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Teams start to stand out, slowly but surely

Leg 2

The Gazelles are starting to get caught up in the game. Every morning before taking their place on the start line, they come to look at the rankings and compare penalty points to motivate and push themselves a little more each day.

At the end of Leg 2, Rallye regulars Team 200 (Jeanette JAMES / Murielle TARRAZI - Bumper Off Road) lead 4×4 Class with 21.95 kilometres over the ideal distance. They are followed closely by Team 238 (Hélène GRAND'EURY / Charlotte ZUCCONI - AFFI MOBILE). Between the two teams, a difference of 10 metres. Think about it: just ten metres: the competition is extremely close at the moment.Jeannette has moved ahead but it’s just Day 2. And at least that gives us a challenge, remarks Charlotte of Team 238. But the two Gazelles would like to keep the title they earned in 2018. They are followed by Team 207, who have 7 rallies under their belt.

In Quad/SSV Class, Team 29 (Elisabeth KRAFT / Sonia BAUDOIN-GUERARD - POLARIS FRANCE) is in first place. They are the only quad team, and they’re used to it. The Moroccan desert is their playground and the quad is their third hand. Many are betting on a 13th victory for Betty! Behind the two champions is Team 25 (Véronique DE SYBOURG-SIFFERT / Laurence BRASEY - Michel Riedo&Fils SA). This is their first experience with this type of vehicle, after 5 rallies in 4×4 for Véronique.We’re going to try and catch them. They’re ahead by just over 3 kilometres. Today’s leg will help us see if we will keep that distance or not.”

In E-Gazelles VINCI Immobilier Class, nothing is written in stone. Team 502 (Virginie HENRIOT / Lucile ASSIE - Sète Agglopôle Méditerranée), winner of yesterday’s leg, drops to third place after Leg 2, almost 30 kilometres behind the leader. The Zoé of Team 510 (Stéphanie GUERRY / Carine POISSON - ZOE) moves into first place, followed closely by the Gazelles of Team 505 (Aurélie DARD / Stéphanie PERUSSE - Intermarché Gaillard (74)), just 13 metres behind!

In Crossover Class, Team 313 (Karine DRIRA ROGEZ / Audrey JOVER - INEHA Finance) holds onto the top spot. “We have no expectations, we came to have fun, not to win.” We’ll talk again in a few days’ time. Team 316 (Sandrine LONGUET / Marlène MATHIOT - groupe lenornant) trail them by more than 20 kilometres in second position.We’re really happy with this second place: we weren’t expecting it”. Today’s goal: drive “obviously” the least possible distance. To stack the odds in their favour, la Gazelle is extremely focused.There are 5 more days so anything could happen”. Finally, Team 314 (Malika AJAHA / Hajar EL BIED) is in third place with 141.16 kilometres, 43.29 more than Team 313 (Karine DRIRA ROGEZ / Audrey JOVER - INEHA Finance).

In First Participation, top Team 107 (Joëlle BESSON / Karin VAN HOOF - AmSpec) don’t let themselves get carried away and remain focused: “We took headings, we drove, we took a few risks. It’s a surprise. And yesterday we ended up in the middle of a mountain, we didn’t know if we would get through.” The two Swiss Gazelles are living the Rallye from day to day. And the dune day is a big day. But they are not feeling the stress: “We prefer not to anticipate. We’re a solid team, we met at the navigation training in Avignon and, since teams are allowed to follow each other today, we’re going to, and take the challenges as they come.” Behind them, Teams 191 (Léa BAUDIER / Alia BOUCHAMA - BMCE BANK) and 105 (Nathalie ROSSINI-RACAUD / Nathalie LEVERT - UMANOVE) appear confident. They set out to tackle Route X this morning, the most difficult but certainly the most gratifying and the most impressive!




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.