An update with René METGE…

« Agadir means the rest day this year, and it will do everyone a lot of good !  My first real satisfaction is to note that everyone is present.  Even if some have had some mechanical problems, everyone has reached Agadir.  I am also satisfied with the reaction the competitors have had to the route.  They like it, and they have said so.  Drivers and co-drivers are both enjoying themselves equally.  The reconnaissance team has done an excellent job, and the corrections to the road-book are really minimal, with approximately three to four additions per day.

On the sporting level, the navigation has sometimes made the difference on the first part of the event.  Those with less experience may have suffered a bit, but it seems as if they are now more confident, and everything should improve from now on.

I would like to thank the authorities in Morocco : the Police and the Royal Gendarmerie. Their supervision and the organisation of the bivouacs has been perfect.

As for the rest of the route, the rally will head towards the sand tomorrow.  I am not too worried in terms of crossing the dunes – there will be plenty of them to cross, but the time in the dunes in shorter.  The navigation will be different, as it will now take place over the wide open spaces… another way to see things.  But quite frankly, I think they will really enjoy themselves, which corresponds perfectly to the spirit that we want for this event.  My biggest reward is the smile on the faces of the competitors in the bivouac every evening… even if they had a difficult day! »

Momo’s trials and tribulations…

« It will be a while before the family Asloun forgets this first week of the Africa Eco Race 2010… the popular « Momo », and has navigator (and daughter) Naella, have lived through some intense moments… A natural optimist, Momo has never, at any point, given up ! And as our Ch’timi likes to underline : « This week, we’ve had to eat dry bread … next week it will be bread and butter… and jam !!!!”  Everything started to go wrong after two kilometres on the first special stage, when a shock absorber bolt gave way.  A bit further on, the fuel injection sensor was out of order, meaning the car stopped dead. The father and daughter waited for the sweeper truck, returning to the bivouac in the middle of the night.  They managed to come up with a repair, and the Ch’ti Kangoo was ready to take the start of the 2nd stage.  But quite quickly, Momo realised that the repair would not hold. They headed for Oujda, for the nearest Renault dealer.  But it was no use; there were no spare parts to be had.  Turning back, the clutch showed signs of weakness.  Arriving in La Momie, on December 31st … they had just enough time to say ‘Happy New Year’ before spending the night dismantling and reassembling the gear-box and changing the clutch, while noting that the sensor failure was probably due to this problem. After 107 km of the third special stage, the sensor began playing up again. Thirty kilometres later, they came to a halt.  The sweeper truck, the St Bernard of the desert, stopped again to tow them the 130 km…until the front of the Kangoo became dislocated while going over a pothole. Ali de Zagora, a well-known local mechanic, was called to the rescue… The Kangoo had a facelift in Zagora’s workshops and received a new sensor, sent from Casablanca.  They could finally head for Agadir and the rest day ! Tomorrow, the crew of the nr 311 will take the start of the fifth stage, heading for Greid Lareich.