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Monaco – Dakkar: AFRICA ECO RACE

The AFRICA ECO RACE® was put in place with the support of the car and bike international sport federations and the local authorities. The race is registered in the F.I.A. and F.I.M. International Calendars. Morocco, Mauritius, Senegal are the three countries crossed during the event.

The AFRICA ECO RACE® is an African Off Road Rally retaking the values which wrote the legend behind these rallies. The competitors are thrown straight into the spirit, where unpublished tracks bring out the beauty of driving, in the heart of unforgettable scenery which only Africa can offer. Friendship, authenticity, solidarity and sportsmanship are the key words of this event enabling a large number of competitors to rejoin the mythical Lac Rose in Dakar.

Monaco - Dakkar: AFRICA ECO RACE

The humanitarian side is also put in place by many teams and also the race organizers.

For example, a number of vehicles of the organization are equipped with solar panels, in order to use the electricity stored throughout the day to power each of their missions (Timing systems at the finish, publishing of the day’s ranking or simply to power their vehicles).

In the race, an experimental hybrid energy category has been put in place and every year, many prototypes manage to reach the Lac Rose. The African economy is put forwards by working with the local service providers.

Furthermore, the race course has been established in close collaboration with the different countries local authorities in order to make sure it is “protecting” the terrain, for instance the national parks.

“Creating a course is almost like a puzzle with many pieces to assemble. Sometimes it goes naturally and it is very straight forward how the pieces fit together, but sometimes you also get come complicated sections for which there must be a solution for it to work”, – shares Rene Metge, Sport Director.

Monaco - Dakkar: AFRICA ECO RACE

“For this 2017 edition of the AFRICA ECO RACE, we had many different combinations for the leg in Mauritania as the leg in Morocco was fairly easy to put together. We had to put all the pieces together in order to finish with a well-balanced course. This time, I must admit everything went together nicely and I am rather satisfied with the result”, – adds Rene Metge.

The Morocco leg this year will be challenging and competitors will have to remain focused to not through away any chances to shining during the second week in Mauritania, which will have its own difficulties.

As always, the navigation will not be easy but the hardest part this year will be the human factor as the stages are particularly dense and tough.

Luckily, like always, the liaisons will be very short and the 2 loops in Mauritania will enable the assistance crews to relax a little.

On the bright side participants shall be driving through some amazing scenery that all the competitors will never forget!

Total leg length is 3812 km.
Total liaison is 2242 km.
Total general length is 6054 km.

This year amongst 500 participants there will be 2 teams from Russia who will take part in the rally.

In all there will be 12 stages of this course. The first stage will be short. Traced not far from Nador where the AFRICA ECO RACE® caravan will arrive in the morning after crossing the Mediterranean from Sète, in the south of France, this selective sector will contain all the ingredients of an off-road rally except the Dunes. The track will be mostly gravelly and rocky.


The drivers will have to be vigilant because in the last two years, two participants in the car category had to retire in this first stage.

After the finish, there will still be another 473km of liaison to the first bivouac located near Errachidia.

After the first night that can be very cold at this time of year, the competitors will be given a chance to get used to the soft sand through little dunes just 3 km after the start. A small portion as an “aperitif” since, after 75 km to cross an Oued with a lot of navigation, the dunes of Merzouga will be the first real sand block of the AFRICA ECO RACE® 2017. The continuation of the course will take place on a real Moroccan track alternating rock and sand, after the rocky crossing of the volcano until the last CP.

A fast track will then go to the palm plantation of Tagounite. Then there will be only three dunes to pass right on the edge of the mountain, a small bit off track to finally cross the Oued Draa and arrive to the finish located south of Tagounite and north of Mahmid.

As usually on the AFRICA ECO RACE®, the start of the special stage will take place from the bivouac. The track will be good and sandy up to a magnificent canyon that will lead to large, often rocky plains that will be crossed to reach the Chegaga Erg. A section will be 100% sand rather tough during 25 km where it will be necessary to check the pressures in order to not lose too much time. Then there will still be 92 km of liaison to join the bivouac of Assa.

