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Africa Eco Race to start on January 5th and finish in Dakar on January 19th
Rally officials introduce new SSV Xtreme Race dedicated for SxS vehicles

Entries will open on Monday, April 15th for the 12th Africa Eco Race, the only event of its kind in Africa and the only truly Marathon event in the world to cross several countries. The 2020 event will start in southern Europe on the slightly later date of Sunday, January 5th and finish at Lac Rose in Senegal on Sunday, January 19th, 2020.
The new-look 2020 edition will leave Europe and head across spectacular and varied terrain in Morocco before skirting the Atlantic coast for a traditional rest day at the Western Saharan town of Dakhla. The route will then head deep into the heart of the vast sandy wastelands of Mauritania, taking in spectacular desert terrain and then head towards Senegal for the traditional finish at Lac Rose, near Dakar.
Race officials are also hoping to take advantage of new asphalt road liaison sections to make different terrain and new bivouac locations more accessible with a revised route in Mauritania.
The Africa Eco Race came into being after the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally and the event’s shift to a base in South America. The brainchild of former circuit racer Jean-Louis Schlesser – himself a winner of the Dakar on two occasions – and fellow Frenchman René Metge, the Africa Eco Race targets both professional and amateur teams and continues to grow in popularity as the years pass.
It caters for car and truck racers, motorcycles and quads and will also include a new category in 2020, the SSV Extreme Race, for the increasingly popular SxS category for lightweight and modified vehicles, although they will also be part of the main results’ classification. The event is being organised by Jean-Louis Schlesser and his team and is sanctioned by the FIA, FFSA and the sporting ASNs of Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal.

“The Africa Eco Race grows in stature and popularity every year,” enthused Jean-Louis Schlesser, who is heading out to Africa in the coming days to put the finishing touches to the route itinerary with his team. “We are the largest motor sporting event in Africa and now the world’s only true marathon rally that crosses several countries each year. Our event is challenging and the route encapsulates the magic and beauty of North and Saharan Africa. There is a camaraderie and friendly rivalry between our competitors and we continue to attract entrants from all corners of the world – individuals keen to race across some of the most spectacular terrain on the planet. Our team works all year round on the logistical aspects and I think that competitors realise that we improve the level of organisation each year. We are very much helped by the authorities in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal and border crossings always run faultlessly as a result.”

The 2019 edition started from Monaco and passed through Nador in Morocco en route to its traditional finish in Senegal. It featured two loop stages, 12 specials and a route of over 6,000km.
The French duo of Jean-Pierre Strugo and François Borsotto claimed a first win in the car category in an Optimus MD. Italy’s Alessandro Botturi triumphed on two wheels on his Yamaha and the Portuguese trio of Elizabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho guided their MAN to truck success. Romanian driver Claudiu Barbu also became the first man in the world to complete the 6,000km rally without navigation or technical assistance.
Since its first running in 2009, event founder Jean-Louis Schlesser tops the Hall of Fame in the car category with six successive wins between 2009 and 2014. Norway’s Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter has two wins on a motorcycle (2015 and 2016) and Russian Anton Shibalov and Czech Tomáš Tomeček have three individual victories apiece in their respective Kamaz and Tatra trucks.

For further information and details about the race, entries and logistics, contact the competitors’ department, Tel: 377 640 628603, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Website: https://www.africarace.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Africa-Eco-Race-130566836969577/
Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AfricaEcoRace
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/africaecorace/

Source Africa Eco Race's official press release
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.

Source Bio-Ritmo team
For the second day since the beginning of the AFRICA ECO RACE 2019, the caravan of the rally will not be moving as the competitors will be racing in a loop of 375 km around Chinguetti, city part of the UNESCO world heritage sites, located approximately 60 km from the Amodjar bivouac A difficult day ahead for the competitors as the navigation, as many times before, will be challenging. On the other side, the sand was not as much as an obstacle as we would have thought and the 100 kilometers of dunes were raced without much difficult.

