The Africa Eco Race from Monaco to Dakar departed Saturday morning at 11 am from Quai Antoine 1er.
From December 31 to January 14, competitors driving motorcycles, cars, trucks and 4x4s – and an experimental category for hybrid vehicles – will cross Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. The off-road race covers a total of 6,054 kilometres, of which 3,812 are total leg kilometres, with the 12th stage and final 292 kilometres from Saint Louis to Lac Rose in Dakar.
The eco-responsible event includes assistance vehicles equipped with photovoltaic panels and, in 2015 (and this year also), team Kamaz Master entered a gas-hybrid truck “to prove that natural gas can be used as fuel”.
Discussing the course, Sports Director Rene Metge, said, “The Morocco leg will be challenging and you will have to remain focused to not throw away any chances of shining during the second week in Mauritania, which will be filled with its bunch of difficulties.” He added that racers will experience unforgettable scenery.
Race director and Azurean, Jean-Louis Schlesser, commented: “The African economy is promoted by local providers, and the route is defined in close collaboration with the countries authorities to avoid protected areas, such as national parks.”
There is also a humanitarian element to the race as participants collect school supplies (notebooks, colour pencils, books etc) and toys – even tennis balls – which are transported by race participants and organisers to various villages and schools of the Meoni Foundation en route.
Earlier in the year at a press conference, Mr Schelesser stated, “I would first like to thank Kate and Didier, the owners of Stars’n’Bars, for their invaluable support in organizing the start of the 2016 Africa Eco Race from Monaco. I also want to say thank you to all of the Principality of Monaco for having allowed the race to start from the Rock.”
Slovakian model (and former Guinness record holder for the longest legs for a female model at nearly 1.24 metres) Adriana Karembeu is a “lover of the African continent and supporting humanitarian projects”. The Monaco resident will be on hand for the official start.
From 10 am, Stars’n’Bars will be serving a buffet breakfast. The official rally shop in the port is also open to the public.
Long-time Monaco residents, Steven and Penny Gale of Gale Force, will be competing as Team 360. Follow their journey live at www.africarace-live.com/en/