Elisabete Jacinto reached the second position among the trucks in the first special of the African Eco Race 2019, a short 90-kilometre journey between Ameziane and Merada in Morocco. The Bio-Ritmo team also won the fourth place in the joint auto/truck classification, finishing the season with a difference of just 1m34s for the first place overall, and took 1h01m20s to complete the course of the day.
The trio of Elisabete Jacinto, José Marques and Marco Cochinho completed the first day of this great African marathon without any difficulties imposing a good performance against their most direct opponents and finished ahead of the Czech Tatra Tomas Tomecek, the great opponent of the Portuguese in this test. At the moment, the Bio-Ritmo team is only 1m23s behind the top of the truck category, a place occupied by the Belgian Igor Bouwens that competes with the commands of an IVECO.
For Elisabete Jacinto, this was a very positive way to start the competition: “the special was difficult in terms of navigation. But we did it all the way without deceiving ourselves and we managed to impose a good rhythm. We were always winning places in relation to the competitors that went before us and in the end, we reached a good position. The match for the stage was delayed because Morocco changed the entry system in the country. So we had to carry out the formalities twice, one on the boat and the other as soon as we reached the port, which greatly delayed the way out of the competition. However, it went well and we are happy with this first day of racing, “said Elisabete Jacinto at the end of the first African Eco Race 2019 special.
The stage was won by Dominique Laure in an Optimus MD buggy with a record of 59:46, less 11 seconds than the best truck, Igor Bouwens’ Iveco. third place for Frenchman Dominique Housieaux, in another Optimus MD, this one already the 58s.
On the bikes, Italian Alessandro Botturi (Yamaha) was the best with 1:04:42, more than six minutes in front of Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM), with Richard Kaye (KTM) in third at 10m02s.
The second stage of the Africa Race 2019 will have an unprecedented track and marks the beginning of a rally that promises to be quite interesting. Experienced browsers should have no problems during the special, but will have to be vigilant to avoid the pitfalls of the Moroccan tracks. The arrival will be in the camp where the teams will be able to enjoy the maximum of rest.