For the 4th year in a row, once again with ideal weather up to 20 degrees, the city of Menton hosted on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th, the administrative and technical checks of the Africa Eco Race 2020. During two full days, it was up to 300 vehicles and 700 people who passed their checks in order to be officially accredited for this unique African adventure
Jean-Louis Schlesser, the “boss” of the rally, was in a good mood when walking through the assistance parc on Saturday afternoon:
“I am happy to see that the Africa Eco Race is still growing with over 20% more participants. Especially, I notice the increasing international reach of our rally with 34 countries and 5 continents represented for this 12th edition. I am also glad that the amount of bikes has doubled and the quality of the teams participating has significantly raised. The assistance parc does look nicer with some professional structures. The two wheel competition will be very interesting, but not only... In the SSV category, over 20 participants will appreciate the challenge, especially with my good friend Alexandre Debanne, who will be racing in an area he knows very well. I am also looking forward to seeing the results in the truck category which is always impressive with the spectacular images we catch.
Once the AFRICA ECO RACE organisation had set up the mandatory navigation and security equipment, done the checks on the regulation side and put all the stickers of our rally partners on each vehicle, the participants had one hour to go to MONACO where the Parc Ferme was set up on the Quai Antoine 1er. It is also in that same location in the principality of Monaco, known worldwide for its sports events, that the podium and the arch were set up.
It was at 7PM sharp, in front of thousands of spectators, that H.S.H Prince Albert II, drew up the MONACO flag to give the start to Italian Driver Alessandro Botturi, last years moto winner. For one hour and a half, the 140 race vehicles started their adventure of over 6000km with up to 4000km of special stages on the Moroccan, Mauritanian and Senegalese tracks and dunes. The 2020 route which is 70% renewed, will be extremely challenging for the vehicles and their passengers.
But before that, the caravan of the Africa Eco Race will embark this Sunday early morning on the ESMERALDA Ferry part of the GRIMALDI LINES fleet. After 48 hours in the Mediterranean, dedicated to the briefings and trainings, the competitors will disembark Tuesday 7th at 7AM on the port of Tanger. It will be the start of a big day with a small 23km special stage near Kenitra, in the Maamora oak cork tree forest, followed by a 731 km liaison to rallie the first bivouac in Tarda.