The 11th edition of the Africa Eco Race fulfilled today its day of rest in Dakhla, in the south of Morocco. At a time when five of the 12 stages of this great African marathon have already taken place, the Bio-Ritmo® team progresses for the second week of the rally, which takes place mainly in Mauritania, in 1st place among the trucks and in the 7th place in the joint auto / truck standings. Having enjoyed this day near the beach, the Portuguese took the break to review the mechanics of the MAN TGS of competition and to adjust the strategies for the days that follow.
Elisabete Jacinto, who is preparing to compete tomorrow in the Mauritanian tracks where the sand paths predominate, makes a positive evaluation of the first week of the race: “the stages in Morocco are always very difficult and tiring because the courses are very hard. We had some problems, but nothing that disturbed us much or that made us waste too much time. We are pleased with the results achieved, particularly because we have worked hard to get ahead of these very competitive trucks. For the next few days we don’t know what to expect because Mauritania is always a surprise. But we will do our best and hope that everything goes well“, said the Portuguese driver.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho stood out in this first week of the race by fighting hard for the first place with their most direct opponents, the Belgian Igor Bouwens and the Czech Tomas Tomecek – who has won for three times this competition. From the beginning, the Portuguese were very reliable by reaching three places in the first stages of the Africa Race which allowed them to rise to the top of the category after three days. But it was on the fifth stage that they most stood out by being the fastest among the trucks. The Portuguese trio showed all their competitiveness by producing a fast and efficient progression that allowed them to ensure, at the end of a week of competition, the 1st place among the trucks and the 7th position of the overall classification.
Behind the Bio-Ritmo® team, at 1h40m is Noel Essers from Belgium and in third is his compatriot Igor Bouwens, who has a difference of 2h08m for the Portuguese. Outside the equation is Czech Tomas Tomecek who suffered in the fifth stage a penalty of more than 10 hours.
After the rest day, tomorrow will be held the sixth stage of the Africa Race between Dakhla and Chami. The day starts very early because it will be necessary to fulfill the customs formalities to cross the border to Mauritania during the morning. The special will count with 176 timed kilometers and the arrival at the camp in the middle of the afternoon will allow the assistance teams to check the vehicles before the marathon journey.
The driver Elisabete Jacinto won today the fifth stage of the Africa Race 2019, in the truck competition, and regained the leadership of her category. The Bio-Ritmo® team held the 419.37-kilometer special stage, fulfilled between Fort Chacal and Wad Assag, in 3h55m56s finishing the selective sector with a 14m20 lead for the second truck, the Belgian Igor Bouwens, and spending only 10m06s more than the winner of the day of the auto / truck classification, the Russian Sergey Kuprianov.
The special didn’t start well for the Portuguese who, at the start of the course, had to stop because of a mechanical problem. But they quickly solved the situation and managed to beat all their opponents and finished the stage in the 7th place overall. Elisabete Jacinto is again the leader of the T4 class leaving the second classified of the category, the Belgian Noel Essers, 1h40m away. The Portuguese ascended to the 7th position of the overall classification with cars.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho performed once again a great stage and proceed to Mauritania at the top of the race: “Today the day didn’t start well because we had to stop about two kilometers after we started the special. We had a mechanical problem, and we stood there for about eight minutes to solve the problem. But, once we resolved the situation, we have done our best to recover positions. This stage was complicated in terms of navigation because it was very wide, had few references on the horizon to guide us, there were several parallel tracks and so it was very easy to make mistakes. But, Zé didn’t miss a single note and we were able to always follow the right track with a good pace and, although we started poorly, we finished well“, said the Portuguese driver.
Tomorrow will be the rest day of the Africa Eco Race which is fulfilled, once again, in Dakhla. For the fifth consecutive year, the camp will be installed on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean where the sun and warm temperatures will allow a true day of rest for both pilots and machines that will thus recover the energies for the second week of race which will be fulfilled mostly in Mauritania.
