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THE AFRICA ECO RACE
 
The Africa Eco Race is an annual off-road event that is organized in North America, particularly in Senegal, Morocco and Mauritania. The race was started in 2009 after the Dakar Rally, a rally raid native to Senegal, was canceled in 2008 over terrorist threats and was subsequently moved to South America where it has been held since. The Africa Eco Race was launched in the spirit of the real Dakar, where organizers targeted both amateurs and professionals to compete in over 6,500 kilometers of desert over 11 stages in each of the three categories; trucks, bikes and cars.

Due to its history the rally takes special interest in security issues, humanitarian needs and individual awareness of eco-responsibility. In 2011, the organizers of the rally raid funded the planting of 3,000 native eucalyptus trees in Mauritania and also created two power generation projects for a school and library. In addition, they created a category for experimental vehicles powered by renewable energy effectively pioneering new environmental sustainability standards in the motorsport industry. This year’s Africa Eco Race was no different as 3 tons of donations were collected, including toys, school furniture, clothes, sportswear and medical supplies.

Since its inauguration, Jean-Louis “Desert Fox” Schlesser and his co-driver Cyril Esquirol have consistently dominated the car category with their Schlesser-Renault Buggy with the exception of this year when fellow Frenchmen Jean Antoine Sabatier and his co-driver Jean-Luc Rajat bagged the trophy. The truck category was scooped by the Russian Anton Shibalov in a Kamaz racing beast while Norwegian Rider Pal Anders Ullevalseter took home the spoils for the bike category riding a KTM sport motorcycle. The 7th Edition of the Africa Eco Race concluded on January 11th at Lac Rose, Dakar after an arduous 6,837 kilometers undeterred by heavy downpours and Ebola concerns. The AER 2016 is set to begin on December 27th and preparations are already underway for the much anticipated showdown.