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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Africa Eco Race: Emotional report from Portugal´s Elisbete Jacinto.






From Elisabete Jacinto: It was not an easy decision not to take part for the eleventh time in a rally which attracted me for such a long time and which completely controlled the course of my life. However, the sense of frustration I felt in 2008, when the Dakar was cancelled, as well as the possibility of returning to Africa were strong influences since day one.

It is a fact that the history of the biggest rally in the world and the media attention created through all those years caused a sort of giant wave which tends to impel us, but it is also true that we developed such strong ties with this rally that we end up willing to be impelled.

However, objectively, we have to recognize that cancelling the 2008 edition showed a big change in the spirit of this marathon. For many years, it was a rally for adventurers, for fearless people, who frequently risked their own lives. It should be remembered that at first there were no GPSs, no satellite phones, no cell phones network, no Iritrack. The only things which existed were maps and compasses, and to read them we had to stop the vehicles; besides, those who got lost. Endured moments of real fear and despair!

At the time, each one tested his or her physical, intellectual and emotional skills. Problems had to be overcome, emotions and exhaustion dealt with. but in the end there was the sense of being part of an elite. Of being one of those happy few who got to the finishing line and posed for the classic photo in Dakar beach. At home, sitting on a sofa, we watched them suffering, shuffling their feet, such was their tiredness, and we were informed of fantastic stories from those who gave everything they got for an ideal. The ideal of living through and overcome difficulties, so that in the end they felt they were winners. over themselves!

Cancelling "the Dakar" was the last straw to put an end to this philosophy of adventure which had already been fading in recent years. This had to do not only with the development of all the technology which guarantees the security of each and everyone, but also with the inclusion of economically powerful brands which proved through this rally how their vehicles were robust and of good quality. A strong incentive for sales! So, the faces covered with dust and wrinkled by tiredness belonging to the private drivers we used to see on television left gradually their place to radiant faces of official drivers, wearing clean ironed shirts. The philosophy of "the Dakar" had in fact changed!

. And when in 2007 there were rumors of attacks, nobody recalled the adventure and overcoming element. The organization itself seemed not to realize that had been one of the success factors for this rally and put an end to it there and then. They moved to Latin America, taking the name but not the spirit. The rally which used to be adventurous is now publicized as safe. In Latin America it is safe, so they say!

This disrupted the balance which was there for so many years, and today, though we are going through a crisis, rallies abound. There is big supply, so we may choose the rally which suits us best. We still like adventure, but we want it with security. So, which is the only place in the world where we may find ourselves and face our capacities? The desert, obviously! Therefore, I concluded that Africa Race rally, with almost six thousand kilometers from Portimão to Dakar, had all the components I always wanted to find in the great marathon. I considered it as a return to the origin, though aware that nowadays nothing can be as it was in the past, because technology no longer allows. In the end, I was one of the minority of drivers who were not taken aback by the claimed African insecurity. After all, where are we really safe these days?! And then. one has to be able to discern between real danger and advertised danger.

Do not misunderstand me. but were there not always risks, ever since Thierry Sabine came forward with the competition?! At first, I felt somewhat annoyed to take part in a competition with so few entrants, but it turned out to be one of the most interesting in competitive terms, thanks to the hard fight with the Hungarian Miklos Kovacs. Anyway, the one setting out behind the other always drove faster, and the results were sometimes surprising. Conclusion: the quality of the competitors is more important than their quantity. I fought till I possibly could for a classification I already knew it would be impossible to attain, since the truck had already started causing problems, but I became aware that in fact I may drive pretty fast. That was my true aim!

Sportsmanship and warmth were dominant in this rally, with the same rules for everybody. We were very strong in several specials, some of them absolutely new, with navigation playing a crucial part. Concentration, keen sight and intelligence were permanently challenged in navigators, to make it possible to strictly follow a model Road Book which in several days needed no correction or change. And then, we were really alone. We had to find our own way!

Driving was a permanent challenge, and many kilometers in dunes caused the perspiration to drop. And the dunes showed no mercy, with even the best drivers being forced to take shovels in their hands to help unearthing their vehicles.

Not being subject to airports, we are free from the hated connections and manage to get more time to rest. On their part, camps were always set in truly beautiful places, far from towns, just between the sky and the desert!

In spite of all the available technology, Africa Race kept a strong element of adventure due to the fact that it was a rally for private drivers, with each one trying to surpass him- or herself. The story of the Renault Kangoo 4x4 driver who, facing a leak in the radiator, chewed some blades of grass and with the resulting paste managed to block the leak of the precious liquid which might have prevented him from finishing the streak is just one example. How many more were there?!

Africa Race was undoubtedly one of the best competitions I entered, even better than what I was expecting both in terms of conception and quality of the organization. I also lived a very interesting emotional experience because, having been so much involved in "the Dakar’s" gigantism, to reach Dakar in a small competition in the number of entrants, and discreet in terms of social impact, I had to question my deepest feelings and to set my aims in perspective. I was pleased to reach the conclusion that what really drives me is the pleasure of driving, overcoming and adventure. This. and nothing more!

2010/02/02 | 22:16 CET | Editor: MR/HS/JACINTO











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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