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The driver Elisabete Jacinto and the team Bio-Ritmo® rose today to the podium of trucks of the Africa Eco Race 2019 to receive the prize of the first place in the category. It was a historic day for international motorsport because it is the first time a woman wins a long off-road marathon at the wheel of a truck. The German Jutta Kleinshmidt was a pioneer among the cars, winning in 2001 the Paris Dakar at the controls of a Mitsubishi. Now Elisabete Jacinto becomes a precursor among trucks.
The Portuguese trio added to its résumé the 6th podium reached in this great competition, in 10 participations. Elisabete Jacinto had, for several years, the objective of winning the Africa Eco Race since in her career she already had triumphs in important international races such as the Rally of Morocco or the Rally of Tunisia. In 2000, while still competing in motorcycle, she also won the Ladies Cup in the Dakar Cairo rally, a fact that she would repeat in 2001.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho performed in an exemplary manner all this rally by maintaining a solid and consistent pace that allowed them to appear in the from the start of the race in the front places. At the entrance of Mauritania, where the greatest difficulties were expected, the Portuguese were in first place and continued there until the end of the race. In this edition of the Africa Race, the Bio-Ritmo® team also achieves its best result ever in the joint classification with the cars, conquering the fifth place overall.
In today’s stage the Portuguese were the 4th fastest truck to fulfill the 22 timed kilometers of the mythical special accomplished on the shores of Lake Rose in Dakar: “when we started the stage we made a good start and we were well classified. But the Ginaf quickly passed us and we finished in fourth in the category. However, as always, it was a very happy stage with everybody celebrating the fact that they arrived at the finish line. We had lots of Portuguese here on arrival who made us an immense party with champagne. We are very happy with what we did in this race. We received a huge and heavy trophy and we are very pride. It’s been 16 years of work to get to this day. All this is the result of a lot of work and dedication and for that the victory tastes even better“, said Elisabete Jacinto at the end of this great adventure.
Thus, ended the 11th edition of the Africa Eco Race with the fantastic stage of consecration to be disputed around the Lake Rose in Dakar. In the category of cars, this Africa Eco Race crowned Jean Pierre Strugo with the first place in the overall standings and in the bikes, Alessandro Botturi was the big winner.
Elisabete Jacinto achieved for the first time in her sport career the victory in the truck category of the Africa Eco Race by finishing today’s special in the 2nd position of the class with a short difference of 1m49s of the first place of the T4, which was occupied by the Czech Tomas Tomecek. The Bio-Ritmo® team spent 2h02m09s on the eleventh stage of the competition, that was held between Akjout and Fimlit in Mauritania and had a total of 217.69 kilometers.
The Portuguese trio finished this short stage, the last one that integrates the classification table since the journey of Lac Rose no longer enters the final accounts, in the 7th place of the joint classification auto / truck, result that allows it to hold the 5th position of the general table. Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho reached the top place of their category at the end of the fifth stage of this great African marathon, a position they were able to keep firmly until the end of the race. In the second place of the T4 was the Belgian Noel Essers with a difference of 2h42m for the Portuguese.
Elisabete Jacinto has fulfilled in a very positive way this stage of the Africa Race 2019 and rises, thus, to the highest place of the podium of the rally among the trucks: “today went well. Although we still made some dune crossings, in the first few kilometers, the special was short and very fast. We didn’t have problems to point and we were able to print a good rhythm. We reached the second place in this special, which is very positive, and we are truly happy with our performance in this Africa Race 2019“ said the Portuguese driver on arrival in Saint Louis in Senegal.
Tomorrow will be the 12th and final stage of the Africa Eco Race. The 22 timed kilometers fulfilled around the shores of the Lake Rose in Dakar won’t count for the final classification. However, this is always the most awaited special of the whole rally, not only for the mysticism that surrounds it, but also for marking the end of another edition of this great African marathon.
Elisabete Jacinto maintains the leadership of the trucks at the Africa Eco Race 2019 after being fulfilled today the tenth special of this great African marathon, which was completed along the 471.58 timed kilometers held between Ain Attaya and Akjout, in Mauritania. In the overall standings, the Portuguese trio climbed a position and occupy the 5th place in the joint table with the cars and is now at one stage from winning for the first time in the Africa Eco Race.
