Start of the Rallye Maroc Classic: “It’s the country and the landscapes that make the race exciting”
Vincent Repoux is the race director of the Rallye Maroc Classic 2013. Just a few hours before kick-off, he talked to us about the characteristics of this unique classic car event.
No, the 50 people in the organizing team are not feeling nervous! Our first concern is that the participants from all over Europe arrive as planned in Morocco. Then we will be impatient to leave Casablanca, because that will mean that the rally has really started, and that we are on the road! Casablanca is a big city, with a lot of traffic, and the challenge is even greater this year as we chose to hold the scruteneering and the official start at the very popular Morocco Mall – by the ocean, and not far from the hotel parking area. This enables us to show off the cars and the competitors to the general public, and make the rally even more popular. It also means that we have to manage two sites: the hotel and the mall.
Q: Organizing a race in Morocco won’t be easy – what are the main challenges you face?
When you’re in Morocco, you have to accept that the culture is different. We have to file a lot of reports to different public authorities. Having His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid as our Honorary President helps a lot. Security is a challenge, of course, and we are continuously reminding our competitors that driving through the villages can be particularly dangerous, with animals and children on the road. You have to drive as slowly as possible in these situations, which is why we don’t measure the time going through villages.
Q: Tell us something about the participating cars and drivers?
This year we are pleased to have a strong contingent of Belgian racers, who are known to be real regularity specialists. We have Saier’s 1981 Porsche 911 Safari, two splendid Mercedes 300SL driven by Demolin and Kaiser, and a rather charming Morgan 3 Wheeler driven by Courtens.
Q: Participants say that the race is fast and exciting – do you think it’s dangerous too?
I really believe that it’s the country and the landscapes that make the race exciting. The speeds are not high, but the pace is demanding, with legs averaging 350 km each day, rising to a maximum of 470 km – meaning 8 hours in the car.
Q: The Rallye crosses some beautiful landscapes – what are the highlights of the 2013 course for you?
Undoubtedly the two legs between Ouarzazate and Boulmane Dades, and then Boulmane to Erfoud ending at Merzougga, the “Gateway to the Sahara”. During these two days we will visit the stunning Gorges de Dades and Gorges du Todra. Truly amazing sights.
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