MOTORSPORT NEWS OFF ROAD

AFRICA ECO RACE 2019: Successful start from Monaco

At 9AM sharp, the moto driver Pal Anders ULLEVASETER, big favourite of this 2019 edition, was the first to launch the festivities after Adriana gave him the signal by drawing the flag of the principality. The Norwegian was smiling under his helmet but boasted serious determination to try get a 4th title after these two last complicated years.

No need to say that the KTM driver is going to have to put up a fight, especially with his friend Francisco ARREDONDO who didn’t come from South America to play around. He will also have to be careful to Alessandro BOTTURI, official Yamaha Italy driver, who is coming in hard with a dozen Italian drivers, some of which will also be solid competition.

 

This AFRICA ECO FRACE departure was also the opportunity to support some competitors from all around the world with the participation of Japanese moto competitor Xiaoxing ZHU and the Australian, Matthew TISDALL. With near to 30 different nationalities participating in this 11th edition, we can safely say it is a record for the event and are glad to develop our global reach.

Once the motorbikes all started their drive to Sète, it was the automobiles’ turn to drive onto the podium. Dominique HOUSEAUX and Arnaud DEBRON opened the festivities with their OPTIMUS. The first of seven buggies from the Team MD Rally who hope, this time, to bring back to their Normandie based atelier, the beautiful AFRICA ECO RACE bronze trophy. There again, it won’t be an easy task. The four-wheel category has never been so uncertain, should it be auto or SSV category, the mini 4×4 buggies who absolutely want to put up a fight. Philippe PINCHEDEZ, who already won an African Rally with this type of vehicle, was clear with his ambitions, even though the most important will be to simply arrive at the Lac Rose on the 13th of January 2019.

In the truck category, after discussing a while with Adriana, his fellow compatriot, Tomas TOMECEK was the first to leave the Parc Fermé to begin this African challenge. The triple winner of this category, behind the wheel of his TATRA has the particularity of doing the race without navigator, co-pilot or mechanic. Regardless, he is one of the favourites for the podium this year, but, as mentioned Jean-Louis SCHLESSER, director of the AFRICA ECO RACE, “wise is the man who can give today a podium prognosis”.

Anyways, this Sunday evening, the 223 vehicles and 615 people of the AFRICA ECO RACE 2019 caravan will leave Europe aboard “Cristal”, ferry of the Italian company GNV, direction Nador. We will arrive at this port in the North of Morocco at 6AM on the 1st of January 2019, after having spent the New Year in the Middle of the Mediterranean sea.