Morocco Desert Challenge – 8

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Elisabete Jacinto ends Morocco Desert Challenge

The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto concluded today her participation in the 10th Morocco Desert Challenge after completing the eighth stage of this African marathon that took place between Tendrara and Oujda. The Bio-Ritmo® team made this short but demanding journey, composed by 220 timed kilometers, in 2h28m20s reaching the 12th place among the trucks. The trio formed by Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho had to deal with a flat tire in the middle of the special which delayed their progression.

Throughout the rally, the raceof the Portuguese team was punctuated by a series of setbacks that compromised their results. However, in the stages in which they didn’t had problems to register they were able to show the reliability and consistency of their progress which allowed them to be among the top ranking of their class and recover positions day after day. So, despite all the difficulties, the trio who started the race in a modest 26th place among the trucks ends this competition in the seventh place in the T4 category.

For Elisabete Jacinto this race was very hard and difficult, as it would be expected, but she considers that the classification doesn’t reflect the commitment of the team because the pilot believes that they have the capacity to achieve better results: “today’s special was fast but it was necessary great attention and focus because the navigation was quite demanding. We started the day well and we were able to print a good rhythm from the start. However, at one point we had a flat tire and we took some time to change it. We were doing a very good stage and we had another setback that didn’t allow us to make a good result. This rally was a mix of emotions. We had to deal with a series of setbacks that compromised our race and with all this the classification is not the one we were aiming for. I know we have the conditions to do better, but these situations are part of the races. In spite of everything I want to congratulate all the members of my team because they were awesome”, said the Portuguese driver at the end of this rally.

Elisabete Jacinto rises in the stage classification

The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto reached the sixth place among the trucks in the seventh and penultimate stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, which took place today between Boudnib and Matarka, having improved 10 positions compared to yesterday’s special. In this journey, composed by 410 timed kilometers, the Portuguese spent 5h11m55s just 17 minutes more than the Czech Ales Loprais, the winner of today’s stage among the T4 and that continues to lead the overall classification of the class, and only seven cars were faster to complete the selective sector than the Bio-Ritmo® team.

The trio composed by Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho managed to fulfill the whole special without problems to register and with a good rhythm, although they had some impediments in the progression in the stone tracks due to the lack of shock absorbers. Missing only one day until the end of this great African rally the Portuguese keep the seventh place in the classification of trucks.

Elisabete Jacinto revealed that the day was a positive: “The stage went very well. The special had pretty good terrain and so we managed to go well. As we no longer have shock absorbers it becomes more difficult to drive quickly. But as the course was favorable we printed a good pace and we never got lost, although it was a day with a difficult navigation. We still had time to help a team that had the car rolled over. We gave a little push and managed to put the car on all four wheels. The rally is coming to an end and the truth is that I wanted to do better, but we did our best and what was possible” said the driver.

Tomorrow will be disputed, between Tendrara and Oujda, the eighth and final stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge 2018. Consisting of 220 timed kilometers, this journey, although shorter, requires full concentration and perfect navigation. Maintaining focus is the key because the tracks will be fast and hard to find. At the end of the day a great party awaits competitors at the bivouac.

Elisabete Jacinto maintains overall position

Elisabete Jacinto completed today the sixth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, one of the most demanding days of the entire rally where were completed 306 timed kilometers in a route that included another passage through the majestic dunes of Erg Chebbi and another one in the Erg Znaigui.

The journey held between Merzouga and Boudnib was not easy for the Bio-Ritmo® team, who, after having made 30 kilometer in the dunes, had a mechanical problem with the shock absorber support, which forced them to stop an hour to resolve the situation. Nevertheless the Portuguese finished the special in the 16th place among the T4, a result that allows them to maintain the seventh position of the overall classification of trucks.

Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho have completed another stage at the Morocco Desert Challenge and are now two days away from completing another rally:today’s special wasn’t easy. We had to run about 30km in the Erg Chebbi, wheich was a very complicated course that gave us a lot of work, but we were able to pass it without any problems. Soon after we found another section of dunes that we also surpassed well. Unfortunately we had a problem with the support of the shock absorbers and we had to stop to solve the situation which delayed us a lot. With all this we lost almost an hour. However, we managed to finish another stage and tomorrow we set off with the aim of regaining positions, said the Portuguese driver on arrival at the bivouac.

The penultimate stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge will be held tomorrow between Boudnib and Matarka. It will be disputed 410 timed kilometers in this seventh special that follows north by the plains of Hamada and the plateau of Rekkam. After the sandy tracks of southern Morocco, in the north the riders will find deserted valleys, stone and mountain paths but the landscapes remain fabulous.

