Morocco Stage1: Elisabete Jacinto wins first stage

© Jorge Cunha

The Portuguese driver Elisabete Jacinto started today her participation in the Morocco Desert Challenge with a victory among trucks. The first stage of this great African competition, held between Agadir and Icht, was particularly hard. The 387 timed kilometers that composed this special were made in irregular soils, with a lot of stone and narrow tracks that made difficult the progression of the teams in the field.


The Bio-Ritmo® team managed to finish this complex stage in 7h33m54s and managed to impose an eight-minute advantage to the second place of the category the Dutchman Paul Verheyden who, at the wheel of a DAF, spent 7h42m05s to perform the selective sector. For Elisabete Jacinto, although it was a tiring day, it was also very positive: « It was a really difficult day. The tracks were very hard and were full of sharp stones that degraded our tires. We tried to go fast but it was difficult to make progress on this kind of floor. The navigation was very complex and required a lot of concentration on the part of our navigator José Marques. But, as always, he did an exemplary job and we were always on the right path. In addition to the difficulties inherent to the course we had to stop for three times to change the tires that, due to the bad tread, got flat and made us to lose some time. Adding to all this it was a very hot day. Our thermometer reached the mark of 41 degrees. But we are satisfied with the result above all because we have given our best » said Elisabete Jacinto.

The second stage of this Morocco Desert Chalenge will be held tomorrow between Icht and Foum Zguid. The special will be composed of 359 timed kilometers fulfilled in zones with very fast tracks. But at the end of the stage competitors will have to cross a sandy oued and it will be necessary to take extra care not to get stuck in the soft sand.

Anabela Martinho,