After the hectic day yesterday due to the accident of both OPTIMUS buggies on the arrival at the special stage, the atmosphere was back to normal and focused on the race leaving from the CHAMI bivouac. This 507 kilometer stage towards Amodjar is known to be extremely challenging.
NO CHANGE IN THE MOTORBIKE CATEGORY
ULLEVALSETER left 2 minutes ahead and BOTTURI caught up with him and both men then rode together. After the fuel checkpoint, the Norwegian pulled out the big guns to try and loose the Italian but both men arrived together at the end of the stage.
Same scenario for Felix JENSEN who tried to catch up with then pass Simone AGAZZI. There agai, the Italian resisted and stayed alongside the Norwegian pilot, close enough to fall on him when his KTM went sideways in the dunes. The time difference is minimal as AGAZZI finishes 5’15’’ from BOTTURI and JENSEN at 7’34’’. A solid performance from Guatemalaa Francisco ARREDONDO, ranked 5th today, as well as Guillaume VIDAL, 6th. On the other hand, two favourites for the race will be quitting today, as Stéphane HAMARD, 8th in the general ranking yesterday, fell off at kilometre 41. The fall wasn’t grave but he was rushed to hospital in Nouakchott for some tests. Paolo CAPRIONI, 11th in the general ranking and leader of the 700 category suffered an engine fauilure on KTM at kilometre 380 of the special stage, he was brought back to the bivouac and this will complicate his start today, if ever his engine is repaired.
NEWCOMER IN THE AUTO CATEGORY WITH FROMONT
The 2nd Mauritanian special stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE has completely changed the sthe ranking as 6 new teams make their way into it. Starting with the winner, Yves FROMONT and Pal VIDAL who lead with their Tarek even after a small incident costing 20 minutes. They are ahead of the OPTIMUS of Philippe GOSSELIN and David BONON by 4’15’’, as well as Jean-Pierre STRUGO & Francois BORSOTTO by 7’01’’. From the 4th to 7th positions are newcomers on SSV CAN AM X3 with Bruno FRETIN & Willy CHARBONNIER, Jean Hugues MONEYRON & Thierry BERRAZ, Rudy ROQUESALANE et Vincent FERRY. Jean-Noël and Rabha JULIEN place their OPTIMUS in 7th position in front of the CAN AM X3 of Benoit FRETIN and Anthony PICHARD. Francois and Stéphane COUSIN continue to lead the 4x4 category with a 9th place in their NISSAN Pick-Up. Patrick Martin & Didier BIGOT end the list with a 10th place at 35’37’’.
In the general ranking, the OPTIMUS of Jean Pierre STRUGO is in the lead ahead of the two TAREK’s of Yves FROMONT and Patrick MARTIN, separated by only fifteen minutes
FIRST VICTORY FOR THE ESSERS TRUCK
Since the start of the AFRICA ECORACE 2019, Nöel ESSERS, Marc LAUWERS & Johan COONINX have shown a solid performance everyday and that is the reason for their 2nd place in the truck category. This Belgium team once again showed their strength and won the special stage, more than 10 minutes ahead of Elisabete JACINTO, Jose MARQUES & Marco COCHINHO, the leaders of the general ranking of the trucks - even though they helped Patrick MARTIN out of his slight incident. A great performance for this 70 year old, boss of one of the biggest transport company in Europe. The podium of the day is completed by Tomas TOMECEK - extra merit by being alone in his TATRA. In the general, Elisabete JACINTO is still leader in front of Nöel ESSERS and the Ducth team of Aad VAN VELSEN, Marco SIEMONS & Harry OOSTING in their GINAF.
Today, Thursday 10th of January, the second loop will be awaiting the competitors with a departure and arrival in Chingetti and a 375 kilometer special stage to race. The most beautiful of the AFRICA ECO RACE stages with over 100 km of crossing of the most magnificent dunes of Mauritania.
Ranking stage 8 : Chami / Amodjar*
Car / Truck :
1. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) 06 :01 :54
2. Philippe Gosselin / David Bonon n°209 (FRA) + 00 :04 :15
3. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) + 00 :07 :01
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 05 :47 :34
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :02 :00
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 00 :05 :15
Car / Truck :
1. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) 30 :48 :26
2. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) + 01 :24 :54
3. Patrick Martin / Didier Bigot n°205 (FRA) + 01 :41 :45
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 31 :52 :32
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :07 :15
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 02 :10 :41