The Bio-Ritmo® team spent 7h24m33s in the long and difficult 10th stage of this competition, where the sand and the crossing of dunes were predominant, and finished in the 4th place in the category, only 15 minutes away from Tomas Tomecek the winner of today’s stage among the T4. The last special of the rally that still integrates the classification will be disputed tomorrow in Mauritania where several difficulties are expected. However, the Portuguese are motivated and confident because the second place of the trucks, that belongs to the Belgian Noel Essers, remains with a disadvantage of 2 hours for the Portuguese formation.
Elisabete Jacinto, despite the difficulties that the selective sector presented, achieved another good result: “today’s stage was very long and difficult because the course had many dunes that were complicated to transpose. We made all the dunes well and only lost some time in a place where the sand was very soft. We got stuck and we had to dig. Our biggest problem was when we were going down a dune and hit a very large camel grass. The truck got stuck and we had to ask the Iveco crew to help us. It was a difficult journey, but in the end, we got a good classification“ said the driver who finished the special in the 9th position of the joint classification.
It is recalled that Elisabete Jacinto has in her résumé several triumphs between the T4 in the most diverse African races (Rally of Morocco and Rally of Tunisia), but in this long off-road marathon, one of the biggest of the world, her best classification was the 2nd place of the class that she achieved in two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012.
The 11th stage of the Africa Eco Race 2019 will be accomplished tomorrow. As usual, this last Mauritanian special will be relatively short to don’t waste time and allow everyone to join the St. Louis camp at sundown. With 217.69 timed kilometers this day will be accomplished mostly on sandy trails and dunes.
Elisabete Jacinto remains unstoppable at the Africa Eco Race 2019. In the ninth stage of this great African marathon, which took place today around Amojdar in Mauritania, the Portuguese reinforced the leadership among the trucks, widening the advantage that she has for the 2nd place, by having conquered the third place in her category. The Bio-Ritmo® team completed the special composed by 374.37-kilometer in 5h14m57s with a difference of only three minutes for the Czech Tomas Tomecek, who finished second among the T4. In the overall classification with cars, the Portuguese were in 8th place.
At a time when only are missing two legs to dispute, as the journey of the Lac Rose doesn’t enter at the final classification, the Portuguese trio remains firm in the top position of the truck category, having now extended the gap to the second place occupied by the Belgian Noel Essers, who now has a disadvantage of 2h12m for the Portuguese. In terms of the joint classification the Portuguese team retains the 6th place.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho are getting closer to obtain a victory in the eleventh edition of the Africa Eco Race: “today the special was particularly hard. We did more than 100 kilometers in dunes, which was difficult. We were capable of pass them well, but at some more complicated points we got stuck and lost some time. The navigation was also very complicated. But overall the stage went relatively well because, where we could, we went very fast and had no mechanical problems. We are happy because there are only two stages left to finish the race and the results are excellent“, revealed the Portuguese driver, naturally satisfied with her classification.
Tomorrow will be the 10th stage of the Africa Race. According to René Metge, in 2018 this same day was the most difficult of all since the creation of this competition. The special will be fulfilled between Amojar a Akjout and will count on a selective sector of 471,58 kilometers. On the arrival at the camp, which will be installed near the town of Akjoujt, the participants of this edition of the Africa Race will deliver several donations to the municipality.
Elisabete Jacinto conquered today the second position of the trucks at the end of the eighth stage of the Africa Eco Race 2019, a result that allows her to remain in the command of her category. The Bio-Ritmo® team completed the 445,12-kilometer selective sector, held between Chami and Azougi, in 6h29m26s finishing behind the Belgian Noel Essers, the winner of the T4 special, which spent less 11 minutes than the Portuguese to complete the journey. Regarding the joint classification, the Portuguese formation was the 9th fastest to complete the course.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho presented a good progress throughout this selective sector, which was completely accomplished on sand tracks and dunes, and always remained in the front line of the classification among trucks. The trio continues to the ninth stage in the 1st place in the truck category with a 2-hour lead for Noel Essers, who is the second in the class, and remains in the 6th position of the joint classification.
