Contestants of Africa Eco Race passed the first Mauritanian SS.
In order to toe the starting line on time the sportsmen had to leave the bivouac in Dakhla at around 5 o’clock in the morning, they also had to cross the border of Morocco and Mauritania.
“We drove approximately 350 km, crossed the border without any problems. Then we passed 60 km more to the starting line and we had 4 hours of free time. We didn’t waste time: tried to rest and sleep, as we had an early time of getting up”, - told the pilot of KAMAZ-master Andrey Karginov.
According to another pilot of KAMAZ-master Sergey Kuprianov, the race authorities had foreseen potential delay of the border crossing and made the special short, only 172 km.
“Last year we already passed this stage and it was clear today that it was going to be very-very fast, may be the fastest in the whole race. It is done in view of crossing the border and possible delay. This SS should be competitive but without problems for the contestants,” – explained Sergey Kuprianov.
However, there were some problems. “We saw a stopped rider, he had some problems, may be, had fallen of his bike. We saw one of the leaders of the car category Thierry Magnaldi, fixing his car,” – told Kuprianov.
“That is strange, that only one car outran us. Trucks have speed limits, but cars don’t. And today there were straight roads, where one could drive at the top speed: no turnings, no dangerous places and everything was clear given in the road book. As for us, in general, we didn’t make mistakes, we went in a fast, confident way, and I hope we pleased the photographers, who took photos of the section with big jumps,” – added Sergey Kuprianov.
Andrey Karginov, who confirmed his leadership in the truck category today, said that he was expecting the next stage to be really challenging, with loose sands.
Today the sportsmen will spend the night on the bivouac near Tiwilit town. Tomorrow they have to overcome SS more than 400 km long and return to Tiwilit again. Thus, the route won’t be straight, as usual, it will be like a loop, by tradition of Africa Eco Race 2017.