Friday's Africa Eco Race stage shortened due to a sandstorm

Friday's Africa Eco Race stage shortened due to a sandstorm

Friday Review:

Until now the AFRICA ECO RACE had been spared weather problems. Unfortunately, this Friday morning for the 10th stage, a strong wind swept across the Amodjar plateau causing a sandstorm which prevented the organization's helicopters from taking off. 


Without a helicopter, it was impossible to ensure optimal security and monitor the race and therefore the decision was made to send the motorcycles, cars and trucks in a convoy to the fuel station for a revised start
As a result the 387 km special was shortened by 190 km, cutting off the route of the part of dunes planned at the start of the stage. 


 
In the motorcycle category, after the 6-minute penalty awarded yesterday to Alessandro BOTTURI the blues had low morale this morning, finding it difficult to get back to regular 6 minutes from Jacopo CERRUTI.  Despite this, Alessandro BOTTURI gave everything on the 
YAMAHA 700 Ténéré to win the special with 00:02:26 on the APRILA 660 Tuareg of Jacopo CERUTTI, 2nd on the day. Overall, BOTTURI is only 00:04:38 behind CERRUTI.


Today, Saturday, there will only be 247 km of special left for BOTTURI to try to turn the tide. But, as he is going to open the track, suffice to say that it is almost mission impossible. Especially since CERRUTI will be able to count on his teammate at APRILIA, Francesco MONTANARI, author of a fantastic comeback today to finally finish third. This one could come and play spoilsport tomorrow. 


 

This section of the rally was successful for the young guns of the discipline, Frenchman Attilio FERT placed 4th on  his KTM, ahead of the HONDA of Italian Marco Aurelio FONTANA and the KTM of the Swiss Alexandre VAUDAN, still leader of the Rookie Challenge Rider By Acerbis. With fuel supply problems encountered today by Giovanni GRITTI he is also leader of the 450 overall.

In the Motul Xtreme Rider category Patrice CARRILLON finished in front again on this 11th stage. The Frenchman is now 13th overall and is more than 2 hours ahead of Antoine DETOURBET, his compatriot and runner-up

On four wheels Gautier PAULIN and Remi BOULANGER once again lead with their APACHE. The Frenchmen are 26 seconds ahead of the CAN AM of Portuguese Ricardo SOUSA and Jorge BRANDAO. On the eve of the finish, this world Motocross legend, who is participating in his first Cross-Country Rally now has a lead of almost 4 hours over the TOYOTA Hilux of Belgian Pascal FERYN, 3rd on the stage. He still remained cautious:

 “I really wanted to score another stage victory in this AFRICA ECO RACE. At the same time it is the best way to consolidate our first place. But be careful, as long as the checkered flag hasn't fallen, anything can happen! Let's not get excited and wait for tomorrow. » 

In the truck category, after their antics yesterday and a good part of the night repairing the damaged SCANIA after lying in the dunes, Aad VAN VELSEN, Michel VAN VELSEN and Marco SIEMONS redeemed themselves. The Dutch team finished 9th overall and were ahead of the TATRA of Tomas TOMECEK and the GINAF of Belgians Cedric FERYN, Bjorn BURGELMAN and Tom DE LEEUW. 
Overall, barring disaster, victory should not escape TOMECEK who has a lead of more than 2 hours. 


In the Classic race, Andres BRABECK-LEMATHE and Laurent MAGAT emerged victorious in the only Regularity Zone of this 10th stage, being just 10 seconds behind the ideal time over 59 km. Overall Belgians Eric and Tom CLAEYS are still leaders with their TOYOTA BJ73 but there there  remain two ZRs of 59 km and 150 km. This last ZR.


As always on the AFRICA ECO RACE this last Saturday will constitute the final stage including a timed sector. The only opportunity for some to perform before crossing the finish not far from Nouakchott after 247 km of special. The finishers will then only have a 255 km connection to reach the bivouac set up near Saint Louis in Senegal and meet up with friends, families or partners who came especially for the occasion. 


 


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