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Welcome to the Africa Eco Race 2012 special newssection. To read an article just click on the specific headline below. All articles are visible for several years and under special subdomain [ COPY & CLICK HERE ] or use the SEARCH.




Africa Eco Race: Behind the rally scenes - the last kilometers before Dakar.






From Robb Pritchard: It was 2 weeks ago when, clean-shaven, we all met in St Cyprien, a few familiar faces in the crowd of strangers.

Now through Spain, the freezing mountains of Morocco, the plateaus of Western Sahara, wastes of Mauritania and funny trees of Senegal the people I've seen crawl from their cars, bash them back into shape with hammers, serve dinner, write press releases until late at night and stand in attendant semi-circles to listen to the briefings; these people have become like family.

It's not just a need for speed and the love of dust and sand that has drawn the eclectic (and I dare say somewhat eccentric) group together, the Africa Eco race is more than that... it follows in the spiritual wheel tracks of Thierry Sabine, legendary founder of the original Paris-Dakar.

Sabine didn't go to South America to search a route for what became one of the world's toughest tests of man and machine. No, he came to where I am standing now, at the shore of lake with a slight pinkish tinge to it just inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

It was only a short dash today, a 23km blast along the beach and around the Pink Lake, a little traditional and light-hearted fun for those who have made it all the way from the south of France the day after Christmas to the Senagalese capital. Jean-Louis Schlesser led the parade over the finish ramp and few would have bet against him, but from the start it was a faultless drive. Don't forget he was in a brand new car with an untried co-driver and still he didn't hardly put a wheel wrong.

Delighted with taking the runner's up spot was Tomas Tomecek in his TATRA truck. Don't think of it as a service barge trundling along the plains... think more an 8 tonne Group B rally car... and with it's huge tyres and engine with massive amount of torque it has a big advantage over the cars in the soft sand.

"I need to say thank you to the organisers," he said. "It was a very hard race, but in these difficult times that have made this wonderful rally and now really, it's good enough to be able to choose between the South America Dakar and the Eco Race... and for me Eco Race is the best choice!"

Taking a very popular 3rd overall (and second in the car category) is Jacques Loomans in his Overdrive Amarok and winners of the T2 class for production based cars (and 8th overall) is the furthest travelled team, Maxim Kirpilev and Vadim Shmaylov from the snowy lands of Russia.

"We really love this rally. We weren't aiming to win, but the car was good and we kept pushing and the win came. The most important thing is having a great time with your friends, and we did! Also, it's good to see this event growing. It has the potential to be really big."

In a close call for the title of nicest person in a set of racing overalls with Mr Schlesser, Elisabeta Jacinto was also full of praise for Rene Metge and his team. "I like this rally very much. It's well organised and has the type of SS that we like, long and hard so for sure we will be back next year."

And for me... That last blast along the beach... it was done with a real sense of achievement as well as history, even if it was a bit hairy at 130km/h in an overloaded Russian Nissan Patrol. For so long I've been pushing on and on with such long days that it seems strange that it is all over.

The near forgotten luxury of a hot shower and fumbling with hotel key cards rather than finding a dusty spot on the floor to sleep... It's more for the competitors to thank Rene Metge for making a perfect course (I honestly didn't hear a bad word) but for me, my gratitude is to the Belgorod Offroad team from driving me all the way down from Morocco to Dakar and out into the stages.

It was an absolutely amazing trip from start to finish... All results can be found online here [ AFRICA ECO RACE RESULTS ].

2012/01/09 | 15:37 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/PRITCHARD











Africa Eco Race: MAN TGS and Elisabete Jacinto shine at Africa Race 2012. | 12.01.2012 14:44 |




Africa Eco Race: Elisabete Jacinto and MAN 2nd - truck-duel by 3 seconds. | 09.01.2012 18:23 |




Africa Eco Race: Cars-winner Schlesser "The race was harder than last year". | 09.01.2012 15:50 |




Africa Eco Race: Behind the rally scenes - the last kilometers before Dakar. | 09.01.2012 15:37 |




Africa Eco Race: Schlesser, Polli and Tomecek - all at the Lac Rosé Dakar. | 09.01.2012 14:10 |




Africa Eco Race: Stories behind the scenes on SS06 - going south to Dakhla. | 03.01.2012 17:07 |




Africa Eco Race: Schlesser - "Navigation tricky but the landscape incredible". | 03.01.2012 16:07 |




Africa Eco Race: Schlesser and Polli keep the pace in the South of Morocco. | 03.01.2012 15:01 |




Africa Eco Race: Third stage win for Team Schlesser - "Nice start on 2012". | 02.01.2012 15:45 |




Africa Eco Race: Schlesser, Lenoble and Jacinto start the year well in Africa. | 02.01.2012 15:27 |




Africa Eco Race: The story behind Stage 04 - "It was almost like a miracle". | 02.01.2012 15:12 |




Africa Eco Race: Schlesser keeps the pace after SS04 crossing Erg Chegaga. | 02.01.2012 11:11 |




Africa Eco Race: Jean-Louis Schlesser takes control in 3rd stage in Morocco. | 31.12.2011 17:39 |




Africa Eco Race: Behind the scenes - enjoying 3rd stage inside the helicopter. | 31.12.2011 03:40 |




Africa Eco Race: Jean L. Schlesser - "It's always a great joy to return to Africa". | 30.12.2011 20:38 |




Africa Eco Race RESULTS: D01/SS02 Borj bel Freissate - El Mdoura Morocco | 30.12.2011 14:53 |




Africa Eco Race: Story behind "They said it was going to be hard - and it was". | 30.12.2011 12:29 |




Africa Eco Race: Rally started with first stage in Africa after long Europe-liasion. | 30.12.2011 11:41 |




Africa Eco Race: The importance of spirit - start of the "real rally to Dakar" 12. | 28.12.2011 21:00 |




Africa Eco Race RESULTS: List of competitors Africa Race Cars/Bikes/Trucks | 20.12.2011 20:41 |




Africa Eco Race: 4th edition promises great show in two-wheel drive category. | 30.11.2011 13:23 |




Africa Eco Race: Presentation of the rally route 2012 from France to Dakar. | 19.11.2011 21:04 |




Africa Eco Race: Rest-day Morocco, 3.0000 trees for Mauritania, Photovoltaic. | 15.09.2011 20:58 |




Africa Eco Race: Team Loomans to start with 5 cars (Africa-Toyota) and trucks. | 10.08.2011 15:03 |




Africa Eco Race: Big promotion success in the Netherlands and Belgium. | 22.05.2011 21:57 |




Africa Eco Race: Entries for the "Real Dakar" open, also for Amateur-teams. | 18.05.2011 22:50 |




Africa Eco Race: The fourth AER rally edition is on its way - again head for Dakar. | 11.03.2011 13:31 |




Africa Eco Race: René Metge after third Edition of Rally - "I thank you all". | 04.02.2011 21:04 |




















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