FORT CHACAL / DAKHLA : 631 KM
Once again, the 10th edition of the Africa Eco Race gave the competitors a new route. The day started with a light rain which enabled the dust to stay down for the rest of the day. A 436 kilometers leg brought the rally to Bir Anzaran passing the mighty phosphate conveyor belt of Laayoune. The track was very fast with some complicated navigation points. The competitors went straight south and finished the day with 174 kilometers liaison before reaching Dakhla for a well deserved rest day.
Vasilyev gets ahead, Ullevalseter for fun
With an average speed of 145 km/h, Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / MINI) didn’t waste any time! On this very fast leg, today’s winners secured their slight lead on the overall standings before attacking the dunes of Mauritania. Mathieu Serradori and Fabian Lurquin (FRA / MCM) finished 2nd in 3h05’35, or 6’12” back from the leaders. After the first week they are 16’35” down in the overall ranking but consolidate their lead over Pascal Thomasse and Pascal Larroque (FRA / OPTIMUS), finishing 6th today. Patrick Martin and Didier Bigot (FRA / MERCEDES) took 3rd place ahead of Gerard De Rooy, Darek Rodewald and Moi Torrellardona (NL / IVECO), still the first truck of the competition. For his first participation, 10 years after his father, Gerard De Rooy will be able to rest peacefully with the 5th place overall.
In the motorcycles, Pål Anders Ullevalseter (NOR / KTM) was pleased despite his disappointing day yesterday because of a mechanical issue that forced him to abandon the leg. Although the battle for victory is over for him, the double winner of the Africa Eco Race had a lot of fun starting last and passing the other riders. He achieved the best time of the day in 4h00’11”, 4 minutes faster than Paolo Ceci (ITA / KTM). The young Luis Oliveira (POR / YAMAHA) is still on the podium even if he loses a few minutes over Paolo Ceci still in the lead.
To concluded this first week, the couple Loic Bonnevie and Sophie Hamys (FRA / CAN AM) in SSV managed to climbs into the top 20 by taking the 18th place in the overall ranking.
The rest day have arrived, it is now time to take care of the vehicles and the bodies in Dakhla, the famous kitesurfing spot, where the bivouac stays on the breathtaking beach.
It was mainly a straight line, it was very fast, it went well for us, as a foretaste of the rest day!
“We drove fast but could not get back to Vasilyev, maybe we did not follow the good tracks at the beginning, we did not expect to waste time today but they were very strong. We are still fighting for the win with a good car in good conditions. It was our goal to approach Mauritania 15 minutes from the leader, it is the case, we are happy.”
“I started last and I had a lot of fun catching up and overtaking lots of competitors to win. I’m disappointed for not being in the fight for the win anymore but I managed to take a good time. Now I’m going to take some rest and will enjoy spending some time with the other competitors tomorrow. “
“It was very fast today, it went well for me in navigation, I’m happy with my ride. It’s a shame for my fight with Pål but it does not change anything for me, I have to stay focused, the road is still long. Now I can go and take some rest at the hotel, the bike is amazing. “
“It was difficult for me with the navigation but it was very fast, some waypoints were hard to find but it was a good day and the adventure continues.”
Car / Truck:
1. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov n°201 (RUS) 02 :59 :23
2. Mathieu Serradori / Fabian Lurquin n°202 (FRA) + 00 :06 :12
3. Patrick Martin / Didier Bigot n°205 (FRA) + 00 :35 :03Bike:
1. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) 04 :00 :11
2. Paolo Ceci n°101 (ITA) + 00 :04 :03
3. Luis Miguel Anjos Oliveira n°114 (POR) + 00 :19 :05
Car / Truck:
1. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov n°201 (RUS) 17 :27 :53
2. Mathieu Serradori / Fabian Lurquin n°202 (FRA) + 00 :16 :35
3. Pascal Thomasse / Pascal Larroque n°206 (FRA) + 01 :25 :02
1. Paolo Ceci n°101 (ITA) 21 :44 :13
2. Luis Miguel Anjos Oliveira n°114 (POR) + 00 :59 :00
3. Rui Oliveira n°115 (POR) + 02 :41 :30
* Provisional results, subject to changes in ranking after jury deliberationy
Source: Rally-Raid Network. Photo’s: Rally-Raid Network