Today is the starting date of the 2010 Africa Eco race, perhaps an alternative race to the Dakar rally?
It´s the 2nd edition, and a perfect choice if you wanna stay on this side of the Atlantic ocean. The race is starting with a shakedown in Portugal and the seaside resort Portimao, finishing in Dakar, Senegal on January 10th.
A total of 85 vehicles will be in the entourage, of which 50 will be competing.
The race will pass through Morocco, Mauretania and Senegal, a total of 12 stages and 6200 kilometers, of which, 4000 will be special stages.
The race sporting director is René Metge (3 time winner of the Dakar rally in: 1981-Range Rover, 1984-Porche 911, 1986-Porche 959 amongst others...). The route has been finalized with José Maria Servia (also a well known Dakar participant...played a central role in the Masuoka/Schlesser battle in the Dakar 2001).
Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA) winner of the Dakar rally 1999, 2000 is back! He loves the African terrain and stayed behind on well known grounds!
Elisabete Jacinto (POR) who has a long story with the Dakar rally is also joining up as the only Portugese rider. She will be participating in her MAN truck. She is a former motorcyclist that went over to 4-wheels, but the larger kind.
It will be interesting to see the full entrants list, if there are some other familiar faces!