First stage victory for JENSEN

Felix JENSEN is 27 years old and is Norwegian. He is the student and team partner of Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER. He first made an appearance in rally-raid in 2018 on the AFRICA ECO RACE and had finished 4th. Today, a hidden waypoint was challenging for all drivers. Indeed, the WPM only appeared on the GPS when in a 500 meter range. And as all leaders went the wrong way, they took some time to go past the correct passage. Felix JENSEN was the first to validate this WPM and, onboard his KTM, logically wins the first special stage of his young career. The Norwegian beats Patrice CARILLON, first French pilot of the day and his KTM by 1’05’’. Simone AGAZZI with his HONDA, one of the favorites of the race, finishes 3rd at 2’08’’ in front of Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER at 3’44’’. The success of the day is attributed to Domenico CIPOLLONE who arrives in 6th place, only 10’56’’ from the winner. Thanks to this performance, the Italian managed once again to thin down the time between him and ULLEVALSETER as he finishes 5th at 5’44’’, which is 2 minutes ahead of the Norwegian. Therefore, in the general ranking, BOTTURI still has 5’15’’ ahead. Not much but with only two special stages left, ULLEVALSETER has to react fast. Great day for the legend Franco PICCO who scores 8th, just behind Francisco ARREDONDO. A logical result for this veteran who drove with his experience. Bad news though for the French Guillaume VIDAL who fell on kilometer 40. Un fall that required a helicopter transfer to Nouakchott for some medical tests. His KTM caught fire in the accident and was destroyed.


GERARD and DELACOURT once more at the top of the list

The shared feeling of all competitors today was the beauty of the scenery of this stage which was easier than anticipated for most. Indeed, the sand was cooperative and the dunes cords relatively well maneuvered. In these conditions, David GERARD and Pascal DELACOUR signed the best time of the auto category with their OPTIMUS. The French are ahead of the “Fous du Volant” team Philippe GOSSELIN and David BONON who dedicated this success to their friends Dominique LAURE and Christophe CRESPO, out of the race for now two days. Patrick MARTIN and Didier BIGOT are third of the stage in their TAREK. A result putting them straight to the 2nd position in the general ranking following the complicated race of Yves FROMONT and Paul VIDAL’s TAREK. On their side, Jean-Pierre STRUGO and François BORSOTTO, the leaders of the general auto/truck ranking, settled for a 5th place today. An honorable result enabling them to keep the leadership with an hour and twenty minutes ahead of MARTIN/BIGOT and near to one hour thirty on GERARD/DELACOUR. Amongst the noticeable performances of the day, the team composed of Jean-Luc PISSON-CECALDI and Thomas GAIDELLA in their SSV CAN-AM X3 scored a 6th place. They are ahead of François & Stéphane COUSIN on his NISSAN, 7th, first 4x4, and 8th Yves FROMONT and PAUL VIDAL with 55’20’’. Finishing ninth, André HIRIGOYEN and François CAZALET place for the first time their 2 wheel drive prototype in the top 10. On the other hand, Alexey TITOV and Andrey RUSOV had a brighter race with their big FORD Raptor and finish 10th of the stage.

BOUWENS puts on a show in the truck category

After breaking down in their IVECO yesterday, Igor BOUWENS, Tom DE LEUW and Ulrich BOERBOOM had to catch up today. Mission accomplished for the Belgium team who scored 2nd time in the auto/truck category, 2’31’’ from David GERARD. Most importantly, they are ahead of the TATRA of Tomas TOMECEK by 32’34’’ and Elisabete JACINTO, Jose MARQUES and Marco COCHINHO’s MAN by 35’46’’. The Portuguese keep nevertheless their advantage in the general ranking with over two hours on Noël ESSERS, Marc LAUWERS, Johan COONINX in their MAN and Johan ELFRINK & Dirk SCHUTTEL in their MERCEDES.

Tomorrow, the caravan of the AFRICA ECO RACE will leave the Adrar region to join Akjoujt, usual stop for the AFRICA ECO RACE. In 2018, it was this last special stage of Mauritania was the hardest of the 10th edition. Even though the selective area of 472 kilometers has changed and two thirds of the track is renewed, the day will still be very challenging.