The fourth stage of the rally organizers didn’t want to change because it is, perhaps, the most beautiful stage of the Rally in Morocco! A real gift for the drivers, as the track is so nice. After the start of the bivouac, the first part of the stage will go up to Msied with a fast, sandy track with a little bit of navigation. In fact, all that is the most pleasant on an off-road rally.


After the nicest stage in terms of driving/riding, the Moroccan which is the most pleasant for the eyes will go next. Once again, a start from the bivouac will allow the pilots to immediately get in the action. Until what they call the carpet, which carries the ore from the mine over more than 100 km, the course will be identical to that of 2016.

Once arrived there, the track will head full south in the heart of large areas with a beautiful plain landscape and therefore without big difficulty as to driving. On the other hand, the navigation will be complicated with the presence of many parallel tracks but, obviously, only one will be the right one.

The last fifty kilometers will be entirely new and rather fast. The advantage of an ultimate Moroccan stage, which is rather long, is to have significantly shorter connection along the Atlantic Ocean, to the tongue of sand in Dakhla where the bivouac by the sea will be set to give a well-deserved rest day.

For the third consecutive year, the bivouac of the rest day (January 7, 2017) will be set in Dakhla, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean before the second week of racing on AFRICA ECO RACE® in Mauritania.

It will be 5:00 am on January 8, 2017 when the entire caravan of the AFRICA ECO RACE® will start a long morning connection to the border between Morocco and Mauritania to start a 6th stage of the rally. The course will be rather fast on a sandy ground, but sometimes complicated in terms of cape navigation and off road.


The first Mauritanian leg will undoubtedly be a big part of this 9th edition of the rally. After the first 50 km on a small easy track, participants will find a large well. This landmark will mark a change of direction and especially a change of terrain since an ocean of dunes will then offer itself to the competitors. The last 100 km of this very selective 7th stage should allow everyone to recover before arriving at the bivouac of Tiwilit.

A nice portion of navigation, including the rise of the magnificent pass of Azougui, will mark this relatively tough 8th stage.

Regarding the next 9th stage the majority of the leg will take place in the heart of dunes and camel grass which will be demanding considering the distance. Last year, many have had difficult times in this erg. Once passed this huge sandbox, the route will bring the competitors next to Azougui where the refueling of motorcycles will be set.

The 10th stage will be the second loop stage of the 2017 AFRICA ECO RACE®. The start will be 23 kilometers from Akjoujt. The track will go to the sublime pass of Hnouk which will be slaloming between the cliffs. It will be another feast for the eyes with a quite difficult section between the rocks.

This year, the last selective section of the AFRICA ECO RACE® will take place on Friday 13th.

For over two thirds of the special stage, the course will evolve on a rather rolling sand track between the dunes without any real crossings in the program.

Competitors should not arrive too late in Saint Louis, Senegal, where the bivouac will be installed on the old aerodrome. They can then enjoy the last evening at the bivouac.

After the last night under the sublime sky of Senegal, the finishers of the 2017 AFRICA ECO RACE® will start at dawn in the final liaison to Niokhob, a village on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.

The last 22 kilometers of stage will sound like a reward and even, for some, as a deliverance. The podium on the shores of the “Lac Rose” where all the heroes of this 9th edition will receive their trophies. It should therefore once again be the scene of much emotion and joy.

Monaco - Dakkar: AFRICA ECO RACE


Wednesday 28 December 2016
Stade Rondelli
Arrival of the organization team and first competitors

Thursday 29 December 2016
From 9am
Stade Rondelli
Administrative and technical checks for the organization team
From 4pm
Administrative and technical checks for the competitors

Friday 30 December 2016
From 7am
Stade Rondelli
Administrative and technical checks for the competitors
Vehicle exposition
Meeting the competitors
Free entry


Thursday 29 December 2016
From 5pm
Quai Antoine 1er
Parc Fermé (Vehicle exposition)

Friday 30 December 2016
From 7am
Quai Antoine 1er
Parc Fermé (Vehicle exposition)

Saturday 31 December 2016
From 7am
Quai Antoine 1er
Parc Fermé (Vehicle exposition)


From 10am
Breakfast buffet close to Parc Fermé
Official rally shop at 11am
Quai Antoine 1er
Official start of the AFRICA ECO RACE® in the presence of ADRIANA.

Author: Julia Belyakova

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