Africa Eco Race, Alessandro Botturi party on Pink Lake

The Pink Lake is always the Pink Lake and evokes to all 79 pilots at the finish line of over 100 parties from Montecarlo on December 30th, images of the past. The last special, even if not valid for the overall classification, is a unique emotion that Pal Anders Ullevalseter (Ktm) wanted to win at all costs by overcoming Alessandro Botturi (Yamaha), the winner of this 2019 edition, just in the last kilometres. The party, which attracts friends, fans, relatives and the local population is great, next to a lake that today was whiter than usual pink. But on that podium today, trampling on the white sand mixed with salt, climbed no less than 15 Italian crews, 12 motorcycles, 2 SSVs and a car.
The motorcycles – Botturi is radiant and celebrates with the team and all the other drivers who have encouraged and supported him throughout the race. In third place is Simone Agazzi (Honda) in his second AER, while for Botturi it was the first experience after 7 Dakar in South America. Domenico Cipollone (Ktm), also at the first experience in Africa, finishes seventh overall and precedes the master, Franco Picco, able to get back in four days 10 positions in the standings and position himself tenth overall with his Yamaha over 450, earning a second of class. Maurizio Cecconi (Husqvarna), who had already run the Dakar in Africa at the end of the eighties manages to recover the 12th place that in recent days a penalty had ripped him while the Tuscan Valdimiro Brezzi (Beta) is twentieth absolute. Paolo Caprioni, who in recent days had been forced to change the engine of his Ktm LC8, remained in the desert for a whole night is the 31st absolute but first in the Over 700 category and takes home, again this year – for him was the third – the taste of the holeshot in the special end of the race on the beach. Stefano Rampolla (Ktm), Vincenzo Tracanzan (Yamaha), Enrico Peronato, Giovanni Moretto and Giampiero Dal Ben (all three on Swm) are respectively 33 °, 34 °, 36 °, 38 ° and 39 ° and have all played the joker of the day of stop to be able to return then in the classification after having fixed technical and also physical problems.
The Cars- Among the cars the victory, after 29 years of waiting, goes to Jean Pierre Strugo, now seventy years old but in the nineties semi-official pilot Mitsubishi Sonauto and RalliArt. Next to him was the expert François Borsotto who certainly made the difference. The first three places of the AER 2019 standings are all for the Optimus two-wheel drive buggy, while the victory for the truck category goes to the Portuguese Elisabete Jacinto su Man who has participated in all the Africa Eco Race editions and has also conquered the fifth place absolute ranking that, as once, combines cars and trucks. Stefano Rossi and Alberto Marcon on Nissan Patrol are the first Italians in the standings, 31 ‘absolute and 14’ in the T1 category. Paolo Ceci and Sara Bioli on SidebySide Polaris are 36th in the standings, noni category, and have been tenacious as well as stubborn. Ceci had won the 2018 edition in motion and wanted to return to Africa with his wife to let her try this new experience. Unfortunately, the misfortune has pursued them mechanically throughout the rally but in the end, with their own strength, they managed to win their medal. Graziano Scandola and his son Michelangelo also on Polaris have closed 37th while the twins De Lorenzo, Aldo and Dario of Padua – their teammates – had left in the early days in Morocco.

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