|Oilibya du Maroc: Frenchmen Cyril Despres and Eric Vigouroux win in Morocco|
The final stage of the the "OiLibia Morocco Rally" celebrated two giants of the rally world. On the podium, are Cyril Despres (KTM 450) and Eric Vigouroux and Alex Winocq (Chevrolet Trophy Truck) opening the champagne bottles, with deserved victories at the end of six days of racing and more than 2,000 kilometres.
Big blue skies greeted the finish line of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, the backdrop: the beautiful dunes of Tinfou. He’d left in eighth place after losing a lot of time yesterday, but Cyril Despres (KTM 450) perfectly managed his time today, not yielding to the pressure set by the Spaniard Joan Barreda (Husqvarna).
Serenely, the quadruple winner of the Dakar recited his lines perfectly, also adding a fourth crown in Morocco. Behind him, Barreda, and the Chilean Francesco 'Chaleco' Lopez (KTM 450) confirming that we can count on them in a little more than two months in South America.
Winner of the last stage, but robbed of a perfect race by an engine failure Thursday, Portugal's Helder Rodrigues (Honda CRF450) also showed that the Japanese brand had not invested lightly in this in this great adventure. Except for Marc Coma (KTM 450), the victim of a fall and a dislocated shoulder on Wednesday, all names in the discipline confirmed their high level of competition just weeks before the Dakar.
This is the case, for Alain Duclos (Sherco 450 No. 21), the first competitive outing of the new Sherco, was a great success and offers all the guarantees of a great success in the coming months seeing how the intensity of the Rally of Morocco OiLibya could serve as a true test, for men and their machines.
And then there are all the other amateurs who came to this OiLibya Rally of Morocco to live the simple pleasure of attending and experiencing an adventure out of the ordinary in an exceptional country. This is the spirit desired by NPO by creating a few years ago, the Enduro Cup, reserved for production motorcycles, without any preparation.
To see the beaming face of Philippe Dasse (KTM 450), champagne in hand on the podium in this event, you could easily imagine what it feels like for his client and friend in the Piboules Racing team : Joel Vidal (KTM 450), last year's winner and second this time. Same for Laurent Moulin (Yamaha 450), on the third step of the podium after a remarkable race.
Not forgetting the wonderful story of Thierry Picco (Yamaha 450). This French amateur, Suffering from cancer two years ago, decided to defy the Moroccan tracks and offer himself a great victory against the disease with his association 'Two wheels against cancer'.
Vincent Albira (Honda), winner in the quads, despite a puncture during the final stage. Leading the event last year Vincent had to give up two days from the finish. This time, he signed a victory by beating Frédéric Alard (Honda No. 273). Second scratch, but the winner of the Enduro Cup in front of Pascal Delesque (Honda No. 271) who had trouble believing his performance.
They came to Morocco... just for fun of it, really just to offer their Trophy Truck, a final exit after 7 years of development, Eric Vigouroux and Alex Winocq accomplished the incredible challenge of winning their first major African rally, cheekily in front of the professional teams’ beards.
And yet, the most American of French pilots almost missed the occasion. Confident with nearly three quarters of an hour on the Russian Novitsky (X-raid Mini All4 Racing), he had to stop in the middle of the stage to discover a transmission problem.
Suffice to say that the last 90 kilometres of the OiLibya Rally of Morocco, were stressful but he crossed the line in slow motion, and retained nearly 18 minutes over the Russians.
Second stage won by Polish Holowcyc (Mini All4 Racing), after his technical problems yesterday, Brazilian Guilherme Spinelli and his compatriot Youssef Haddad (Mitsubishi ASX) completed the podium highlighting the potential of this new car strait out of the workshops of Thierry Viardot in Pont de Vaux.
And if, after his podium in 2001, Boris Garafulic, accompanied by Gilles Piccard (X-raid BMW X3CC) confirms his beautiful arrangements here in Morocco, the Russian Leonid Ogorodnikov (Toyota Hilux Pickup) is the most consistent driver of Team Overdrive.
In the amateurs, T2 category, reserved for production cars, the French duo Genovini / Chahinian (Toyota). Consistent since the beginning of this Rally were especially careful not to take any chances on the final stage. In the final rankings, they are ahead of the other Toyota of Faloux / Buesa and the Italians Bellini Crivellari in their Nissan.
A special mention also for the 100% lady team formed by Céline Merle-Beral and Clemence Joyeux (Toyota), fourth in the category with an excellent 27th place overall for the two novices ..
Eighth of the stage and tenth overall Jean- Antoine Sabatier and Frédéric Drault (Buggy Predator) show very clearly that 'low cost' projects can do exceedingly well. Winner of the Open Category in front of his clients Cédric Chalvin and Christelle Lacroix (Buggy Predator) and the duo Dupont / Martegoutte (Toyota), the Franco-Moroccan driver succeeds here a magnificent publicity stunt for the dozen of Predators that has for rent on African rallies...
De Rooy is ready!
They came, they saw, they conquered! The Team De Rooy Iveco did not leave a single grain of sand to their opponents during this OiLibya Rally of Morocco. Crowning on all stage wins, Gerard De Rooy and Miki Biasion, confirmed that they literally flew over the competition.
In the end, the Dutch driver, winner of the last Dakar wins ahead of his teammate. After a week validating technical innovations, he confirms that he will be the man to beat in the January in South America.
Elisabete Jacinto, signs her second consecutive podium here in Morocco. The Lusitanian driver always looking for the best suspension is all setup for the next Africa Eco Race, ahead of the Italian Bellina (Ginaf), the Dutch Timmermans (DAF) and the Polish Domovnik (Mercedes).
2012/10/22 | 13:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/NPO