Ranking stage 9 : Amodjar / Amodjar*

Car / Truck :
1. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) 04 :36 :40
2. Igor Bouwens / Tom De Leeuw / Ulrich Boerboom n°405 (BEL) + 00 :02 :31
3. Philippe Gosselin / David Bonon n°209 (FRA) + 00 :06 :45

Bike :
1. Felix Jensen n°102 (NOR) 05 :09 :18
2. Patrice Carillon n°106 (FRA) + 00 :01 :05
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 00 :02 :08

Overall ranking*

Car / Truck : 
1. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) 35 :56 :41
2. Patrick Martin / Didier Bigot n°205 (FRA) + 01 :20 :39
3. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) + 01 :29 :03

Bike :
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 37 :07 :34
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :05 :15
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 02 :07 :05

Source Africa Eco Race's official press release
The AFRICA ECO RACE just ended the 13th of January 2019 on the shores of the Lac Rose in Dakar. After the undoubtable success on all levels of the eleventh edition, organizational, sport and security wise, the organization team, most of the competitors and all people involved in the event are looking towards 2020.

During the passing of the rally in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal this year, the organizers were glad to welcome on the bivouacs, representatives of the various administrative and sports authorities of these three countries, in order to discuss about the next edition.
Therefore, Jean-Louis SCHLESSER and his team are already able to announce that the 12th edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE will take place from 5th to the 19th of January 2020.
As usual, the race will be the link between Europe and Africa: the departure will be given on the Sunday 5th of January, followed by a ferry trip and during 15 days, a race through Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal to end at the famous Lac Rose.

A few novelties will be announced on the course side, especially in Mauritania where the construction of new tarmac roads for the assistance should offer new horizons for the competitors.
The inscriptions will be open from the 15th of April 2020. In the meantime, many articles in the media on this beautiful AFRICA ECO RACE are to come. 

Source Africa Eco Race's official press release

The last stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE between Akjoujt in Mauritania and Saint Louis in Senegal went perfectly well. Starting with the special stage of 218 kilometers which left from the bivouac to join Fimlit, a village situated 80 kilometers from Nouakchott. This stage was without difficulty for the leaders of the ranking. It will therefore be a party tonight at the Saint Louis Bivouac where some competitors will be joined by family and friends.


After the emotion of Alessandro BOTTURI dedicating his victory to his mother who recently passed away, the winner and Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER, second place, fell in each other’s arms. A proof of fraternity and respect between these two moto champions, true heroes of the desert. A bit less than two hours before, the two competitors, only separated by 7 minutes since the first day, left the starting line with a solid motivation not to give up now… Therefore, Pal Anders pulled out the big guns with his KTM and forced Alessandro to go that extra mile to keep up with his YAMAHA. In the end, Pal Anders ULLVALSETER wins this last special stage, 2’14’’ ahead of Alessandro BOTTURI but still looses the rally for 5 small minutes, after riding 4 000 km of chrono stages. The Norwegian can also be happy of being leader in Veteran. Just behind them, Simone AGAZZI took no risk to have a guaranteed spot on the podium, as Felix JENSEN did but finished 4th place as in 2018, just in front of his Team ULLEVALSETER partner Francisco ARREDONDO. Patrice CARILLON ends up in 6th place. He is the number one French driver as well as the leader of the Malle Moto, these competitors who do their assistance themselves with equipment transported by our organisation.
Special congratulations to Jan ZATKO who, at 62 years old, finishes 9th of the rally and 1st in the over 450 cm3, as well as Norbert DUBOIS who enters the top 5 of the special stage and end up with a satisfying result at the end of the rally. To finish, the French Julie VANNEKEN succeeded in finishing this AFRICA ECO RACE without missing any stage and ends in 30th position just in front of Paolo CAPRIONI, only driver of the 700 cm3 category that was still in the competition.



