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It’s a wrap! The Morocco Desert Challenge has finished


On Saturday the 20th of April the Rymax Racing Team crossed the finish line in Oujda. An exhausting 8 days of extreme rally raid has come to an end with ups and downs. Time for a quick recap.

The three members of the Rymax Racing Team and their machines gave it their all, even approaching top 10 positions in the overall ranking for the SSV of Herman Peene, the 4x4 of Vincent Thijs and the truck of Eimbert Timmermans half way through the rally. But approaching the last stages, a lot has happened to our heroes.

Herman and his navigator Marnix Deibert started off really well in the SSV category. The first three days were successful with a constant pace and performance level. Just before the dunes of Merzouga they lost some time with mechanical failure and some small navigation glitches, putting them more in the back of the ranking. But thanks to a solid performance in the treacherous dunes the team found its way back to the top 10, eventually ending at position 15 out of the 49 SSV’s that finished the Morocco Desert Challenge. A very good result in their second MDC performance. We say congratulations to the winners Philippe Pinchedez and Jean Brucy, taking the win with their Can-Am Maverick!

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General ranking SSV category

Position # Members Vehicle Distance to 1st
1 203 Philippe Pinchedez CAN-AM
Jean Brucy
2 237 Stephane Chambon CAN-AM 01h 16’ 00’’
Antoine Paque
3 201 Marc Lauwers CAN-AM 02h 19’ 19’’
4 212 Vincent Gonzalez CAN-AM 03h 47’ 19’’
Stéphane Duplé
5 252 Jose-Manuel Fernandez CAN-AM 03h 50’ 04’’
Denis Habran
6 206 Rudy Verheyen CAN-AM 04h 48’ 07’’
Bob Geens
7 205 Joris Brosens CAN-AM 04h 50’ 22’’
Koen Slegers
8 228 Geoffroy Noel de Burlin POLARIS 04h 55’ 05’’
9 209 Javier Herrador CAN-AM 04h 56’ 48’’
Manuel Navarro Dominguez
10 204 Stephane Zosso CAN-AM 04h 57’ 17’’
Caroline Zosso

In the Car & Buggy category we saw some fierce competition and heroic battles between the different teams. Our Rymax driver Vincent Thijs and his navigator Tom de Leeuw surprised the whole field with their performance the first five days, putting them on the fourth position overall with the podium within reach. However the dunes of Merzouga were still to come and these sandy conditions are not in Vincent’s comfort zone. The first day of dunes the Rymax Racing Team lost some positions, but in the second dune stage on day 6 of the rally, bad luck struck and the Toyota Hilux Overdrive flipped and rolled over several times. Luckily the drivers were unharmed but the car was heavily damaged. Big respect to the mechanical team of Vincent Thijs for making the car drivable again over night so that Vincent could finish the MDC, however the chase for the podium had to be let go. Vincent finished as 20th in a field of 47 4x4’s that made it till the end. Thumbs up to the winners Remy Vauthier and Jean-Michel Polato for the overall win in this competitive category.

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General ranking Car & Buggy category

Position # Members Vehicle Distance to 1st
1 308 Remy Vauthier MD
Jean-Michel Polato
2 316 Jérôme Pelichet MD 00h 07’ 27’’
Pascal Larroque
3 315 Fernando Alvarez VOLKSWAGEN 03h 02’ 01’’
Sergio Lafuente
4 329 Patrick Martin MERCEDES 03h 31’ 02’’
Lucas Martin
5 314 Mike van Eikeren TOYOTA 04h 01’ 59’’
Ed Wigman
6 318 Patrice Chevallier MD 04h 36’ 47’’
Philippe Florentino
7 321 Henk de Jong TOYOTA 08h 48’ 47’’
Pieter van Kruijsdijk
8 305 Marc Bonnafoux ORYX 09h 04’ 24’’
Didier Chabory
9 345 James Ford BOWLER 09h 09’ 14’’
Paul Chambers
10 317 Ronald Basso MMP 10h 11’ 05’’
Jean Pierre Garcin

Last but not least: Eimbert Timmermans and the impressive Rymax truck. Also the third member of the Rymax Racing Team can look back at a successful start of the Morocco Desert Challenge. A very consistent performance with 4 times a thirteenth position on a stage and even bursting into the top 10 with a seventh position on day four. A remarkable accomplishment, looking at the competition with even the professional factory team of MAZ and the prestigious trucks of Peter Versluis competing in this category. Unfortunately disaster struck in the second to last seventh stage in the dunes. The beautiful Rymax truck flipped over ending upside down in the sand. Luckily the drivers were unharmed but the truck had to be taken out of competition with the end of the rally in sight. An emotional decision. Eventually Eimbert is not listed in the general ranking were we only see 26 of the 34 trucks that had listed for the start of the rally. We congratulate Siarhei Viazovich, Anton Zaparoschanka and Siarhei Sachuk of team MAZ with the win in the truck category.

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General ranking Truck category

Position # Members Vehicle Distance to 1st
1 503 Siarhei Viazovich MAZ
Anton Zaparoshchanka
Siarhei Sachuk
2 516 Peter Versluis MAN 00h 22’ 29’’
Marcel Pronk
Artur Klein
3 510 Aliaksei Vishneuski MAZ 00h 24’ 50’’
Pavel Haranin
Vitaliy Murylev
4 501 Martin vd Brink RENAULT TRUCK 00h 26’ 52’’
Wouter de Graaff
Daniel Kozlovsky
5 511 Roeland Voerman MAN 00h 34’ 10’’
Hugo Kupper
Simon Stubbs
6 514 Gert Huzink RENAULT TRUCK 01h 31’ 08’’
Rob Buursen
Martin Roesink
7 505 Igor Bouwens IVECO 01h 38’ 14’’
Dave Berghmans
ulrich boerboom
8 522 Jan van de Laar DAF 02h 34’ 39’’
Ben van de Laar
Dolf Huijgens
9 515 Karoly Fazekas SCANIA 03h 10’ 01’’
Peter Csakany
Albert Horn
10 521 Miklós Kovács SCANIA 05h 21’ 30’’
Péter Czeglédi
László Ács

Also we congratulate Skylar Howes on his Husqvarna with the overall win in the Motorbike & Quad category.

General ranking Motorbike & Quad category

Position # Members Vehicle Distance to 1st
1 106 Skyler Howes HUSQVARNA
2 104 Joan Pedrero KTM 00h 01’ 06’’
3 105 Paul Spierings HUSQVARNA 04h 49’ 52’’
4 108 Jan Van Gerven KTM 06h 08’ 06’’
5 101 Harite Gabari KTM 06h 31’ 47’’
6 115 Richard Dors KTM 07h 19’ 32’’
7 102 Laurent Weibel KTM 08h 59’ 16’’
8 163 Pierre Peyrard YAMAHA 09h 16’ 13’’
9 136 Roch Wolville KTM 09h 30’ 25’’
10 146 Dirk Boerboom KTM 09h 53’ 34’’
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