|Cross Country rally fans are getting a treat with the Rallye du Maroc in the dunes of North Africa, 4 – 10 October. The Maroc Rally comprises the car and bike categories.|
Looking to defend his Rallye du Maroc car title over 1,995 kilometers of timed racing is two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. The Qatari sand racing expert and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel have been working hard all year to turn their Toyota Hilux into an ultra-competitive machine.
Another win in Morocco would demonstrate that the duo are ready to roll on their Dakar trip to South America early next year. “I’m looking forward to racing in Morocco and another important step towards winning the Cross-Country World Championship. Heading into the race we need six points to take the title,” said Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Looking to get in front of Al-Attiyah will be a pair of crews competing in the 3008DKR, Tean Peugeot’s Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb. Sainz finished as runners-up last year in Morocco and is out to go one better in their 3008 DKR this time around. Also driving a 3008 DKR is Loeb, the Frenchman has nine WRC titles and it only seems a matter of time until he has some rally-raid success to celebrate. Loeb was on course to win the Silk Way Rally earlier in the year before a heavy crash ended his chances of victory. “We intend to continue on our momentum on the Rallye du Maroc which was my first cross-country rally in 2015. In the two years since then, I think it’s fair to say we have covered a great deal of ground and made good progress together. We now need to convert that into victory!” Loeb commented.
“Although it’s our first rally since Dakar, we’ve followed all the development up to now, including in Morocco, so we have a good idea of the capabilities of the car, which has evolved in a methodical and consistent way. Of course, competition is where you can really tell if the work you have done has been effective, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the car and seeing where we are,” Sainz added.
American offroader Bryce Menzies was steering towards a podium finish at Silk Way before navigation errors lost him time. Menzies will be looking to keep his MINI on the right track in Morocco and stay close to his more experienced rivals for as along as possible.
Also fighting for the front at the six stage rally-raid will be Poland’s Kuba Przygoński in the other MINI raly car.
Cars and bikes will participate in Thursday’s short prologue stage before entering the desert for five days of racing designed to push competitors and their machines to the absolute limit.