8TH STAGE IN MAURITANIA: CHAMI / AMODJAR: 477KM
After one night without being allowed to approach their vehicles, the competitors took part of the second lef of the marathon this morning. A 439 kilometers leg with beautiful dune passages under a blazing sun was waiting for them. The real difficulty of the Mauritanian sand and the pressure of the race have probably revealed the future winners of the 10th edition of the Africa Eco Race.
Find your trail
From the beginning of the stage, the participants found themselves on the off-piste with a first dune crossing as a warm-up. Then, they were able to regain speed by rolling alternately on sandy fast tracks. This third Mauritanian leg then revealed more and more complicated dune crossings. The best competitors came out with caution. But for everyone, the finish line offered itself as a deliverance after 900 kilometers of a two days race without assistance.
Serradori on a regular basis, Oliveira is doing the job
You had to be confident this morning to start and open the track. Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / MINI) have therefore decided to be caught by Mathieu Serradori and Fabian Lurquin (FRA-BEL / MCM) after 80 kilometers of race in order to follow them in the dunes. The two cars then played a game to see who would dare to go first on the dunes. A game that ended up turning to the advantage of Serradori Racing Team who won the leg even if they got stuck in the sand a few kilometers from the finish line. A feat noticed by the organizer Jean-Louis Schlesser who came to congratulate them: "what is important is to win the second leg of the marathon, bravo!".
Less enthusiasm at the end for the Russians who finished 1h22'13" behind the new leaders overall. Not lucky with some engine belts troubles and a difficulty getting stuck in the sand, they finished 14th today. This stage was particularly successful for two crews of the MD Rallye Sport team. David Gérard and Pascal Delacour (FRA / OPTIMUS) take 2nd place just ahead of Jean-Noël and Rabha Julien (FRA / OPTIMUS). The crazy "Roc and Gravillon" (David and Pascal) as well as "Penelope and Jolicoeur" (Rabha and Jean Noel) as they call themselves (from a french cartoon), were very happy by their result after avoiding the pitfalls of the day.
Gerard De Rooy (NL / IVECO), still impressive with his truck, had fun in the dunes by driving faster than some cars and took 4th place.
In motorbikes, Luis Oliveira (POR / YAMAHA) won his second stage with a 6'24 lead over Paolo Ceci (ITA / KTM), who remains the overall leader, while Simone Agazzi (ITA / HONDA) were pleased in the sand to finish third.
"We saw that Vasilyev let us pass before the dunes, he stopped on the side and opened the hood, so we had to go alone in front. It was physically hard, the sand was soft, it was hot and we tanked once. I was convinced that Vasilyev was leading in the middle of the dunes, it was really rough."
"We're happy, and for Mathieu too! It was complicated, very tricky in navigation and difficult with the camel grass on the last part. We got stuck once but Pascal was very efficient in getting us out and he lost his phone! We paid attention to the car because we lost a ski yesterday and this morning the mechanics had only 10 minutes to repair our belts, they were amazing."
"We did it slowly but surely, it was a difficult leg, we had to pay attention to the car, but we drove without putting pressure on it. Last dunes, we stayed calm, it was not simple but full with emotions."
"We had problems with engine belts and we lost a lot of time to repair, and then we got stuck in the end in the camel grass, it was very difficult."
Ranking stage 8 Chami / Amodjar : 477km*
Car / Truck :
1. Mathieu Serradori / Fabian Lurquin n°202 (FRA) 04 :36 :57
2. David Gerard / Pascal Delacour n°212 (FRA) + 00 :23 :06
3. Jean-Noël Julien / Rabha Julien n°218 (FRA) + 00 :26 :00
1. Luis Miguel Anjos Oliveira n°114 (POR) 05 :14 :08
2. Paolo Ceci n°101 (ITA) + 00 :06 :24
3. Simone Agazzi n°120 (ITA) + 00 :31 :27
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Car / Truck :
1. Mathieu Serradori / Fabian Lurquin n°202 (FRA) 27 :44 :48
2. Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov n°201 (RUS) + 01 :05 :50
3. Pascal Thomasse / Pascal Larroque n°206 (FRA) + 02 :48 :45
1. Paolo Ceci n°101 (ITA) 34 :17 :45
2. Luis Miguel Anjos Oliveira n°114 (POR) + 00 :52 :21
3. Martin Benko n°102 (SLK) + 04 :01 :17
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Complete ranking on this link : http://www.africarace.com/fr/course/2018/home
Source: Africa Eco Race official press release