RACE NOTES 18:41 - Team 112 under repair
Team 112 (Sandrine RIDET and Celine BONO - SDIS 13) drove straight to the bivouac from CP3 this afternon after experiencing a problem with their vehicle. The team, which also had mechanical problems last year and the year before, accepts the situation with good humour. Sandrine, also known as "blonde", jokes with her teammate Céline, also known as "brune": "We drove at 25 km/h at the most, going downhill with the wind at our backs!" Difficult to finish the leg at that speed! However, they should be able to make up for it tomorrow, because the repairs "shouldn't be any problem", explains Patrice, member of the mechanics team.
Meanwhile the Race PC continues to follow the progress of this long leg, serving as a transition to the bivouac in Nejjakh: the first teams to have reached all 6 of today's checkpoints should soon be crossing the finish line at the new bivouac. To be continued...
Taking the pulse out on the terrain
Every day, our reporters are sent out on the terrain to take the pulse of the Rallye: the type of terrain, the level of difficulty, the general mood of the competitors...
BREAKING NEWS 15:42 - Team 147 immobilised
After calling for mechanical assistance yesterday evening, Team 147 (Natacha FOUCAULT and Catherine TOUTAIN - BAKER TILLY FRANCE) ended up having its vehicle repatriated by the assistance truck. Bad news for the team which, as stipulated in the Sporting Regulations, is now considered "unranked", because it was unable to reach the bivouac without aid from the organization. Nonetheless, the Gazelles haven't lost hope, and are optimistic that they will be able to continue: they are presently in Erfoud, a few kilometres from the bivouac, waiting for a replacement for the malfunctioning "calculator" to be delivered from Casablanca. Let's cross our fingers that the part arrives in time!
RACE NOTES 14:45
The first teams have passed CP4 - in no particular order: 122, 150, 149, 136, 145 and 124. Teams 125, 109, 102, 107 and 172 are approaching CP4. Most of the other teams are between CP3 and CP4.
Team 178 is on its way to the bivouac after a transmission problem, diagnosed by the mechanic out on the terrain.
Team 177 is heading off course in the wrong direction.
Team 112 is on its way to the bivouac after reaching CP1, CP2 and CP3, apparently because of a mechanical problem.
Team 22 leads the group between CP4 and CP5, followed by Team 20, which is approaching CP4.
Team 21 is heading for CP3, after some trouble locating CP2.
Team 315 is in the lead (between CP4 and CP5), followed by 318 at CP4.
Teams 319, 320 and 321 are approaching CP4, followed by 316, halfway between CP3 and CP4.
Trailing the pack is 314, who had some problems finding CP2.
Getting ready for the 2nd leg and the 2nd bivouac
In the wee hours of the morning, the Gazelles start their day by packing their bags and folding their tents: the 5 routes of today's leg lead to the next bivouac at Neijakh.
This leg should not be too difficult in terms of navigation, except for the beginning which is tricky despite the presence of clear landmarks... Have a good drive!
Confirming their top positions
The level of difficulty increased a notch today, and this was reflected in the day's scores. While penalty points are getting easier to accumulate, the top teams are pulling away from the rest of the pack. The podium is going to be hotly contested...