March 14 – Step 3 : Agadir – Agadir (375 km / 4 ERR)
This morning, the cars engaged in this 24th Rally Morocco Classic have turned their wheels towards the east. As soon as the exit of Agadir, they penetrate the agricultural campaign of the Valley of Oued Souss. Recognized internationally for its fruits and vegetables, these steep hills testified to the entrance of the rally in the Anti-Atlas.
The Mercedes 190 SL of J.NEKMOUCHE-R.ESFANDIARI not yet ready to resume, the Moroccan crew took place in the Bentley Continental GTC, hosted by the Belgian crew C.VERZELE – J.IDE.
After 2 days near the coast, with this stage looping around Agadir, the rally this time offers a real incursion into the rocky massifs.
The ERR 8, a few cables away from Ait Baha, immediately set the tone with two tight pins in the first 200 meters. The continuation was just as sinuous with changes of direction undermining the maintenance of the imposed average. Category Classic, M.TOUHLALI and O.VERGER (Porsche 911) are the winners, with the TOTAL (Maserati Gran Cabrio) taking first place in the Prestige category.
After passing the superb fortress of the Kasbah of Tizourgane, the rally again took a new road between Ida Ougnidif and Tafraoute to join the departure of the ERR 9. This one was a feast of piloting, leaving the main part to Dexterity and concentration of pilots and co-drivers. At this game, the Porsche Carrera N ° 1 D.COURTENS – E.COURTENS did honor to its race number by finishing at the head of the Classic event, the crew TOTAL confirming its advance in the Prestige category.
After some 200 km, the rally arrived at Tafraoute. The competitors were expected at the foot of the blue rocks of Jean VERAME for a comforting lunch in this case of eroded rocks.
After this gastronomic break: return to Tafraoute via a perfectly motorized trail for a few kilometers before rejoining the summits of the Anti-Atlas via an unprecedented route borrowing the Tizi n Takoucht, a pass at the paces of the largest crossings of the High Atlas.
The crossing of this rocky landscape, punctuated by tufts of vegetation and villages with ocher, pink or yellow walls, led the participants towards the two specials of the afternoon. The ERR 10, 8.4 km long, allowed the team D.COURTENS – E.COURTENS to reiterate their performance of the morning at the wheel of their classic. Again, the TOTAL crew won the Prestige category.
In this landscape of valleys crossed by torrents and wadis, a few minutes later, the competitors attacked the last stage of the day. ERR 11 was the subject of very close competition among the classics. The result is tight, the crew C.GHISTELINCK – L.DAVID on Mercedes Coupe 350 takes the first place. Indomitable, the TOTAL crew finished dominating the day by winning the Prestige category event!
A last 170 km link brought the caravan back to the Sofitel in AGADIR, which left the same morning. Unusual, AC Cobra led by C.FIGARET and A.RAYNAL, winners of the ERR 7 yesterday in Classic category, lost its exhaust en route. Failure quickly repaired by the French crew before the arrival of the mechanics …
Tomorrow, the Rally will take the road for the longest stage of this 24th Morocco Classic: 490 km in the direction of Ouarzazate!
1 – C.GHITELINCK-L.DAVID (MERCEDES Coupé 350)
2 – E.WIEDERIN-A.HÖFER (PORSCHE 356A)
3 – D.COURTENS-E.COURTENS (PORSCHE 911 CARRERA)
1 – Equipage TOTAL (Maserati Gran Cabrio)
2 – Equipage AIN IFRANE (Toyota Prius Hybrid)
3 – C.VERZELE – J.IDE (Bentley Continental GTC)