|Africa Eco Race 2011: Stéphane Henrard to start Buggy-Battle with Schlesser.|
Surprise, surprise: The Belgian former Volkswagen factory-driver Stéphane Henrard will start with his Volkswagen Tarek Buggy at the "Africa Eco Race" (AER), which will start on December 27th near Narbonne in France. The AER is the new alternative to the new Dakar-Rally in South America: 9.000 kilometers of racing through the traditional countries like Morocco, Mauretania and Senegal.
Last weekend the Dutch and Belgian participants celebrated their "Africa Eco Race Prestart" in Lommel/Belgium, a kind of the legendary "Dakar Pre-Proloog" in Valkenswaard/Holland.
28 cars overall and many hundred visitors joined the spectacle. The most well known participants from Holland and Belgium were Jacky Loomans (Nissan Navara), Noel Essers (MAN TGA) and former Dakar-Boss Hubert Auriol with Jean-Paul Forthomme in a Predator Buggy.
Henrard was surprising the participants: "After weeks of intense negotiations, I am very happy that I can return to Africa" said the Belgian from the capital Brussels, which participated in the South America Dakar in 2010.
"The history of René Metge shows me that this Rally would be fantastic and full of surprises. The Africa Eco Race gives your more sportive challenge and ambitions. The participants are well balanced - except Jean-Louis Schlesser" he underlined his AER-engagement.
Even if the Volkswagen TDI Diesel-powered buggy from Henrard is not as fast as the V8-Buggy from Jean-Louis Schlesser: The car is stable, powerful in the dunes, needs less fuel - and Henrard is also a well experienced driver. Maybe not the same battle, the French Schlesser had with Eric Vigouroux in Egypt, but definetely interesting...
2010/12/21 | 18:57 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/RRMG