Africa Eco Race The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Rally.IT: Africa Eco Race: Cerutti, Paulin and Tomecek the winners

As seen in The Rally.IT: Alessandro Cerutti secures APRILIA’s first triumph in Africa Eco Race 2024, conquering the challenging final stage. Explore the intense battles and thrilling victories in this off-road rally.

Manfred KROISS had announced the night before during the briefing that the eleventh stage of the 2024 edition would not have been easy, both in terms of navigation and terrain. As often happens, the Sports Director of AFRICA ECO RACE was right, but the leaders of the different categories did not waver and maintained their advantage over the 247 km of the day.

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In the Motorcycle category, Pol TARRES was determined not to let anyone else take victory in this final stage. The lively Andorra rider showed his skill aboard his YAMAHA 700 Ténéré, securing the stage victory with a time of 00:07:33, ahead of the KTM 450 of the surprising French rider Attilio FERT, who achieved a beautiful finish in the rally. With third place, just 2 minutes and clearly ahead of his compatriot Alessandro BOTTURI, the Italian Jacopo CERUTTI wins this 15th edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE, giving APRILIA its first victory in a major off-road rally.

The two official YAMAHA riders, Alessandro BOTTURI and Pol TARRES, finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, with times of 00:06:38 and 00:18:21. These times were very close after more than 4000 kilometers of special stages, showcasing a fierce battle during the two-week journey on the slopes. Behind the three “Twin” riders, the revelation of this AFRICA ECO RACE on two wheels is Alexandre VAUDAN.

Riding a KTM, the Swiss won not only the 450 category but also the “Rookie Rider By Acerbis” challenge reserved for riders under 35 who had never participated in a rally lasting more than 8 days.

The over-450 category is won by the Italian Giovanni STIGLIANO on HUSQVARNA, who ranks 17th overall. The first female rider is the British Vanessa RUCK, who places her KTM in 27th place in the motorcycle rankings. The first Junior, under 25 years old, is the Italian Marco MENICHINI, 7th overall on HUSQVARNA, while the first Veteran, over 40 years old, is none other than Alessandro BOTTURI. Finally, a word on the feat of these two African weeks in which Joan PREDRERO managed to bring the official HARLEY DAVIDSON 1250 Pan America to Dakar and, more importantly, to rank 25th. No one believed it, yet he did it!

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It’s worth noting the quality of the motorcycle field this year, with 34 of the 47 riders who set off from Monaco on December 30 last year set to finish tomorrow at Lac Rose for the awards ceremony.

In the Car category, Pascal FERYN and Kurt KEYSERS were determined to win this last stage. With their TOYOTA Hilux V8, the Belgians beat the Portuguese from the SSV CAN AM team, Ricardo SOUSA and Jorge BRANDAO, by 04:24, thus securing 2nd place overall and victory in the Car category. This result was a tribute to the crew that competed with Jacky LOOMANS’ former 4×4, who passed away last week after a long illness

In 3rd place in this final stage we find Pierre-Louis LOUBET and François BORSOTTO in their APACHE. A last honorable meeting for the WRC2 World Champion, who had to deal with some vehicle problems. Without them he would certainly have achieved better results than this 11th place overall. Fortunately the second SSV of this young APACHE AUTOMOTIVE team had no problems. The reliability, combined with the excellent level of performance of this new hybrid technology, allowed Gautier PAULIN and Remi BOULANGER to emerge victorious in the Car, SSV and Truck categories.

An exceptional victory for this French motocross legend who takes part in his first race behind the wheel. It is also an incredible victory for a new SSV built by a French team that had never participated in any race. Once again no one expected such a good performance, but their dominance was completed with 7 wins out of 11 stages, of which 5 for LOUBET. In the end, crew no. 260 wins the AFRICA ECO RACE with an advantage of 03:45:08 over the second, and without incurring any penalties. An impeccable performance!

In the desert giants category, Tomas TOMECEK wins, finishing 4th overall. The Czech, alone on his “old” TATRA, thus achieved his 5th victory in the AFRICA ECO RACE. He is followed by the Dutch team made up of Aad VAN VELSEN, Michel VAN VESLEN and Marco SIEMONS, who won today and are now in fifth place overall with their SCANIA. The GINAF of Cédric FERYN, Bjorn BURGELMAN and Tom DE LEEUW complete the podium of the day and the event.

In the Classic race, Tom and Eric CLAYS win the event after 27 Regularity Zones and over 1000 km of tracks, demonstrating undisputed dominance. For his 70th birthday, the Belgian driver will have the honor of climbing onto the podium with his 1986 TOYOTA BJ 73 to receive the trophy of this first edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE CLASSIC.

Today, Sunday 14 January 2024, after a final trip of 248 km to the legendary Lac Rose and a final stop on the beach for fun, the winners and finalists will take turns on the podium to receive the trophies and medals of the 2024 AFRICA ECO RACE.

Ranking 11th and final round

1Pol Tarres02:15:05
2Attilio Fert+ 00: 07: 33
3Jacopo Cerutti.+ 00: 09: 32
4Alessandro Botturi.+ 00: 11: 32
5Alexandre Vaudan+ 00: 13: 43

Absolute motion:

1Jacopo Cerutti39:52:49
2Alessandro Botturi.+ 00: 06: 38
3Pol Tarres+ 00: 24: 59
4Alexandre Vaudan+ 04: 29: 50
5Attilio Fert+ 05: 34: 23

Partial 11th car and truck test:

1Pascal Feryn02:16:04
2Ricardo Sousa+ 00: 04: 24
3Pierre Louis Loubet+ 00: 06: 26
4Heatcliff Zingraff+ 00: 08: 57
5Carlos Vento+ 00: 11: 53

Absolute car and truck:

1Gautier Paulin43:32:00
2Pascal Feryn+ 03: 45: 08
3Carlos Vento+ 04: 54: 09
4Tomas Tomacek+ 06: 13: 56
5Aad van Velsen+ 08: 30: 05

For the rest of The Rally article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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