My first big rally in Africa on a motorcycle was the January 1998 Paris-Dakar, a great landmark in the history of my existence. By truck I started in 2003 and time has gone by, filled with loads of stories and adventures.
This book, “100 Imagens Algumas histórias” comes forth to commemorate those racing years, characterized by permanently following a dream: reaching the top classification in the Truck class.
With this second “100 images” we want to share moments lived by the team during the last five years, some of them registered by the Portuguese photographer Jorge Cunha.
This book is available in Bertrand and FNAC bookstores and all the profits of its sale will revert in favor of the Association Humanities, Private Institution of Social Solidarity that supports young mothers at risk.
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.