READY TO RACE: Namibian rider Ingo Waldschmidt will join 29 bikers, 10 truck drivers and about 130 car drivers from 29 nations to race acrfoss three countries in the '15 Africa Eco Rally. Image: Facebook
WINDHOEK, Namibia - Namibia's biking champion Ingo Waldschmidt has arrived in France to take part in the 6337km 'Africa Eco Race' which will start on December 30 in Nador, Morocco.
Waldschmidt, 40, will join 29 bikers, 10 truck drivers and about 130 car drivers from 29 nations in the seaside town of St. Cyprien for final preparations for the 12-stage enduro across Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal.
His bike will carry the number 111 and he’ll be riding for the Desert Rose Racing team of the Netherlands
Waldschmidt is the only Namibian participating in the 2015 Africa Eco Rally, first run five years earlier along pretty much the same route as the former Paris-Dakar Rally.
That event moved to South America in 2009 due to security threats. Waldschmidt raced that year and finished 52nd in the motorbike category. In 2011 he was 38th and in 2013 44th.
His wife Lisa told Sapa: "Ingo always wanted to do the classic Paris-Dakar route but in 2009, when he managed to receive sufficient sponsorships to fulfil his dream, it was moved to South America."The Africa Eco Rally covers three countries and ends in Dakar, Senegal, as did the former Paris-Dakar rally, and Ingo is very happy to at last do the classic route."
Waldschmidt carries the number 111 and rides for the Desert Rose Racing team of the Netherlands.
All participants will be travelling to from St Cyprien to the port of Motril, Spain today (Dec 29 2014) to catch an overnight ferry to the port of Nador, Morocco.
The first stage of the rally, 645km from Nador to Jorf el Hamman, will be race on Tuesday (Dec 30).