The itinerary of this first stage allowed the caravan of the rally to escape from the economic capital of the Kingdom by the coastal road along the road of Dar Bouazza, Sidi Rahal and Azzemour, not far from El Jadida.
Once crossing this region of the Doukalas, competitors confronted a first special test, not far from Zemamra, already traveled in 2014.
This first ERR, which was fairly simple and relatively undulating, was an opportunity for competitors to calibrate their instruments definitively in order to battle it out throughout the 20 events in Morocco Classic 2017. Category Classic, the event was won by the ” Belgian crew C.GHISTELINCK – L.DAVID on Mercedes Coupe 350; On the Prestige side, the Bentley Continental GTC led by the crew C.VERZELE – J.IDE takes the lead.
Participants were then expected at the edge of the lagoon of Oualidia for a lunch at the Gourmet Spider. Recognized by all, this establishment is a classic of the Classic and immediately put the caravan of the rally in the “gastro-tourist” atmosphere. On the menu, among others: oysters, sea urchins and lobsters, fruits of the local fishing.
After the break on the ocean, the participants traveled along the coast for about 30 kilometers before the regularity resumed with the start of the second stage, “Cap Beddouzza – Had Hrara”. Also known to the regulars of the event, the 13km of this narrow road lined with eucalyptus, has left the beautiful part to the piloting. In this exercise, the crew D.COURTENS – E.COURTENS defended his title by taking the first place aboard their Porsche 911 Carrera. Already winner of the first special, the crew C.VERZELE – J.IDE (Bentley Continental GTC) confirms its advance in the Prestige ranking.
After a hundred kilometers of links overlooking the coast, between rocky cliffs and golden sandy beaches, the rally crossed the first argan trees making the reputation of the region of Essaouira, theater of the 3rd and last event of the day: «Akermoud – El Had Draa “. Unique, this new special, short of 9km, proposed a undulating and winding course between olive trees, argan trees and hectares of vine, to establish a first hierarchy in the ranking of this 24th Rally Morocco Classic. The verdicts: for the Classics, C.GHISTELINCK – L.DAVID resume their 1st place on Mercedes Coupe 350; In Prestige, the AIN IFRANE (Toyota Prius Hybrid) crew prevails.
The competitors then took the road for about twenty kilometers to the Sofitel Golf & Spa in Essaouira, the first leg, with its refinement and its breathtaking view of the Atlantic. Tomorrow, the second stage, 295 km long and punctuated by 4 ERR, will take the rally to Agadir.
Ranking of the day
1 : C.GHISTELINCK – L.DAVID (Mercedes Coupé 350)
2 : E.WIEDERIN – A.HÖFER (Porsche 356 A)
3 : JM.ARLAUD – MF.ARLAUD (Citroën DS)
1 : Equipage TOTAL (Maserati Gran Cabrio)
2 : C.VERZELE – J.IDE (Bentley Continental GTC)
3 : Equipage AIN IFRANE (Toyota Prius Hybrid)
The day’s summary in pictures