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More than a simple warmup for E-Gazelles VINCI Immobilier teams


For the third consecutive year, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc presents E-Gazelle VINCI Immobilier Class for 100% electric vehicles. 10 e-teams are competing in this 29th edition.

Each day, they will have a special route designed for this type of vehicle. Today the competition began with a Prologue in the form of a loop with an ideal distance of 39.18 kilometres and 3 checkpoints to find. In addition to navigation skills, this vehicle class requires an aptitude for eco-driving as teams must manage the autonomy of their electric vehicle. And above all, their vehicles can’t go everywhere in the Moroccan desert.

First headings, first problems…

Just 500 metres off the start line, the E-Gazelles show their good habits by getting out of their vehicles to take a heading. A first heading and… a first problem for Virginie and Lucille of Team 502 (Virginie HENRIOT / Lucile ASSIE - Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée): “We don’t know if those features correspond to what we’re seeing”. The two Gazelles are driving a vehicle powered by solar panels, like Team 503 (Bénédicte FLORENTIN / Sabine GOUTIER - EDF). A little further on, Team 507 (Emilie AUBERT / Gaëlle BRUNERIE - AVENIR ENERGIES) is looking for the trail because they know their car will not get through the sand stretching before them. “In theory, after reaching the trail, we should follow a heading of 90 degrees.” Both women work in the environment industry. “It was logical for us to compete in an electric vehicle”. For psychological support, they have brought a mascot “Monkey Junio”, a plush toy from Fénominots, an organization working to make the dreams of sick children possible.We’re going to stage photos with it all over the place like Amélie Poulain and her garden gnome.

Heart of the action

Team 505 (Aurélie DARD / Stéphanie PERUSSE - Intermarché Gaillard (74)) gets stuck for the first time… in the sand!We’re trying things, testing the vehicle, but I don’t think it was a good idea to take it into the sand.” They get out their sand ladders before airing down their tires. The adventure is well underway, and solidarity is already in evidence. Team 192 (Margaux MOUY / Lucille ANTOINE - Easy VO) stops to tow them out of the zone of sand. The buggy prototype of Team 601 (Charlène LESTIENNE / Barbara BARBIER - ASSURANCES LESTIENNE) changes drivers after reaching their second checkpoint to “see what it feels like, get the feel of the vehicle. That’s it, we’re in the heart of the action. We were worried that we wouldn’t know where we were, but it’s going well. We just had a bit of trouble in the sand, but we’re comfortable with identifying features and navigation; it feels good.” And the team is performing well in terms of distance: they drove 24.18 kilometres compared to the “ideal distance” of 20.9 kilometres indicated in the road book.

Lessons to be learned

Discovery was the watchword of the day for E-Gazelles VINCI Immobilier. And lessons learned! Stéphanie, of Team 505 (Aurélie DARD / Stéphanie PERUSSE - Intermarché Gaillard (74)) has done the Rallye twice in 4×4 Class and yet… “I am amazed by electric class because it is very strategic.” These vehicles can’t go just anywhere; the Gazelles have to go around certain obstacles and hills… as well as the sand! “Starting tomorrow, we’re going to trust our choices rather than follow others”, resumes Team 507 (Emilie AUBERT / Gaëlle BRUNERIE - AVENIR ENERGIES) after today’s Prologue. Today offered the chance to analyze what they can and can’t do with their vehicle. “We just want to do better tomorrow, push our limits!




Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.