Elisabete Jacinto concluded today the fourth special of the 11th edition of the Africa Eco Race in which a flat tire in the MAN TGS delayed the pilot who ended up giving in the first place among the trucks, a position that she reached in yesterday’s step. Despite the setback, the portuguese remains in the fight for the leadership of the category having a small difference of 7m24s to the current leader, the Czech Tomas Tomeck. The Bio-Ritmo® team completed the fourth day of this African marathon, composed of a difficult and long route of 492.75 kilometers held between Oued Draa and Fort Chacal in 5h48m15s and was ranked 3rd among the trucks.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho were able to accomplish the selective sector without any difficulties, and only one flat tire blocked their progress: “the special was beautiful and very interesting in terms of driving. But it was not easy to fulfil because the courses were winding and had a lot of stone. So, we had to move carefully so we didn’t have any problems. Despite this, we were able to ride well at a good pace, but the bad tracks degraded the tires a lot and at one point we had a flat tire and we had to stop some time to change it which delayed us a lot. Anyway, we have had some happy days because the stages have been going well and we are pleased with the good results“ revealed the Portuguese who was 12th in the auto / truck classification.
The competition for the T4 has been very lively in which the Portuguese trio has occupied a prominent position by enthusiastically discussing the first place in the category against the Belgian Igor Bouwens, the winner of the day among the trucks, and the Czech Tomas Tomecek. Having been disputed four stages of the Africa Race 2019 the Portuguese now assume the 2nd place of the overall classification of the T4 and the 8th position of the joint classification auto / truck.
Tomorrow will be accomplished the fifth stage of the Africa Eco Race that is held between Fort Chacal and Dakhla and will have a total of 638 kilometers. This will be the last stage completed on Moroccan soil and has a very fast selective sector but complex from the point of view of navigation. It will be a very pleasant way to conclude this first week of race and get to the well-deserved rest day that will be fulfilled along the Atlantic Ocean in Dakhla.
The driver Elisabete Jacinto rose today to the 1st place in the truck category by having conquered, in the third stage of the Africa Eco Race 2019 held between Agdal and Assa, the second position among the T4 a result that allows her to ascend to 6th place of the general auto/truck table. The Bio-Ritmo® team spent 4h46m45s to complete the selective sector and finished in the 7th position of the joint classification the 400.71 timed kilometers that composed this day.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho starred, in this stage, alongside the Czech Tom Tomas Tomecek and the Belgian Igor Bouwens, a fierce battle for the top spot in the T4 classification. However, it was the IVECO of the Belgian team that ended up winning the today’s special with a minimum advantage of 1m30s over the Portuguese trio. Having reached for the third consecutive time the second place in three stages already disputed, the Portuguese have maintained the consistency of the results showing the reliability of the project and of the MAN TGS of competition.
Completed on a hard and winding track, the course of this third stage was not enough to stop the Portuguese from successfully completing another step of this great African marathon: “Today was a good day. The track was fast, but rather hard because there were many areas with bumps and deep ditches where we had to slow down so we didn’t have any problems. However, we set a good pace and we were able to move fast. Without a doubt it was another good stage and so we are happy with the results achieved in this race“, said Elisabete Jacinto.
The fourth stage of the Africa Race will be accomplished between the Oued Draa and Fort Chacal along a 492-kilometer selective sector. In this stage the caravan will be driven to the south of Morocco which will have different landscapes. The fast tracks will dominate the day.
The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto won today another second place in the Africa Eco Race 2019. In the special that linked La Momie to Foum Zguid, which was composed by 431,22 timed kilometers, the team Bio-Ritmo® spent 6h29m52s to complete the route of this second day of race that already included the passage of sand tracks and the crossing of dunes.
The formation composed by Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho kept the first place in the classification of the trucks during most of the scratch, but at the crossing of a dune, the MAN TGS of the Bio-Ritmo® team got stuck and the Portuguese had to dig to remove the truck from the sand, making them waste a lot of time. With this result, the Portuguese trio maintains the second place in the T4 category and in the joint auto/truck classification comes in 9th place just behind the Czech Tomas Tomecek, who is currently the leader of the truck class.
For Elisabete Jacinto the stage was tough, but the team managed to overcome the setbacks and ended the day with another positive classification: “this stage wasn’t easy because the ground was quite bad because of the stones, and it was very winding. But despite everything, we managed to make an excellent race. We only had a difficulty when at a certain point, crossing a dune, we got stuck and we had to dig what made us lose some time. However, the special went very well and, beyond this mishap, we had no other situation to report“, said the Portuguese driver.
Tomorrow will be accomplished the third stage of the Africa Eco Race that will be held between Agdal and Assa and will count with a total of 400 timed kilometers. The departure will be made directly from the camp. On this day participants will have to face mountain passes, dry valleys and numerous military stations among the relentless Moroccan tracks.