AER Africa Eco Race reaches rest day in the deep south of Morocco
12th AFRICA ECO RACE (Monaco-Dakar)
January 5th-19th, 2020
LEG 5: SMARA - DAHKLA: 686.10km
Special: Smara – Wad Assag: 473.17km
Liaison: Wad Assag - Dakhla: 211.76km
For immediate release
Saturday, January 11th, 2020
AFRICA ECO RACE REACHES REST DAY IN THE DEEP SOUTH OF MOROCCO
· Botturi claims motorcycle stage win to extend lead over Ullesvalseter to 4min 10sec
· Bouwens, Boerboom and Driesmans win stage five to lead car/truck section by six seconds!
DAKHLA (MOROCCO): Italian rider Alessandro Botturi claimed another stage win and extended his advantage over Norwegian Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter to 4min 10sec in the motorcycle category, after the fifth 473.17km selective section of the 12th Africa Eco Race (Monaco-Dakar) between Smara and Wag Assag in the deep south of Morocco on Saturday.
As weary competitors made their way to the city of Dakhla on the Atlantic coast and looked forward to a day of rest on Sunday, the Yamaha rider carded a time of 4hr 04min 18sec from a starting position of fifth on the road that enabled him to catch his rivals. He then rode together with Ullesvalseter to the stage finish with neither rider making navigational mistakes, despite a tricky crosswind of 50km/h.
Great Britain’s Lyndon Poskitt rode well to consolidate the final podium position with the third quickest time and Polish veteran Jacek Czachor confirmed fourth place. Polish rookie Konrad Dabrowski was fifth quickest to hold sixth at the rest day and Paulo Lucci, riding a Husqvarna, was sixth on the stage and holds fifth overall.
Roger Hawkins was the quickest rider on the day in the over-450cc class in 10th overall on his Husqvarna, but Sweden’s Anders Berglund maintained the section lead from India’s Ashish Raorane and Senegal’s Mamadou Bocoum. Italy’s Paolo Caprioni placed his powerful KTM 900 in 12th, while the 15th-placed Frenchman Amaury Baratin topped the Motul Xtreme category currently dominated by Berglund.
Rally organiser Jean-Louis Schlesser had told competitors at the briefing the previous evening that the special to Wad Assag would be very fast. A second successive fastest stage time for the Belgian Iveco crew of Igor Bouwens, Ulrich Boerboom and Frits Driesmans - at an average speed of 131km/h - enabled the trio to consolidate their lead in T4 and also sneak ahead of Yves and Jean Fromont to snatch the outright lead in the car and truck section by just six seconds after over 19 hours of racing across some of the toughest terrain that Morocco could throw at them.
The Fromont duo kept hold of their T1 lead in a Tarek Buggy and reached Dakhla 8min 56sec ahead of Patrick and Lucas Martin’s third-placed Mercedes. The Hungarian crew of Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs and Peter Czegledi were classified in fourth place overall and second in T4 in their Skania.
Senegalese driver Kamil Rahal won the day’s SSV stage, the Can-Am pilot and navigator Thierry Sanchez finishing the special nearly 18 minutes in front of Benoit Fretin and Cédric Duplé. But the French crew keep the category lead and hold eighth in the general classification.
Loic Frebourg and Franck Boulay are second, despite being 29th on the day’s special. Paraplegic solo racer Geoffroy Noel de Burlin is fourth behind Patrice Etienne and holds 14th overall after slipping to 41st on the day’s stage.
The Russian pairing of Alexey Titov and Dmitry Pavlov extended their lead in the T2 category for series production cross-country vehicles with an impressive sixth fastest time in a Ford Raptor. Andrey Sushentshov steered his Toyota to the second fastest time on the day. It was also a good stage for the Italians, Stefano Rossi and Alberto Marcon, in ninth with their Nissan.
The British duo of Andrew Wicklow and Simon Armstrong moved ahead of Open class rivals Alex Cole and Emma Osman. The two Bowler crews hold 15th and 16th overall.
Tomorrow (Sunday January 12th), is the traditional rest day for Africa Eco Race competitors in Dakhla. It will be a time for crews to refettle their machinery before the rigours of the Sahara and the crossing into Mauritania for the second week. It is also a chance for riders and drivers to get some much needed rest.
2020 AFRICA ECO RACE – POSITIONS ON SS5:
1. Alessandro Botturi (ITA) Yamaha 4hr 04min 18sec
2. Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter (NOR) KTM 4hr 08min 19sec
3. Lyndon Poskitt (GBR) KTM 4hr 08min 24sec
4. Jacek Czachor (POL) KTM 4hr 09min 47sec
5. Konrad Dabrowski (POL) KTM 4hr 27min 43sec
6. Paulo Lucci (ITA) Husqvarna 4hr 30min 28sec, etc
1. Igor Bowens, Ulrich Boerboom, Frits Driesmans (BEL) Iveco (T4) 3hr 36min 03sec
2. Patrick Martin (FRA)/Lucas Martin (FRA) Mercedes (T1) 3hr 47min 12sec
3. Johan Elfrink (NLD)/Dirk Schuttel (NLD) Mercedes (T4) 3hr 50min 37sec
4. Yves Fromont (FRA)/Jean Fromont (FRA) Buggy (T1) 3hr 51min 00sec
5. Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs, Peter Czegledi (HUN) Skania (T4) 4hr 00min 20sec
6. Alexey Titov (RUS)/Dmitry Pavlov (RUS) Ford Raptor (T2) 4hr 07min 27sec, etc
2020 AFRICA ECO RACE – OVERALL POSITIONS AFTER SS5:
1. Alessandro Botturi (ITA) Yamaha 19hr 41min 32sec
2. Pal-Anders Ullesvalseter (NOR) KTM 19hr 45min 42sec
3. Lyndon Poskitt (GBR) KTM 20hr 06min 48sec
4. Jacek Czachor (POL) KTM 20hr 28min 37sec
5. Paulo Lucci (ITA) Husqvarna 20hr 42min 37sec
6. Konrad Dabrowski (POL) KTM 21hr 09min 53sec, etc
1. Igor Bouwens, Ulrich Boerboom, Frits Driesmans (BEL) Iveco (T4) 19hr 27min 12sec
2. Yves Fromont (FRA)/Jean Fromont (FRA) Buggy (T1) 19hr 27min 18sec
3. Patrick Martin (FRA)/Lucas Martin (FRA) Mercedes (T1) 19hr 36min 14sec
4. Miklos Kovacs, Lazlo Acs Peter Czegledi (HUN) Skania (T4) 19hr 38min 20sec
5. Noel Essers/Marc Lauwers/Tijs Vranken (BEL) MAN (T4) 22hr 02min 53sec
6. Karoly Fazekas/Albert Horn/Peter Csakany (HUN) Skania (T4) 22hr 15min 17sec
7. Tomas Tomacek (CZE) Tatra (T4) 22hr 36min 46sec
8. Benoit Fretin (FRA)/Cédric Duplé (FRA) Can-Am (SSV) 22hr 52min 37sec, etc
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