|Estoril-Marrakech: Double Win for X-Raid, Vigouroux as third in Marrakech.|
It was under the intense Moroccan sun that competitors have made the ultimate stage (Marrakech, 70 km) at the end of eight legs that linked Portugal to Morocco, Estoril to Marrakech, passing through Portimão, over a week of intense competition and many adventures.
Precisely, the first place was only decided on the final day, with Leonid Novitskiy 1794.4 miles to finish the clock in front of Filipe Campos, with 6:37 advantage. Still, the Russian had to struggle in beating rookie ever in Africa, by little, being the big surprise of the race.
"I'm very happy because I joined the race victory with the world title win. The organization is to be congratulated, the stages in Portugal were difficult and after a demanding course in Morocco, all very well designed", explained the winner before the podium ceremony.
From his side, Filipe Campos, the Portuguese champion could not be more pleased after an event of an excellent standard, in Portugal, where he collected the highest score for the Portuguese championship, whether in Morocco where he only lost the lead before the last day.
"Yes, it was much better than we could expected. I never thought to fight for the podium places, and the win was like a mirage. I've been well above average compared to that expected ... sometimes even a little too much! We learn every day to make navigation and read the ground. We lack experience to do the same game as the other drivers" said Campos that also won his first ever stage in Africa (Marrakech) ...
Eric Vigouroux was also pleased with his performance in the rally, as the French said to have ended in its natural place, taking into account the forces. "With the BMW in the race, this was our position. In Portugal I had some problems with the gearbox that I conditioned the way, but I came to Africa not far from the front. I always drove quickly between the three fastest and now I'm ahead of the category 2 Wheel Drive in the World Cup, so we go to Egypt in September to try to win the title", said the Chevrolet driver.
Ranked fourth and second best Portuguese team, Ricardo Leal dos Santos/Paulo Fiuza (BMW X5) were very near from a podium place, but the differences between the X5 and Vigouroux's Silverado did not play for the Coimbra's driver.
"We have not achieved our objective, which was a place on the podium, but we are happy. The difference in the cars was great and, as an example, on a stage Vigouroux was faster 5m in only 20km! The brake problems in Portugal have also affected the suspensions in Morocco, a distinct proof from the last Dakar, where I almost had no problems", he summarized.
With Lachaume Pierre/Jean Brucy, in Bowler Wildcat, closing the "Top 5", Nuno Matos/Filipe Serra (Isuzu D-Max) were the only team to finish in the T2 category.
"I make a very positive assessment of this first edition. The Ambassador of Morocco in Portugal was exceptional in the way it helped us to build this organization and ACP team did not deny the efforts that all would go for the best. We will analyze everything that happened to decide the future of this event", explained Carlos Barbosa, president of the Automóvel Club de Portugal.
Estoril-Marrakech Overall Cars Top 10 after Final Stage
01) Leonid Novitskiy/Andreas Schulz I X-Raid BMW X3CC I 21:06:10
02) Filipe Campos/Jaime Baptista I BMW X3CC I 22:12:47
03) Eric Vigouroux/Alex Winocq I Chevrolet Silverado I 22:11:00
04) Ricardo Leal dos Santos/Paulo Fiuza I BMW X5 I 22:24:39
05) Pierre Lachaume/Jean Brucy I Bowler Wildcat I 25:27:57
06) Bernardo Moniz da Maia/Joana Sotto-Mayor I BMW X3CC I 26:24:41
07) Gerard Benielli/Didier Haquette I MCM Buggy I 26:40:55
08) Amadeus Matzker/Lee Palmer I Land Rover Def I 26:48:08
09) José Pereira/Rui Fernandes I Mazda BT 50 I 28:58:57
10) Nino Matos/Filipe Sera I Isuzu D-Max I 29:28:18
2010/06/14 | 12:30 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS