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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Guy Hoquet Rally: Schlesser, Volkswagen and X-Raid to start in Morocco.

The NPO staff is mobilized to bring the final touch to the Guy Hoquet Morocco Rally 2007. This fourth round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup will take place from September, 24th to 30th in the magic southern Morocco. In parallel with sports, it constitutes a great opportunity to set up a humanitarian operation aimed at giving a hand to the schools of the regions crossed by the rally. Backed up by Guy Hoquet L´Immobilier, the operation called "Ecoliers du Désert" looks like the other operation of NPO led in Tunisia with "Lunettes pour les enfants du désert". It consists in briniging from France computers and school stationery to help the development of the moroccan schoolboys and schoolgirls.

As far as the race is concerned, the six stages are now finallized. Zagora welcomes the technical and administrative scrutineerings as well as the four first loop-stages. The fifth one, another loop, will lead the whole caravan towards Ouarzazate, place of the finish. The 2300 Km of the race, including 1800 of special, will take tracks gathering every difficulties of the african continent. These tracks should be the same as the ones taken by the competitors of the next Dakar. Some of them have understood that an opportunity was offered to them and consequently take the opportunity to train for the great african classic.

Among the competitors who have already confirmed their entry in the Guy Hoquet Morocco Rally, we find three BMW X3 of the X-Raid Team with Guerlain Chicherit, the qatari Nasser Al Attiyah and the brasilian Paulo Nobre. The Volkswagen Motorsports Team has also confirmed the entry of four Race Touareg. Three of them will defend the colours of the official team with the spaniard Carlos Sainz, the southafrican Giniel De Villiers and the american Mark Miller. The fourth Race Touareg will race for the Lagos Team with its mascot pilot Carlos Souza behind the wheel. A genuine armada which shows the determination of the german team in its race to the victory. Facing these two factory teams, Jean Louis Schlesser may once again sow discord in the battle. The "Boss", recordman of the number of victories in Morocco, will not be alone with Jose Luis Monterde behind the wheel of a second Buggy.

Besides these stars, we also have a huge number of pilots capable of great feats. On the side of the buggies which largely animated the Optic 2ooo Tunisia Rally, Pascal Thomasse will apply to confirm his third place in the tunisian event as well as Isabelle Patissier who has to take revenge. The former climbing world champion finished fourth, a few minutes behind the french pilot. But both will find on their way the buggies of the SMG Team with notably the polish Lukas Komornicki. After having illustrated himself driving 4x4, he clearly knows now how to drive 2-WD machines. Gérard Benielli, faithful to the NPO rallies, will be in Morocco behind the wheel of a brand new buggy from the Off Road Technologie workshops.

In 4 WD, the Team Nissan Technosport will be the most represented with no less than 7 vehicles on the starting line. One of them will be driven by the expert Kenjiro Shinosuka. Still with Nissan, the Overdrive team of Grégoire De Mévius is likely to join the battle. Nothing is confirmed but the polish Krzysztof Holowczyc and the frenchman Benoît Rousselot would drive performing Navara. On the other hand, the Latvians Janis Azis, Maris Saukans and Andris Feldmanis of the Riga Rally Team will race with three prototypes Oscar. Still among the pilots able to shine, Dominique Housieaux will enter with his Mitsibishi T1 with the ambition to finish in the Top 10.

The tunisian Abla Lassoued as well on Mitsubishi also confirmed her participation. Finally, Ronan Chabot and Gilles Pillot, winners of the T2 World Cup in 2006 with a Toyota will be in Morocco to test the latest evolutions of the Land Cruiser prepared in the workshop of Gennevilliers.

This Guy Hoquet Morocco Rally should count more than 50 cars but also trucks since the portuguese Elisabeth Jacinto will be there behind the wheel of her new Man.

In the 2-wheels category, we count thirty bikes and ATV’s for the moment. At the handlebars of the new KTM 690 Rally of the Lagos Team the portugueses Helder Rodrigues and Ruben Faria, future stars of the discipline, will be the main favourites on the moroccan tracks. For his last rally after 15 years of african adventures, the Frenchman Christophe Meillat will use for the first time the new Kawasaki 450 KXFE. An interesting participation for the japanese machine since the 450 category represents till nowadays 70 % of the bike category.

The Guy Hoquet Morocco Rally is also the Desert Tracking, a cross country regularity race. This profitable adventure was really succesful in Tunisia and has already seduced some 4x4 fanatics who want to discover the wonders of southern Morocco at their own pace without any federal constraint.

Finally, the other possibility to take part in the Guy Hoquet Morocco Rally is the usual VIP trip organized on the occasion of the finish of the rally. Many estate agents of the brand have already confirmed their coming. The caravan should represent a total of 200 privileged spectators who will live in the heart of the action with the stars of the discipline and witness the finish and the prize giving ceremony which will put an end to this 8th moroccan rally set up by NPO.

2007/08/28 | 12:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/NPO

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