With only 200 km of special stage, not much could change for the two-first places of the auto/truck general ranking as Jean-Pierre STRUGO and François BORSOTTO has 1.30 hours ahead of David GERARD and Pascal DELACOUR, themselves 25 minutes ahead of the third place. In fact, it was the third space on the podium that was uncertain as Yves FROMONT and Jean-Noël JULIEN were only 1’46’’ from each other. It was not an option for the latter and Rabha, his wife co-pilot, to not be on the podium. The OPTIMUS N°208 team therefore begin with only one focus, WIN and it worked apparently as they did the best time of the day.
“Pénélope” and “Jolicoeur”, their nickname in the “Fous du Volant” team, also were ahead of “Roc” and Gravillon” aka David GERARD and Pascal DELACOUR, their team partners, by 4’07’’, as well as Yves FROMONT and Paul VIDAL by 6’23’’. It is therefore the JULIEN couple who finish in 3rd position of this 2019 edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE. In the other categories, Rudy ROQUESALANE and Vincent FERRY lead the SSV category by finishing 9th of the overall ranking auto/truck in their CAN AM X3.
At the 11th place, François and Stéphane COUSIN win the title in the 4x4 category in their NISSAN Navara.
Alexey TITOV and Andrey RUSOV succeed in the T2 category in their impressive FORD RAPTOR. In that category, the Russians are ahead of the rally raid legend Kenjiro SHINOZUKA, with co-pilot Cathy DEROUSSEAUX in their ISUZU. Tristan COUEDEL and Edouard SINEUX lead in the “Double rigid train” in their LAND ROVER.


If Tomas TOMECEK, triple champion of the AFRICA ECO RACE, had not broken his clutch on his TATRA, he would have probably won this 11th edition. But as we say: what if… Anyway, the Czech driver finishes the race on a positive note by arriving in 6th place on the truck scratch. But the winner is without doubt, Elisabete JACINTO who, with Jose MARQUES and Marco COCHINHO who this morning again, got second best time in the truck category. Especially, they won the race in their category with an impressive 5th place in the auto/truck ranking. An incredible result, added to the many special stage won during the race which are the result of huge team work, as they had been chasing the trophy for 10 years. The victorious MAN was ahead of another truck of the German brand. The one of Noël ESSERS, Marc LAUWERS and Johan COONINX who rank 7th overall and showed great stability during the entire rally. The Netherland team composed of Johan ELFRINK and Dirk SCHUTTEL complete the podium of these desert beasts in their stunning MERCEDES.
Tomorrow, after a night under the starry skies of Senegal in the Saint Louis bivouac, the competitors will join the breathtaking Lac Rose with a morning liaison of over 200 kilometers. Last effort before driving up that podium will be to drive a last special stage of 22 km around the Lac. After that, it will be celebrations for all competitors !

Ranking stage 11 : Akjoujt / Saint Louis*

Car / Truck :
1. Jean-Noël Julien / Rabha Julien n°208 (FRA) 01 :46 :21
2. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) + 00 :04 :07
3. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) + 00 :06 :23

Bike :
1. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) 01 :49 :03
2. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) + 00 :02 :14
3. Norbert Dubois n°161 (FRA) + 00 :07 :55

Overall ranking*

Car / Truck : 
1. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) 44 :49 :58
2. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) + 01 :22 :13
3. Jean-Noël Julien / Rabha Julien n°208 (FRA) + 01 :43 :32

Bike :
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 46 :05 :13
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :04 :54
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 02 :28 :06

Source Africa Eco Race's official press release
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.

