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.
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.