After crossing the Draa, the competitors will have to rely on top-notch navigation. Features are low or shrouded in mist, hidden by the heat haze or erased by the wind. Because in this region, everyone knows that the wind very often shows up uninvited to spoil the party.
And sand… sand is everywhere. Yes, there are a few fast, easy zones, but they are short and far between. Here it is dune after dune of soft, powdery sand, dotted with camel grass or tamarisk huddling in the bottom of the troughs. Staying on course will be no easy task. The Gazelles will have to use dead reckoning to know when to head north towards more hospitable terrain. This is no simple rest leg between two marathon legs; today’s performance will be crucial because, while the final results may not be decided, some top contenders are certain to have their hopes dashed on reaching the bivouac this evening. This leg is sure to mark this anniversary edition.
The first Gazelles have passed the first 2 automatic CPs that lead the way to Oued Draa. This is the first time the Rallye has ventured into this area, which features some large zones of difficult sand.