Divided into two distinct parts, this 9th stage which is around 400 km, brings the competitors for an initial loop in the vicinity of Atar, before returning through the Azougi for supply and heading for Akjoujt.
On the program today: dune crossings galore and navigation before a quick portion for the final sprint towards the finish of the stage.
Norway’s Pal Anders Ulevalseter who, according to his own admission, has succeeded in one of his finest stages in this 2017 event, finished second in the stage, conceding to the leader of the event, Gev Sella.
Now it’s a fifth stage victory in the motorcycle category for the leader of this Africa Eco Race 2017 for Gev Sella, who took advantage over Ullevalseter at 44:05.The Israeli prodigy admits to not yet thinking about the final victory, but, except for a mechanical or incidental breakdown, the driver will likely see his first major victory on Saturday!
On the cars side, it is the former driver of the single-seater, Frenchman Guillaume Gomez who secured the third place in the stage. He climbs to the 4th place in the general standings.
It was also a very good race for Czech Miroslav Zapletal, who made his first appearance on the 9th stage despite a puncture on his impressive Hummer. The Czech driver stood on the provisional podium of the event.
After repeated problems with his power steering belt Patrick Sireyjol, already second in the series yesterday, confirmed his buggy’s potential to secure his first stage victory of the Africa Eco Race 2017.
Still the leader of the general standings in the cars/trucks category, Vladimir Vasilyev and his teammate Konstantin Zhiltsov took advantage of the assistance point to change the gimbal on their Mini at the exit of the dunes.
The Russian crew nevertheless finished 7th in the special and saw his lead in the general standings grow to more than 2 hours before Frenchman Dominique Housieaux.
Jaroslav Valtr picked up a new stage victory in the trucks category and brought his spectacular Tatra to the 7th place of the day in the standings at 10:30 behind the winner of the day, Patrick Sirejyol.