Source Bio Ritmo Team's official press release
Unofficial results.  To view the official results, please visit: https://www.africarace.com/
1 203 STRUGO Jean Pierre
T1 / 1 44:49:58    
2 210 GERARD David
T1 / 2 46:12:11 01:22:13  
3 208 JULIEN Jean Noel
T1 / 3 46:33:30 01:43:32  
4 204 FROMONT Yves
T1 / 4 46:53:27 02:03:29 00h30
5 404 JACINTO Elisabete
T4 / 1 48:07:52 03:17:54  
6 205 MARTIN Patrick
BIGOT Didier
T1 / 5 49:07:45 04:17:47  
7 401 ESSERS Noel
T4 / 2 50:48:59 0,2493171296  
8 216 MOGNIER Gerald
OP / 1 52:02:11 07:12:13  
FERRI Vincent
T3 / 1 53:24:32 08:34:34  
10 402 ELFRINK Johan
T4 / 3 54:50:42 10:00:44  
11 223 COUSIN Francois
COUSIN Stephane
T1 / 6 56:32:22 11:42:24 00h45
12 256 FRETIN Bruno
T3 / 2 56:55:31 12:05:33 00h30
13 255 FRETIN Benoit
T3 / 3 57:10:33 0,5142939815 00h15
14 403 VAN VELSEN Aad
T4 / 4 57:43:39 12:53:41  
15 259 PISSON-CECCALDI Jean-luc
T3 / 4 60:30:56 15:40:58 01h15
16 220 TITOV Alexey
RUSOV Andrey
T2 / 1 63:13:42 18:23:44  
17 400 TOMECEK Tomas T4 / 5 65:12:30 20:22:32 10h30
18 228 SUZUKI Hiroaki
T1 / 7 65:48:42 20:58:44  
19 405 BOUWENS Igor
T4 / 6 66:12:24 0,8905787037 07h15
20 258 BIARD Alain
BELLAN Jean Paul
T3 / 5 66:29:08 21:39:10  
21 221 COUEDEL Tristan
SINEUX Edouard
T1 / 8 68:40:44 23:50:46  
22 408 LEVITSKII Boleslav
DOLGOV Stanislav
T4 / 7 71:16:52 02:26:54 10h15
23 209 GOSSELIN Philippe
T1 / 9 74:03:14 05:13:16 15h15
24 219 SUKHOVENKO Evgenii
PAVLOV Evgenii
T1 / 10 75:21:14 06:31:16 05h45
25 409 SHKLYAEV Mikhail
LAGUTA Aleksandr
T4 / 8 78:17:15 1,3939467593 09h00
26 227 HIRIGOYEN Andre
CAZALET Francois
T1 / 11 84:42:22 15:52:24 18h45
27 224 COUSIN Damien
PENET Laurent
T1 / 12 85:18:05 16:28:07 18h30
28 240 WICKLOW Andrew
OP / 2 86:05:07 17:15:09 14h30
29 226 VARGA Imre
TOMA Jozsef
T1 / 13 90:33:26 1,9051851852 26h45
30 253 BARBU Laurentiu-claudiu T3 / 6 90:36:49 21:46:51 11h30
31 214 ROSSI Stefano
MARCON Alberto
T1 / 14 92:15:29 23:25:31 17h15
32 252 RUFFIER Jean Claude
BOS Jerome
T3 / 7 93:55:56 01:05:58 30h40
33 251 MONEYRON Jean Hugues
BERRAZ Thierry
T3 / 8 105:26:25 12:36:27 31h00
34 217 SHINOZUKA Kenjiro
T2 / 2 105:29:17 12:39:19 34h15
35 222 PEDECHE Philippe
PERRY Philippe
T1 / 15 116:22:29 71:32:31 38h15
36 254 CECI Paolo
T3 / 9 169:19:06 124:29:08 81h15
1 103 BOTTURI Alessandro   46:05:13    
2 100 ULLEVALSETER Pal Anders   46:10:07 00:04:54 -00h00
3 116 AGAZZI Simone   48:33:19 02:28:06 00h15
4 102 JENSEN Felix   48:50:16 02:45:03 00h03
5 101 ARREDONDO Francisco   52:00:52 05:55:39 00h25
6 106 CARILLON Patrice   52:39:47 06:34:34 -00h01
7 123 CIPOLLONE Domenico   53:04:25 0,2911111111 00h01
8 157 CAVELIUS Philippe   53:29:23 07:24:10 00h01
9 104 ZATKO Jan   57:19:33 11:14:20 00h18
10 107 PICCO Franco   58:29:39 12:24:26 -00h37
11 139 MABBS David   58:34:37 12:29:24 00h20
12 128 CECCONI Maurizio   59:54:27 13:49:14 01h58
13 133 RAHM Henrik   60:38:59 0,6067824074 00h20
14 109 BENKO Martin   61:35:35 15:30:22 08h41
15 138 MCCOY Kyle   62:38:14 16:33:01 00h12
16 108 CONREAU Christophe   63:03:22 16:58:09 00h35
17 161 DUBOIS Norbert   66:36:42 20:31:29 06h08
18 134 CAMPDERA LOZANO Juan Jose   66:56:43 20:51:30 00h20
19 132 CHAMPEIX Didier   67:01:41 0,8725462963 00h26
20 121 BREZZI Valdimiro   68:09:14 22:04:01 00h35
21 136 ZHU Xiaoxing   69:03:36 22:58:23 00h43
22 143 JANCYS Tomas   69:23:26 23:18:13 02h20
23 142 TISDALL Matthew   71:35:44 01:30:31 02h00
24 140 TURNER Philip   72:03:24 01:58:11 02h20
25 145 KVAPIL Lukas   81:24:27 1,4716898148 12h00
26 111 DUHAMEL Eric   82:50:23 12:45:10 16h00
27 122 BARON Roger   83:27:56 13:22:43 06h03
28 130 THOME Jean Marc   86:07:49 16:02:36 17h29
29 144 SCHATTAT Thomas   87:30:45 17:25:32 16h40
30 158 VANNEKEN Julie   94:59:50 00:54:37 10h49
31 114 CAPRIONI Paolo   98:26:28 2,1814236111 35h18
32 117 BERGLUND Anders   104:56:12 10:50:59 38h09
33 126 RAMPOLLA Stefano   128:01:40 09:56:27 56h46
34 124 TRACANZAN Vincenzo   163:15:59 21:10:46 83h43
35 137 PAYR Wolfgang   164:56:54 22:51:41 83h23
36 120 PERONATO Enrico   167:34:16 01:29:03 82h17
37 131 N'DIAYE Bruno   72:29:24 1,1001273148 08h23
38 119 MORETTO Gianni   119:42:00 01:36:47 46h46
39 118 DAL Ben Giampietro   133:00:30 14:55:17 53h38
40 115 RIJNDERS Rik   165:58:04 23:52:51 81h48
41 110 SALT Lee   194:40:31 04:35:18 10h:1

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.

Source  Bio-Ritmo®  Team's official press release

As in 2018, this 10th stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE between Amodjar and Akjoujt was ruthless for the competitors, should it be in moto or auto category. The navigation was especially complicated. Proof is, if you calculate the average speed of the winners, which is 69 km/h for the motos and 78km/h for the autos, it is less than usual and therefore shows the difficulty of the stage. Therefore, many will be arriving very late at the bivouac tonight.


It has been a while on the AFRICA ECO RACE that someone expressed such joy after winning a special stage. We must say that the victory of Francisco ARREDONDO today was a real surprise as the battle for the leadership between Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER and Alessandro BOTTURI was the main attraction. Basically, both leaders of the general ranking rode 16 kms in the wrong direction with Simone AGAZZI and Felix JENSEN. When they found their way back to the track, they came across ARREDONDO and they ended up finishing the special stage together. As the pilot from Guatemala left 10 minutes after the first, he therefore is ahead of the YAMAHA of BOTTURI by 2’59’’ and the KTM of Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER by 4’52’’. Therefore, the time difference is of 7’08’’ still between BOTTURI and ULLEVALSETER. Might as well say that on the night before the last special stage, the Italian pilot already has a foot on the highest step of the podium and except a catastrophe, he shouldn’t miss the victory. The Norwegian knows, and he said it to the TV crew upon arrival that a second place for “an old man” like him, is already good enough.



