As usual, the season opened with entering the Africa Eco Race Rally, which the team prepared with commitment and enthusiasm, expecting to be able to roll with a more powerful engine, now enhanced to 830hp. However, at the second round of the rally, the team was forced to stop because the MAN TGS gave signs of fire. A serious engine failure was noticed, and that implied to quit.
In April the team entered the Morocco Desert Challenge, where, besides winning the first and sixth rounds in the Truck Class, it finished in third place, which is remarkable, bearing in mind there were seventeen teams taking part.
In October the Oilibya du Maroc Rally, which is part of the World Cup, took place for the tenth time, and the team entered it. To commemorate the anniversary, the organization decided to honor some drivers with a trophy recognizing their assiduity and the sports results obtained during the 10 years. Elisabete Jacinto was one of the drivers receiving the homage. At the first round, the team finished in second place in the Truck Class, and in fourth in the Open Classification. However, at the third round, the Truck tumbled on the Erg Chegaga dunes. The organization decided not to allow the sweeping truck to go to the place, what forced the team to remain three days and two nights in the desert, waiting for the rescue team employed by the Bio-Ritmo® team. Elisabete returned home very well impressed with the support given by Morocco, which sent a rescue team to evacuate one of the team members, who suffered a strong kidney pain during the second night. It was to be expected that such kind of support would have been given by the organization, but that was not the case.
As it has become a habit, the season began with the biggest rally, the Africa Eco Race, for which the team set out with great enthusiasm. However, the suspension shock absorbers did not correspond to the expected quality, and the team was forced to moderate the pace, so as to preserve the mechanics of the truck. Due to health problems, one member of the team had to be evacuated, and that upset everything enormously. Although it had to proceed with a reduced number of members, the team kept its characteristic determination, and it ended in third place in the Truck class.
In April it entered the Libyan Rally for the first time: it was the seventh edition of that Rally, but it took place in Morocco. The team is first in the third round general classification and leads the next round for some time. However, when crossing Erg Chegaga, the truck tumbles over one of the dunes. The damages were such that the team chose not to go on.
The second part of the year was devoted to changing the image of the team, since the Oleoban brand, present from 2009 onwards, gave its place to the Bio-Ritmo brand, which corresponds to a food supply from Medinfar lab designed to diminish physical and mental fatigue, as well as to boost energy levels in situations of extreme weariness.
To prepare for the next season, the TGS engine undergoes a boost in power, setting off for the next Africa Race with 830hp.
In March, Elisabete was once again present at Aïcha des Gazelles Rally, as a member of the Belgian VW team, with France Clèves as navigator. They finished fifth in the Expert class, which is the most difficult in that rally.
The year 2015 was not the best for Elisabete Jacinto’s team, since several mechanical problems were encountered all through the season. At the Africa Race she wins the second round and the feat is not repeated at the ninth only because the protective cover was not properly placed on the intake tube, which caused deficient air entrance and ultimately the intake tube collapse. The finishing line was already in sight when the Kamaz team overtook her. At the fourth round, the shock absorber stay broke, and the team had to veer from the course, which entailed a penalty.
For the Moroccan rally, which took place in October, the turbo was changed at the eve of the race, as a precaution, but it broke unexpectedly, forcing the team not to finish the round and to suffer a penalty.
Technically, this year the team changed the TGS cabin, this one having now a security arch, according to new FIA rules. A steering column adequate for competition was acquired, and there was a new attempt at inserting steering shock absorbers.
This year Elisabete teamed with France Clèves to take part once again in the Aïcha des Gazelles Rally, from Amarok, as a member of the VW team. A mistake when marking the last point in the chart caused the team to fall to sixth place.
Elisabete enters the Telefónica Dakar Rally driving a truck for the first time, a Mercedes 1936, with the Belgian Charly Gotlib as navigator and the Spaniard David Martin as mechanic.
Having had little experience driving trucks and with one which did not have much power, besides being loaded with material for assistance to other teams, Elisabete turned out to be unable to overcome all dunes in time.
Having driven without sleeping for three days in a row, she leaves the competition and goes to the T5 category (Assistance Vehicle Category).
Being convinced that she can do better, Elisabete spends the whole season preparing her next entry driving a truck.
This same year, by invitation from Alberto Gonçalves, she takes part in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.
It is a competition for women only, where navigation is paramount, and Elisabete Jacinto and Sofia Carvalhosa win the SUV category with a Renault Kangoo.
In 2002, since it was impossible to go back to the Paris Dakar Rally for financial reasons, Elisabete decided to end her motorcycle running career and to start driving cross country trucks.
With the purpose of becoming adept at four-wheel driving, she continues to enter Copa Jimny by Cimpomotor invitation.
She takes part in two World Cup rallies having in mind the possibility of entering the Paris Dakar rally driving a rented car – a Toyota Land Cruizer.
Sónia Catarino was her navigator, except at Baja Portalegre, in which Elisabete took part with Rui Porêlo.