Elisabete Jacinto continues to recover positions

The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto finished the fifth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, which took place today between Fezzou and Merzouga, in the eighth place among the trucks. The Bio-Ritmo® team took 5h11m01s to complete the 275 timed kilometers that composed this difficult journey that included the crossing of Erg Ouzina and Chebbi. In two days the Portuguese managed to recover nine places in the general ranking and now ascended two positions occupying the seventh position of the general classification of their class where 17 teams are currently competing.

Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho completed the stage without registering any problems, just 31 minutes from the Czech Ales Loprais who leads the overall classification of the T4 and which was today the third fastest truck in the race.

In spite of the difficulties imposed by the selective sector, Elisabete Jacinto was able to overcome all the obstacles and once again she proves the consistency of her progress: “the stage went well but it was very arduous and tiring. We didn’t have great misfortunes because we did everything very calmly, however, the sand passes are always complex. In the Erg Ouzina, although the layout didn’t present great difficulties, we caught a big scare. We were leaving a very high dune and the truck made an incredible flight. We were very lucky to have stopped with all four wheels on the ground because at one point I even thought I was going to overturn. But it was the Erg Chebbi’s pass that gave us more headaches. It was particularly difficult because we entered the dunes at noon and we couldn’t see anything of the terrain. We chose to walk calmly because we didn’t want to make bad choices and fortunately all went well, said Elisabete Jacinto.

Tomorrow will be completed the sixth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge. It will be the last day in the dunes, but definitely one of the most complicated journeys of the whole rally. It will be held 306 kilometers to the chronometer starting with the crossing of the highest dunes of Erg Chebbi, soon followed by another section of dunes in Erg Znaigui. From here the landscape changes and until the end of the special the riders will find a mixture of sandy oueds as well as fast and technical rails.

Elisabete Jacinto returns to the trucks’ top ten

The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto reached today, at the end of the fourth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, the seventh place among the trucks on a day when competitors crossed once again the Erg Chegaga dunes. The special allowed the team Bio-Ritmo® to win 15 places, compared to the stage of the previous day, and to increase again in the overall classification of the T4. With this result the Portuguese return to the top positions of the trucks occupying the ninth place of its class.

Today’s journey, which included 310 time kilometers held between the Erg Lihoudi and Fezzou, although complex was positive for the Bio-Ritmo® team who, after the setbacks recorded in yesterday’s stage, managed to recover by taking a course without problems and having completed the selective sector in 5h48me33s only 20 minutes behind the third classified of the T4.

For Elisabete Jacinto this special allowed the team to continue the consistent progress on the race: “today all went well. We passed the dunes without any problems. We had a minor problem on the crest of a dune, but we were able to solve the situation very quickly. We had to pass the dunes quite calmly, because due to the configurations of our truck I’m not able to be fast in the sand. But we did everything gently and it went pretty well. After the sand we were able to print a good rhythm and we managed to climb places in the classification of the trucks which makes us satisfied”, revealed the Portuguese pilot.

Tomorrow will be the fifth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge which connects Fezzou to Merzouga and will have a distance of 275 timed kilometers. It is going to be a special with a little bit of everything: between Fezzou and Marabout the competitors will find sand plains, then the MHarech cliff, where the rocky paths predominate, the dunes of Ouzina, which will have many sandy trails and, finally, a the first crossing of the Erg Chebbi.

Bedlock system delays Elisabete Jacinto’s progress

Elisabete Jacinto completed today the third stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, a difficult day in the Erg Chegaga dunes that proved to be devastating for the Bio-Ritmo® team. In this special, composed of 335 timed kilometers that began in Touzounine and finished in the Erg Lihoudi, the Portuguese rolled among the first five trucks. However, at the crossing of a large section of sand one of the MAN TGS’s tires left the rim which caused them to lose a lot of time trying to solve the situation and finished the stage in the 22nd place of the truck classification.

The team formed by Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho managed to complete the stage after spending several hours in the desert: “today was a very difficult day. We tried to run fast but we had problems with the shock absorbers. However, our major problem was the dunes. One of our bedlocks, the system we use that lets us ride with lower tire pressures so that they don’t get out of the rim, failed when we were crossing a sand barrier, and the tire came out of the rim and we got stuck. It took us a long time to sort things out and to get out of there. The dunes are always very treacherous and without the right material it is difficult to do better. After that we only had minor difficulties in a place where it is always very complicated to navigate but we managed to run with a good pace. However we lost too much time in the dunes. This makes us frustrated because we were doing a good race”, said the Portuguese driver who is in the 16th place in the overall classification of her class.