For Elisabete Jacinto this special was particularly hard and tiring: “it was a difficult day. It was one of those demanding and exhausting steps. We made the first 100 kilometers always on soft sand and there was a lot of grass and so we had to walk slowly to get through. It was also a tricky special in terms of navigation. But we managed to finish well because now I can lower the tire pressure and the engine power allows me to move forward with greater ease. This type of stage is devastating, and I remember that at other times we got stuck and it was really tiring. But this time we didn’t stop, and we didn’t have to dig any time which make us very satisfied. It was, without doubt, another good journey“, said Elisabete Jacinto on the arrival at the camp.
This eighth special should have been the second part of a marathon stage that ended up being made unfeasible, by decision of the race director, due to delays in entering Mauritania.
The ninth stage of the Africa Eco-Race 2019 will be disputed tomorrow. Considered one of the most enjoyable stages of this 11th edition, competitors will have the opportunity to make the most of the breathtaking landscapes of the Mauritanian desert. This will be the second selective sector completed in circuit and has a total of 374.10 timed kilometers.
Elisabete Jacinto won today the seventh stage among the T4 class of the Africa Eco Race 2019, the first fulfilled in Mauritania, by being the fastest among the trucks to carry out the selective sector composed of 480.98 timed kilometers, held between Chami and Gare du Nord. The Bio-Ritmo® team spent 4h54m39s finishing the course of the day gaining another 8m30s to Belgian Igor Bouwens, who finished the race in second place in the category. With this result the Portuguese maintain the leadership among the trucks.
Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho completed the selective sector in most of the time in front of their class and finished the special in the 5th place of the table auto/truck, which allows them to rise to 6th of the joint general classification. After seven stages, behind the Portuguese team, in the second place of the trucks, follows the MAN of the Belgian Noel Essers with a difference of 2h10m. In the third place of the general is the IVECO of Belgian Igor Bouwens, 2h17m of the Portuguese trio.
For Elisabete Jacinto this was another excellent journey: “today was a good day. It was a fast stage, but with a very difficult navigation. The road-book had several inaccuracies and very extensive notes that made things more difficult. We still had the crossings of three dunes, however, we managed to pass well. We did the whole stage with a good rhythm, very fast, and we ended up well classified. We couldn’t be happier with the today’s result“, said the Portuguese on the arrival at the camp in Chami, Mauritania. Today the Bio-Ritmo® team will have the added difficulty of having to work on the mechanics of the MAN TGS of competition without the aid of their assistance, since it is the first part of a marathon day that ends tomorrow.
The eighth stage of the Africa Race 2019 will be completed the second part of the marathon stage, which will be composed of a 445 kilometers selective sector. It will be one more day fulfilled in fast and sandy tracks but having traveled hundreds of miles without any mechanical help, the competitors will have to handle carefully with the mechanics because the last third of the route will be accomplished in several complex dunes.
The race director of the Africa Eco Race decided to cancel today’s stage, the sixth round of the race and the first to be played in Mauritania, due to bad weather conditions that could have jeopardize the safety of the competitors.
The selective sector that today would link Dakhla, in Morocco, to Chami, in Mauritania, was composed by a special which had 176.57 of timed kilometers. However, the stage was canceled due to a strong storm that was felt in Dakhla and didn’t allow the organization’s helicopters to safely take flight. In this way, all the competitors followed to Chami by road and are now preparing to continue the race tomorrow. The team Bio-Ritmo®, having been disputed 5 stages, currently occupies the 1st position of the category truck and the 7th place of the joint classification auto / truck.
Elisabete Jacinto told what happened today: “we left Dakhla at 5:30 AM and made the entire trip towards Mauritania. We traveled about 380 km and at 10:00 AM in the morning we were at the departure point. Meanwhile, as we waited for the start of the stage, Jean-Louis Schlesser appeared that told us that it would be impossible to carry out the stage because there was a big storm in Dakhla and the helicopters couldn’t take flight and without them the race couldn’t proceed due to security issues. I confess that I was a little disappointed because the special was small and easy, and it would be the opportunity to prepare ourselves and see how the truck reacts to these tracks. But, at least, we had another day off and we will prepare for tomorrow“, explained the Portuguese.
The seventh stage of the Africa Race will be disputed tomorrow, around Chami. This will be the first of two selective sectors to be held in circuit and it will have an extension of 480 km. At the final of the stage the competitors won’t be able to count on assistance, so they will have to solve any problems in their machines by themselves. The challenge will be greater after a day that will be dominated by sand and dunes.
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.