53min 08sec
6. Tomas Tomacek (CZE) Tatra (T4) 31hr 08min 05sec
7. Benoit Fretin (FRA)/Cédric Duplé (FRA) Can-Am (SSV) 31hr 44min 09sec
8. Aad van Velsen/Marco Siemons/Michel van Velsen (NDL) Ginaf (T4) 31hr 56min 13sec
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