Next to the categories of motorcycles (100+), the SSVs (125 participants) and the cars (100 participants) which were fully booked a long time ago, the race have now also achieved our goal of 25 race trucks. This means that the MDC2023 is full - full - full, with 350 competition vehicles and 625 pilots and navigators at the start. Add to this the same number of mechanics, team managers, press and a 250-strong organizational team and you end up with a total of 1500 people. That's going to be a great party, isn't it?
Having said that, the organizers also encourage everyone to register their assistance vehicles in the coming days so that we can form an exact picture of what our mega-bivouacs will look like.
As always, there will be a few cancellations over the coming months, so be sure to get in touch with us if you still want to join and couldn't secure your place yet.
A COMPLETE NEW ROUTE
It has been 3 years since the MDC raced through Morocco. A lot can change in such a long period, even in a desolate environment like the desert. That's why the organization choose to drastically change course with a completely new route! A few days ago, Sports Director Jean-Claude Kaket left Agadir, Morocco with his team to validate those new tracks and write the new roadbooks.
What does that new route look like?
As usual, the race will start on April 21 and 22 with the administrative and technical scrutineering in Agadir, the pleasant seaside city on the Atlantic Ocean that has undergone a complete transformation in the last 2 years.
Stage 1, on April 23, is a prologue of about 50 km, near Agadir. This way you can enjoy the comfort of a hotel for an extra night.
Stage 2, on April 24, starts with a one-off liaison of about 250km to the legendary Plage Blanche followed by a 360km long special to the bivouac in Assa.
Stage 3, on April 25: Assa – Foum Zguid: 403 fast km through the military zone
Stage 4, on April 26: Foum Zguid – Foum Zguid: 275 km / dunes of Erg Chegaga
Stage 5, on April 27: Foum Zguid – Mhamid: 338 km / Erg Chegaga
Stage 6, on April 28: Mhamid – Mhamid: 341 km / Oueds & Erg Chegaga
Stage 7, on April 29: Mhamid – Merzouga: 324 km / Mountains, fast tracks, dunes
Stage 8, on April 30: Merzouga – Merzouga: 205 km / Dunes and WRC tracks
3 loops for extra comfort
The race will stay 1 night in the bivouac of Assa but in the bivouacs of Foum Zguid, Mhamid and Merzouga we stay 2 nights. Both for the assistance teams and for the organization, it requires an enormous logistical effort to break down a bivouac every day and rebuild it at the next location. By decreasing the number of different bivouacs from 6 to 4, in analogy to the Tunisia Desert Challenge, we can give both parties a little more breathing space so that the mechanics also occasionally have the opportunity to catch up on sleep or enjoy a beer.
The race will also abandon the coast-to-coast concept for the first time. The rally no longer ends in Saidia, but in Merzouga. This for several reasons:
No more bivouac on the Plateau de Rekkam, with a risk of temperatures around freezing point, but an unprecedented finish party, with pleasantly warm temperatures, in the middle of the dunes of Merzouga.
No more incidents in Saidia as we have known them in 2019
The details of the different stages can soon be read on our website.
Source Morocco Desert Challenge official press release