Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Africa Rallye Team reveals 2023 Rallye du Maroc lineup

The Rallye du Maroc is the only leg of the World Rally-Raid Championship that takes place in Africa, thus making it important to generate domestic interest by giving competitors from the continent an opportunity to take part. This comes in the form of the Africa Rallye Team, a programme overseen by rally organiser ODC Event and its sponsors to bring a group of African bike riders and SSV drivers to the race.

A two-day training school took place in June, where participants are taught the roadbook and dune navigation. Nine were selected from the pool later in the month: Christian Aboud, Souleymane Addahri, Guillaume Borne, Mamadou Boucoum, and Cheikh Yves Jacquemain will race on bikes, whereas Amine and Charif Guessous, Jawhara Bennani, and Sofia Skiredj are in SSVs.

Borne has competed at the Rallye du Maroc since 2019, impressing in the 2022 edition as he finished in Rally3 behind World Rally-Raid Champion Amine Echiguer. He also has rally co-driving experience at the Maroc Historic Rally.

Boucoum finished tenth overall in the 2020 Africa Eco Race to claim the African Rider Trophy, given to the best finishing African competitor. He scored another tenth and third among Malle Moto solo competitors at the most recent race in 2022.

Jacquemain is a seven-time champion of the Senegal Cross-Country Championship.

“A big thank you to ODC Event for offering me this great opportunity as part of the Africa Rallye Team,” said Jacquemain. “The objective of this edition is to finish classified in order to validate a Dakar pass and gain as much experience as possible, especially in the field of navigation.”

Amine Guessous and Bennani will team up in an SSV. The former is also a quad racer while Bennani won the women-only Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in the 4×4 Truck category in 2022. Likewise, Charif Guessous will pair with Sofia Skiredj, the latter a bank CEO in Morocco who in February won the Raid Solidaire Sahraouiya, an all-women, multi-sport endurance event in the Dakhla desert.

The Rallye du Maroc takes place on 13–18 October.