The 'Buggy-Woogie' of the Africa Eco Race

The fourth edition of the Africa Eco Race promises a great show in the two-wheel drive category. This fight between buggies will be more intense with the entry of MD Rallye Sport team. Between favorites and challengers, the prognosis remains very open. It will be hard to play against the reigning three-time winner, Jean-Louis Schlesser. Team Henrard drivers, MD Rallye Sport drivers, the RMA Racing led by Hubert Auriol and Jean-Paul Reparat, the buggy Cotel driven by Gilles Florin, the great Russian driver Sergey Savenko, and Philippe Porcheron, also driving a MD buggy, can all be at the forefront...

Known and recognized as one of the best rally team in two-wheel drive category, MD Rallye Sport will be present on the fourth edition of the Africa Eco Race. The competition will be strong to face the yellow and blue tornado...

After a debut in 2011 with two vehicles driven by Régis Delahaye and Jean-Noel Julien, the team from Normandie returns with new ambitions. Leaders of this structure, Régis Delahaye and Jean-Noel Julien had a great start on the 2011 race and climbed to the top positions overall before having to give up. This year the team-mates are determined to take revenge and all hopes are permitted after the superb results achieved in the last Rally of Morocco. Regis finished second while Jean-Noel finished in sixth place. Regis will be navigated by the experienced Russian, Konstantin Zhiltsov, and Jean-Noël by Frederic Vivier.

 Kamil Rahal, from Dakar, will drive a Springbok and to achieve his goal of joining the Senegalese capital, he will be associated with Pascal Gambillon. Gerard Dubuy will inaugurate the first participation of a buggy Optimus on the Africa Eco Race and will be co-driven by Jehan de France to show him the right way.

The Team MD Rallye Sport will also enter two vehicles in the raid category. A strong presence to carry out legitimate ambitions on the 2012 edition of the Africa Eco Race...

 Legend of the rally raid, Hubert Auriol went back on track for the 3rd edition of the Africa Eco Race. A difficult come-back but no way for the Paris-Le Cap 1992 winner to give up. This year, Hubert joined the RMA Racing Team and will race on a buggy manufactured by Jean-Paul Reparat, entered himself on the event with Alain Toulemon. Such a car quickly attracted "the African". The W01 Buggy has a BMW 3.0l diesel engine developing more than 300 hp, a "big" gearbox, a strong clutch and solid axle shafts, all well-tested.

Hubert Auriol seems to be confident but remains lucid as a race is never finished before reaching the finish line:

"I am very happy to start! A positive aspect of this collaboration is that Jean-Paul (Reparat) is the manufacturer of the car. He is a determinate man and is fully committed to the project to give us the best cars. We do not start from a blank sheet but already have a step back on the performance and reliability of the buggy. As the choices made to build the car seemed to be good, we decided to start the Africa Race project. We had given every chance to succeed while remaining within a very reasonable budget. This team has experience and everyone knows what to do. We will start with a clear ambition, the two cars must be at Lac Rose on the 8th of January! I have good hopes that the project will be successful and compared to the experience I had during the last edition, I am optimistic. But I also know very well that during a race, things can change in a short time…So, I am always very cautious about predictions... "

Hubert Auriol will share the adventure with his "old" fellow, Jean-Paul Forthomme, one more reason to give him a smile. Dear to the heart of this crew, the project started last year with "La Chaîne de l’Espoir" (association which operates in over 30 countries to provide access to health care and education for disadvantaged children) will be repeated. In 2011, more than 10,000 euros were collected and allowed to deliver medical equipment to the Dakar hospital. A great initiative that mobilized many contributors.