Rallye du Maroc 2019: Fourth Victory for De Villiers

Rallye du Maroc 2019: Fourth Victory for De Villiers

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After three stages run around Aoufous, the competitors headed north back to Fez where the rally started from last 3 October. The last selective section of 168 kilometres resulted in the victory of Andrew Short (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Team) in the FIM bike category, Giniel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) in the FIA car category, Xavier Flick (Sherco TVS Rally Factory) in Enduro Cup Afriquia, Casey Currie (Monster Energy Can-Am) in the SSV Maroc Telecom category, Jaroslav Valtr (Valtr Racing Team) in Open trucks and Jean-Antoine Sabatier (Bugga’One) in Open cars.
Yesterday’s 456 kilometres long stage was the same for all the categories. After having left the bivouac in Aoufous very early in the morning, the Rallye du Maroc competitors covered a first 214 kilometres liaison to reach the start of the special near Midelt. The selective section comprised of 168 kilometres, starting across valleys and plains before a 60 kilometre mountain section and a finish in the forest just outside Ifrane. The competitors ended their 2019 Rallye du Maroc with a 74 kilometre liaison  to reach Fez, where the prizegiving ceremony awaited them at the Hotel Marriott.


Giniel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) takes in Fez his fourth Rallye du Maroc. Already a winner aboard a Nissan and a Volkswagen, the South African now hands a victory to Toyota. Carlos Sainz (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team), long time fighting with Giniel De Villiers for the final victory, saw his chances evaporate right at the end of the special when he lost the water out of his cooling system. Towed into the finish by Jakub Przygonski (Orlen Team / X-Raid), the Spanish driver saved his second place overall 17’42’’ behind Giniel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing). Mathieu Serradori (SRT Racing Team), initially classified third was disqualified by the FIA stewards because his car didn’t conform to their weight regulations. Jacub Przygonski (Orlen Team / W-Raid) therefore moves up to third place on the podium at 58’27’’. Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing) finishes his first international rally in 26th place. Handicapped by mechanical problems throughout the rally, the Spanish champion is already plotting his next moves.

Toyota filled the first four places on the day’s stage. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing) takes his only victory on this 2019 Rallye du Maroc, ahead Bernhard Ten Brinke (Toyota Gazoo Racing) at 26’’, Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Overdrive Racing) at 1’17’’ and Erik Van Loon (Overdrive Racing) at 2’39’’.

Stéphane Peterhansel did what he had to do today. Well placed to win the FIA Cross-Country Rallies World Cup following the retirement of Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing), the Frenchman needed to finish at least fifth overall to be sure to be crowned. « Monsieur Dakar » did just that, finishing fourth overall to win the precious trophy for the first time.

Ginel De Villiers (Toyota Gazoo Racing): “It feels good. We’ve had really good rallies in Morocco. This is the fourth one. It took a while to come and its really special the first time out with Alex. The team did a great job the whole week on the car. I feel sorry for Nasser and Matthieu for their misfortune yesterday. Alex did a great job. There were some stressful times in the car but we got along well together, the win here definitely gives us confidence for the Dakar. This is where all the teams come to test before and we had a proper race here with five really challenging stages.”

Carlos Sainz (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team): “Don’t really know what happened. I think a water pipe broke or something. It has been a very positive rally for the team and for us to get up to speed.”

Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid John Cooper Works Team):  “We had to finish fifth to win the World Cup. In twenty years of car racing I have never won it before. It wasn’t my main goal but it is good to win it with Andrea. The car’s development is going well. We could have won without yesterday’s error, that’s certain. It was a real rally, difficult with very varied specials. David found some new tracks, some bumpy, some very open. There’s a few adjustments to be made with the new road book. It shouldn’t be given out in the morning on two days but everyday” .

Fernando Alonso (Toyota Gazoo Racing): “Obviously we had issues more or less everyday. We are learning from those issues. Even today where it was very nice landscape to drive we had some difficulties. We got lost a couple of times. Finishing the Rallye du Maroc is not as easy as it seems. We did it at the first attempt so happy with that but many things for me to learn.”

In the SSV Maroc Telecom category, the comfortable lead established by Casey Currie (Monster Energy Can-Am) allowed him to set off this morning in a relaxed frame of mind. The American finished third on the fifth stage, 13’10’’  behind the day’s winner, Antonio Hinojo Lopez José (Buggy Masters Team & XRaids). Eric Abel took second at 56’’. Overall, Casey Currie wins the 2019 Rallye du Maroc SSV Maroc Telecom category and heads towards his next object, the 2020 Dakar, with confidence.
Anas Sorhmat (Team Sodicars), who normally races a bike in the Supersport category in the USA has finished the 2019 Rallye du Maroc in the SSV Maroc Telecom category. And judging by the enthusiasm he displayed at the end of every special he clearly had a great time.

Christian Lavieille (Team Land Cruiser Toyota Team Autobody) won four stages out of five, including today’s. But despite this impressive performance his mechanical problems on stage 3, and the 100 hour penalty that came with it, allowed Jean-Antoine Sabatier (Bugga’One) to win the 2019 Rallye du Maroc Open car category ahead of Guillaume Dupont and Bernard Gateau (Team Génération 4x4 Racing). The female Moroccan team, posted some good performances, notably a third place on stage 4, to finish sixth overall.

In the trucks, Jaroslav Valtr (Valtr Racing Team) wins the 2019 Rallye du Maroc Open trucks category with a comfortable lead over Martin Macik (Big Shock Racing).
The 2019 Rally du Maroc has barely finished and already ODC Events are planning the future. “After having organised the last two editions in the regions of Fez and Erfoud we want to make some changes to the rally. I can already announce that we will be creating an itinerate rally. We will cross other regions so that the largest possible number of Moroccans profit from our visit. That’s my goal and I already have a few ideas in mind,” declared David Castera. The details of the 2020 edition of the Rallye du Maroc will be announced shortly.

F.I.A. stage results : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_R015.asp
 FIA general results : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08FIA.asp
F.I.M. stage results : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_R025.asp
F.I.M. general results: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08FIM.asp
Enduro Cup Afriquia stage results: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=1
SSV Maroc Telecom results: https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=3
Auto Open stage results : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=4
Truck Open stage results:  https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_03.asp?stip=R03&cat=6
Enduro Cup Afriquia / SSV Maroc Telecom / Auto Open / Truck Open general results : https://registrorm.odcevents.com/live/live_08RES.asp

Source Rallye du Maroc
Photo DPPI

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