Elisabete Jacinto reached today the third place among T4 and was seventh in the joint classification auto / truck after finishing the eighth stage of the Africa Eco Race. At the 377 kilometers timed, completed between Chinguetti and Amati, where once again, predominated the dunes and soft sand tracks, but also areas with lots of stone. Although it was a very demanding and complicated stage, the OLEOBAN® team managed to overcome in a prudent but effective way all the obstacles that the route had.
The Portuguese trio started the day cautiously because the route was not favorable to their MAN TGS that, due to its weight and little power, is slower to overcome the soft sand areas than its main opponents. However, the pilot Elisabete Jacinto printed an effective rhythm that allowed him to finish ahead of the KAMAZ from the Russian Sergey Kuprianov and just 2m45s of the TATRA Czech Tomas Tomecek, who was second in special today.
Difficult stage did not stop the team OLEOBANElisabete Jacinto pointed out, on the arrival at the camp, the difficulties of selective sector, « today’s track was devastating. We found areas of stone and also areas of soft sand dunes. The initial 300 kilometers were terrible. We made the trail very slowly and carefully to avoid problems. It was overwhelming and difficult. We were anxious to get to the bivouac. We were very tired, but all turned out ok and we were compensated because we were able to perform a stage without problems. The sports results also made us very happy and we are motivated to continue to fight for a good position « said the Portuguese pilot.
With the result obtained at the end of this eighth stage, and at a time when there are only three timed special to be held, the Portuguese formation remains third in the T4 class and occupies the 12th place of the joint classification auto / truck.
The OLEOBAN® team suffered a decrease in the formation due to a sudden illness that affected their second mechanic. Victor Pacheco was today repatriated with urgency to Lisbon, in a chartered flight with medical teams, due to appendicitis and therefore the Portuguese are now reduced to five elements. Marco Cochinho is, at this point, the only mechanic available for the two trucks of the team thereby limiting their action.
Tomorrow’s stage, the ninth of this Africa Eco Race, will link Amodjar the Akjoujt. In the stage, which will be held 445 kilometers against the clock between Aout and Akjoujt, awaits once again great adversities in the dunes crossings where the skill of driving and the accuracy of the navigation will be put to the test. The caravan of this great African marathon leaves tomorrow to Akjoujt where the bivouac will remain for two days.