The fourth stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge will be quite varied. In the menu of the day there are 310 kilometers completed at the chronometer between the” Dunes of the Jews” and Fezzou on a day where competitors will once again face the Erg Chegaga dunes. The sandy oued of Mhamid, the ascent of a trail of a volcano and fast and wide tracks will also be part of this fourth special.

Elisabete Jacinto recovers 22 places and approaches the podium

The driver Elisabete Jacinto reached, at the end of the second stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge, the fourth place among the trucks and made a brilliant recovery of 22 positions in the ranking, after the setback suffered in the prologue that left her in the last places among the T4.

The Bio-Ritmo® team showed its consistency and reliability by setting a fast rhythm that allowed getting closer to the goal of reaching a place on the podium of the trucks. Note that the Portuguese were the 14th fastest team on today’s stage, in a total of 90 cars, buggys and trucks participating in this race.

In the selective sector that led the competitors to Touzounine, Elisabete Jacinto performed the course in an exemplary and faultless manner, despite having had the demanding task of overtaking the slower competitors. The Portuguese trio is now in seventh place in the general classification of trucks: “today we can say with certainty that it was the day we beat our record of overtaking. It was a difficult job, because we got a lot of dust, but we managed to do a very good and smooth stage. The special was really complicated. The hardness of the route and the extension of the selective sector made life very difficult for us. We spent seven hours driving what is truly tiring. Despite the obstacles, we had no difficulty with the navigation and we always came on the right track with a good pace. We did a good job and we are happy with our position”, said the Portuguese driver on arrival at the camp.

The third stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge takes the caravan through one of the legendary Dakar rally tracks and will cross the largest military zone in southern Morocco. The special, which begins in Touzounine, will have 335 kilometers completed to the chronometer and will be held through fantastic desert landscapes. After crossing the dry lake Iriki, competitors will face the complex dunes of Chegaga and after passing a series of sandy and winding slopes will reach the camp that will be installed in Erg Lihoudi, also known as “the dunes of the Jews”.

Mud delayed Elisabete Jacinto

Elisabete Jacinto completed today the prologue of the 10th edition of the Morocco Desert Challenge, which was composed of a selective sector of 77 kilometers completed along the Plage Blanche in Morocco. The Bio-Ritmo® team, despite having started in a positive way this great African competition, suffered a setback when crossing a muddy  oued that ended up tossing the Portuguese to the 25th position among the trucks.

Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho saw their MAN TGS get stuck in the mud and had to wait a long time for help, which delayed them a lot. Despite the setback Elisabete Jacinto is not discouraged: “I was doing an excellent stage. We were the third truck to leave to the prologue and we were able to maintain a good rhythm and always on the right track. At a certain point, when we were crossing a muddy oued, the truck jumped up, and as the wheels settled on the ground, they got completely buried on the mud. We tried to get out of there, but the mud was so dense that it wasn’t possible to leave without help. So we decided to call the balai truck. However, a competitor with a MAN KAT 6×6 similar to ours pulled us and managed to get us out. After that we ran in a good pace. Despite the setback we don’t fade. Tomorrow we have to do a careful progression, because we are going to leave after many slower competitors, but we believe we will be able to achieve good results”, said Elisabete Jacinto.

The second stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge will lead competitors to Touzounine. This special, composed by 470 timed kilometers, will pass in the bed of the river Draa and will be very varied in terms of routes. On this second day the pilots will have to face sandy oueds, mountains, with many stone rails, and dry lakes.

The Morocco Desert Challenge has begun

The driver Elisabete Jacinto and the team Bio-Ritmo® held today in Agadir, Morocco, the administrative and technical checks of the Morocco Desert Challenge rally. On this day dedicated to the analysis of the documentation of the teams and the technical compliance of the vehicles, the Portuguese also received their race number. In this edition, they will leave for the competition with the number 503 being, therefore, the third truck on the prologue.

The trio formed by Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho, who participates at the commands of a MAN TGS and has as main objective to conquer a podium place among the trucks performed, in a relaxed atmosphere, all the necessary controls and still had the opportunity to exchange experiences with the members of the teams present in the rally.

This is a day when there is some bustle. We have schedules to accomplish and we cannot be distracted. We hardly have time to take a deep breath when all this administrative part is finished, as we have to follow to the briefing where are given a series of indications that must be taken into account. We like to look at the trucks of our opponents and guess their abilities … to greet everyone but we haven’t got the time to do everything … it is amazing to see the number of people who have gathered this year and all these vehicles ready to race!” said Elisabete Jacinto.

The first stage of the Morocco Desert Challenge begins tomorrow at the legendary Plage Blanche, which is 250 kilometers from Agadir. There will be a prologue with 77 timed kilometers that will be a good adaptation to the rhythm of the race and will serve to establish the order of departure for the second journey of this race.