The Portuguese pilot Elisabete Jacinto completed today in a very positive way the 10th stage of the Africa Eco Race reaching the third place among trucks. The special, fulfilled around Akjoujt, included 379 timed kilometers done on sandy tracks and with many dune crossings. The OLEOBAN® team printed a consistent pace that allowed them to overcome efficiently all obstacles having finished behind the Russian Anton Shibalov, from the KAMAZ formation, the leader of the category, and the Tatra of Tomas Tomecek, the winner of the day.
The MAN TGS from the team OLEOBAN continues to occupy third place among trucksIt took 6h47m55s to the Portuguese team to complete the course of today’s journey that proved to be very difficult because most of the track was dominated by very soft sand dunes. For Elisabete Jacinto was another shattering day, « before we left to the step we had the notion that possibly this would be the most difficult route of the entire rally. And so it was. The first part was very fast and we did several kilometers without problems. But once we reached the dunes we were soon buried. With some caution we took the truck out, and we continued to go as fast as we could. However, at one point, I decided to climb a dune that had no tracks and the truck got stuck in the dune crest. We to dig and it took us a long time to get out. After that, as the tire pressure was too low, the tire got out of the rim and we stopped once again. When finally we were preparing to leave we noticed that the steering damper had crashed. That is, today we had a succession of problems which delayed us a lot and didn’t let us evolve further in the standings », said Elisabete Jacinto.
Soft sand dunes delayed the team OleobanFor the Portuguese team this rally has been quite difficult, however, that doesn’t detract Elisabete Jacinto who keeps her eyes on the podium of trucks: « I feel improving in every year that I participate in this competition. But the power of our truck is not enough to advance in the sandy floors of Mauritania and is very difficult to do better. Still, tomorrow we will leave on a podium place for the last special that counts for the rally classification. We are really pleased to be close to achieving our goals even after we have gone through so many adversities. The race has been very hard, is the resolution of the problems that affect us in every step that dictate our rankings at the end, « said the pilot OLEOBAN team.
With today’s result, and at a time when there’s only stage left to dispute – the stage held in Lac Rose will be extra classification – the Portuguese trio holds the 14th place of the joint classification and is third among trucks just behind the Czech Tomas Tomecek . The Kamaz driven by Anton Shibalov continues to lead the T4 category.
Tomorrow will be held the 11th stage of this eighth edition of the Africa Eco Race. It will be the last selective sector completed on Mauritanian soil and is also the last special considered to the standings of this great African marathon. On this day the crossing of the dunes will not offer great difficulties to competitors that will fulfill 208 timed kilometers made between Akjoujt and Fimlit. After this special, the delegation will have long liasion of 340 km to the bivouac which will be installed in Saint Louis, Senegal. At the end of the day, standings are defined and will be found the winners of another Africa Race.