TThe days pass by and are never the same in the auto category of the AFRICA ECO RACE. Proof is with this new victory of Yves FROMONT and Paul VIDAL who, after having gone through hell yesterday with a mechanical problem, arrived first place even though they left quite far behind this morning. The French explained their victory by the difference of timing with the OPTIMUS when crossing some sharp crossing that they drove through without a problem. This second victory enables them to get 3rd place in the general ranking auto/truck. Arrived at 10’36’’ behind, David GERARD and Pascal DELACOUR perform well on this stage and therefore the OPTIMUS 210 hits the second place of the podium for the race. Jean-Pierre STRUGO and François BORSOTTO had a scare today as they thought having lost a lot of time after getting lost today. In reality, the leaders were actually on the right track and they arrive 3rd on the chronometer with 11’56’’. They still keep their first place in the general. Jean-Noël et Rabha JULIEN still perform regularly by getting 4th place with 19’55’’. Even if they are only a fingertip away from the podium, they only have 1’26’’ behind FROMONT and VIDAL. The final stage of tomorrow will be captivating and decisive until the last moment. Special mention to the SSV who were very impressive today as we find of them in the top. First of them is the CAN AM X of Rudy ROQUESALANE and Vincent FERRY in 5th position of the auto ranking. The French are ahead of Bruno FRETIN & Willy CHARBONNIER, Benoit FRETIN & Anthony PICHARD, Jean-Claude RUFFIER & Jérôme BOS as well as Jean-Luc PISSON-CECALDI & Thomas GAIDELLA. The 10th chrono goes to the Russians Evgenii SUKHOVENKO & Evgenii PAVLOV, in their Proto 4x4 of Team GAZ.


It is well known, the rally-raid is a nest for exceptional competitors, even heroes. On today’s stage, the AFRICA ECO RACE found his. It is Tomas TOMECEK, winner of the truck category and 5th scratch auto/truck. Indeed, besides the fact of being alone in the cockpit of his TATRA, the CZECH spend most of the night in the middle of the dunes helping one of the two sweeping trucks working for the organisation. Meaning that the CZECH did extremely complicated special stages in a row with only 3 hours sleep. An exceptional performance. Behind him, Noël ESSERS, Marc LAUWERS and Johan COONINX take the 2nd place, in front of a newcomer, GAZ Russia of Boleslav LEVITSKII and Stanislas DOLGOV. Ending 4th place today. Elisabete JACINTO, Jose MARQUES and Marco COCHINHO are in line for the final victory.

Tomorrow, the final special stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE 2019 will bring the survivors of the Akjoujt stage to Fimlit, after 218 km of sandy tracks between dunes and one last crossing that won’t be easy.

Ranking stage 10 : Amodjar / Akjoujt*

Car / Truck :
1. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) 06 :45 :23
2. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) + 00 :10 :36
3. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) + 00 :11 :56

Bike :
1. Francisco Arredondo n°101 (GTM) 07 :03 :23
2. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) + 00 :02 :59
3. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :04 :52

Overall ranking*

Car / Truck : 
1. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) 42 :54 :00
2. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°210 (FRA) + 01 :27 :43
3. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) + 01 :51 :43

Bike :
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 44 :13 :56
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :07 :08
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 02 :11 :42

Source Africa Eco Race's official press release
After the hectic day yesterday due to the accident of both OPTIMUS buggies on the arrival of the special stage, the atmosphere was back to normal and focused on the race leaving from the CHAMI bivouac this morning. Luckily, because this stage of 507 kilometers towards Amodjar is known to be extremely challenging. The clerks of the course of the AFRICA ECO RACE were not wrong and some competitors will be arriving late at the Amodjar bivouac.

Same old in the motorbike category

Days go by and look the same for the top two of the moto race as Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER and Alessandro BOTTURI. Meaning ULLEVALSETER left 2 minutes ahead and BOTTURI caught up with him. Both men then rode together. Nevertheless, after the fuel checkpoint, the Norwegian pulled out the big guns to try and loose the Italian. Even though he resisted, and both men arrived together at the end of the stage. Same scenario for Felix JENSEN who tried to catch up with then loose Simone AGAZZI. There again, the Italian resisted and stayed along the Norwegian pilot, close enough to fall on him when his KTM went sideways in the dunes. Therefore, the time difference is minimal as AGAZZI finishes 5’15’’ from BOTTURI and JENSEN at 7’34’’. Also, to be noticed, the solid performance of the driver from Guatemala Francisco ARREDONDO, ranked 5th today, as well as Guillaume VIDAL, 6th of the today and 1st French. On the other hand, two favorites of the race will be quitting today, as Stéphane HAMARD, 8th in the general ranking yesterday, fell off at kilometer 41. A fall which wasn’t grave but he was rushed to the hospital in Nouakchott for some tests. The second is Paolo CAPRIONI, 11th in the general ranking and leader of the 700 category. The Italian broke the engine of his KTM at kilometer 380 of the special stage. Same as a few moto drivers in difficulty today, he will be brought back later to the bivouac with the balai truck, and this will complicate his start tomorrow, if ever his engine is repaired.


