Straight for the dunes… First assault!

As beautiful and captivating as ever… Mauritania ! In this sea of sand, the competitors were engulfed by the immensity that surrounded them.  With sand-dunes stretching to the horizon, it was an amazing moment for all those who love the wide open spaces and the Sahara !

This first special stage in Mauritania was beautiful, with plenty of dunes… A totally new timed stage, a route which no previous rally had taken.  On the day’s menu, plenty of off-track, alternating fast plateaus, vegetation, grassy valleys, camel grass, dunes and rocky sections… Application and concentration was necessary… especially as the sand was particularly soft.


The ‘Desert Fox’ on top form !

Between Boulanouar and Tabrenkout (around thirty kilometres from Akjoujt), the 398-km timed stage was far from restful, especially for those drivers unfamiliar with the dunes.  In masterly fashion, Jean-Louis Schlesser, nicknamed the Desert Fox, won the stage in his Buggy, bringing in his wake his team-mate François Lethier, rather nervous of his first Mauritanian stage. Jérôme Pelichet, behind the wheel of his Wildcat, a light and agile car, was right behind the two blue buggies, while Jacky Loomans lost some time after hitting a big rock, which caused some damage to the underside as well as a small oil leak.  Still on the pace, Edmond Pelichet enjoyed his day, admitting that he had a good feeling for the sand. Miroslav Kubicek was ‘surfing’ and really enjoyed himself.  The Swiss driver did not get stuck a single time, having fun behind the wheel of his Range Rover Classic and finishing 6th !

Read more: Communiqué N°9