3 Hours CC Accenture
Lameirinho/Serras do Norte CC Rally
Esporão Vindimas CC Rally
Baja Sagres Portalegre
Cross Country Cars World Cup
Baja de Aragón
This same year she receives at Baja Portalegre an invitation by Team Tibau to drive a truck at the Paris Dakar Rally.
The fact that four days of competition had been cancelled in the 2000 Dakar-Cairo rally made some people doubt whether Elisabete would have been able to finish it if it had consisted in what had been first planned.
Therefore, Elisabete insisted on taking part in the 2001 Rallye Paris-Dakar, forming a team with Pedro Machado, and this was the toughest competition she entered, with all her physical and psychological resistance put to the test.
At the border between Morocco and Mauritania her assistance car passes over a mine which explodes and she is left alone to do all the assistance tasks by herself.
In spite of the bad conditions with which she had to cope in this competition, she reaches the end with a sense of contentment because she had finally attained her aim: to finish the toughest rally in the world – the Paris-Dakar.
Elisabete goes on competing for the World Cup. She is 13th, and first among women.
Cross-Country World Cup
Rallye Optic Tunisie (Tunisia)
Montes de Cuenca Rally (Spain)
Baja de Aragón (Spain)
Master Rallye (Russia and Turkey)
UAE Desert Challenge (Dubai)
Cimpomotor invited Elisabete to take part in Copa Jimny during the year, and this was a way to begin driving a 4×4. Her co-pilot was Teresa Correia.
She also entered Baja Esporão Vindimas (Competition from the Auto Cross-country National Championship) driving a Jimny too, where she had TV presenter Laura Santos as navigator.
3 Hours CC Compact
Baja Telecel 1000
Vodafone 24 Hours CC
This year Elisabete Jacinto obtains a great triumph in her career when she finishes the Dakar-Cairo rally with her KTM Rallye and forming a team with another driver, Mário Brás.
She not only finishes the rally, she also wins the Ladies’ Cup, in a competition considered by many people as the toughest in the whole world. Everybody recognizes her merit.
This is another year in which she enters the World Cup competitions, now with a KTM Rallye 660, and she finishes in the 25th place, but first among women.
Cross-Country World Cup
Rallye Optic Tunisie (Tunisia)
Master Rallye (Several Eastern Europe and Western Asia countries)
UAE Desert Challenge (Dubai)
This year she has her first experience driving a Cross-Country car in Baja TT Optiroc with TV presenter Cecília Carmo as co-pilot.
She did not finish the competition due to mechanical problems.
Elisabete enters the Paris-Dakar Rally for the second time with a truck – a Renault Kerax 4×4.
When she finished this rally (in 26th place) she became one of the first women in the World to have managed to do so.
Her success motivates her to take part in other World Cup competitions. One of these is the Rallye Optic Tunisie, and she becomes the first woman in the World to win a special streak driving a truck.
She finishes this rally as runner-up in the truck category.
In spite of the success, Elisabete and Renault Trucks decide to cut the sports season short in order to make mechanical improvements in the truck, particularly at suspensions and engine levels.
Following an invitation by Alberto Gonçalves, she enters Rallye Aicha des Gazelles for the second time with Sofia Carvalhosa in a Renault Kangoo.
Elisabete’s aim was to win in the SUV category, but a penalty wrongly imposed by the organization classifies her as runner-up.
As in the previous season, Elisabete Jacinto takes part in competitions with the MAN TGS truck, and the navigator is José Marques, and the mechanic, Marco Cochinho.
The season began with the Africa Eco Race Rally, where there were rather competitive trucks. The team got third place among trucks and was seventh in the Car/Truck joint classification.
Once again, they entered Baja de Aragón, where they managed to be second in the truck category, and they finished the season with a brilliant first place among several prototype trucks in the Oilibya du Maroc Rally.
During the season there were training sessions in Morocco, bearing in mind the continuous technical improvement of the MAN TGS.
Elisabete also took part in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, driving an Amarock, once again in the VW France Team, and having the French woman Valérie Dot as navigator.
They led the competition from the first day but, when there were only thirty kilometers to the finishing line, a mechanical problem made them lose places, and they were eleventh.
Having finished the Africa Eco Race with an excellent second place among trucks and fourth in the Car/Truck classification, the team felt the need to technically improve the truck.
Therefore, the performance of the engine was enhanced, the tanks were raised to better allow going over the crests of dunes, a cabin support system was created, and the exit angle and suspensions were improved.
The truck also changed in appearance, with the new logo of the Oleoban brand.
Instead of the usual Tunisian rally (which did not take place this year), the team entered the Baja de Aragón and is second among trucks and seventh in the Car/Truck general classification. There followed the Moroccan rally, where once again they had to face really competitive trucks, and they finished in third place.
The year 2012 also included Elisabete taking part in the main navigation rally in the world, the Aϊcha des Gazelles Rally. She was invited to enter the Volkswagen team, which had 10 Pick-up Amarock in it. She teamed with Sofia Carvalhosa and was third in the Car/Truck classification.
It was a good sports year for the whole team!