New upcomer in the auto category with FROMONT.

When looking at the top 10 of the auto category today, we can say that this 2nd Mauritanian special stage of the AFRICA ECO RACE has completely changed the scene of the ranking up to today, as 6 new teams make their way into it. Starting with the winner, Yves FROMONT and Paul VIDAL who lead with their Tarek, even with a small incident and 20 minutes lost. The French get first place and are ahead of the OPTIMUS of the compatriots Philippe GOSSELIN and David BONON by 4’15’’, as well as Jean-Pierre STRUGO & François BORSOTTO by 7’01’’. From the 4th to the 7th position, we only have newcomers on SSV CAN AM X3 with Bruno FRETIN & Willy CHARBONNIER, Jean Hugues MONEYRON & Thierry BERRAZ, Rudy ROQUESALANE & Vincent FERRY. Jean-Noël & Rabha JULIEN place their OPTIMUS in 7th position in front of the CAN AM X3 of Benoit FRETIN and Anthony PICHARD when François and Stéphane COUSIN continue to lead the 4x4 category with a 9th place in their NISSAN Pick-Up. Patrick Martin & Didier BIGOT end the list with a 10th place at 35’37’’. An extremely open race which we could expect with the versatility of vehicles and competitors of this 11th edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE. In the general ranking, the OPTIMUS of Jean Pierre STRUGO was set in the lead ahead of the two TAREK’s of Yves FROMONT and Patrick MARTIN, separated by only fifteen minutes approximately. When we know the tracks awaiting them to leave Mauritania, we know the race is far from being set in stone.

First victory for the ESSERS truck

Since the beginning of the AFRICA ECO RACE 2019, Nöel ESSERS, Marc LAUWERS & Johan COONINX show regular performance everyday and that is the reason of their 2nd place in the truck category. This Belgium team once again showed their strength and won the special stage, a bit more than 10 minutes ahead of Elisabete JACINTO, Jose MARQUES & Marco COCHINHO, the leaders of the general ranking of the trucks, even though they helped Patrick MARTIN out of his slight incident. A great performance for this 70s year old, boss of one of the biggest transport company in Europe. The podium of the day is completed by Tomas TOMECEK who has solid merit by being alone in his TATRA. In the general, Elisabete JACINTO is still leader in front of Nöel ESSERS and the Holland team of Aad VAN VELSEN, Marco SIEMONS & Harry OOSTING in their GINAF.

Tomorrow, Thursday 10th of January, the second loop will be awaiting the competitors with a departure and arrival in Chinguetti and a 375 kilometer special stage to race. The most beautiful of the AFRICA ECO RACE stages with over 100 km of crossing of the most magnificent dunes of Mauritania.

Ranking stage 8 : Chami / Amodjar*

Car / Truck :
1. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) 06 :01 :54
2. Philippe Gosselin / David Bonon n°209 (FRA) + 00 :04 :15
3. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) + 00 :07 :01

Bike :
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 05 :47 :34
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :02 :00
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 00 :05 :15

Botturi Stage 8.jpg

Overall ranking*
Car / Truck : 

1. Jean-Pierre Strugo / François Borsotto n°203 (FRA) 30 :48 :26
2. Yves Fromont / Paul Vidal n°204 (FRA) + 01 :24 :54
3. Patrick Martin / Didier Bigot n°205 (FRA) + 01 :41 :45

Bike :
1. Alessandro Botturi n°103 (ITA) 31 :52 :32
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter n°100 (NOR) + 00 :07 :15
3. Simone Agazzi n°116 (ITA) + 02 :10 :41

Source Africa Eco Race 2019 official press relea
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.

Source Bio Ritmo Team's official press release
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.

Source Bio Ritmo Team's official press release
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.

Source Bio Ritmo Team's official press release

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