What Red-Lined Morocco Desert Challenge Report
When 20-30 April 2023
Three Red-Lined VK56s finish extreme race of attrition
In what many consider to have been one of the toughest ever Rally Raid events in history, four Red-Lined entries successfully completed the 8-day 3000km Morocco Desert Challenge in Merzouga over the weekend. With an overall finishing ratio of just 30% from the original field of 90 starters, the event turned out to be extremely tough and challenging on man and machine.
With ambient temperatures soaring beyond 40 degrees Celsius, and in-car conditions approaching 60C throughout the week of racing, the tough, demanding and blisteringly hot race challenged competitors and support crews to their absolute limits. Exhaustion and heatstroke were the order of the day, while components, fuel and lubricants cooked in the intense temperatures.
Difficult navigation added to the challenge, leading to many a crew becoming stranded in the desert overnight, and organisers having to shorten stages as attrition rates dramatically increased. Less than a third of all starters eventually made it to the finish. Yet through all of that, four proudly South African Red-Lined VK56 race cars managed to complete all stages.
Dutch Red-Lined Europe crew of Rients Hofstra and Evert Boersma stormed home second in class and eighth overall. Belgian crew Vincent Vroninks and Kris Hendrickx followed in fourth in class and 12th overall aboard their Dragon Energy Drink VK56 while Belgian driver Stefan Carmans and Dutch navigator Arjan Van Tiel came home fifth in class and 15th overall aboard their CSA Racing VK56. And to round it all up, another Belgian crew, Jan de Vos and David Jansen came home 23rd overall in their Desert Foxx Racing VK56.
“That’s a wrap of one of the toughest Rally Raid events I have come across in the last 25 years ,” Red-Lined CEO Terence Marsh concluded. “With temperatures beyond forty degrees throughout and cabin conditions reaching sixty degrees, the Morocco Desert Challenge was really not one for the faint hearted. Man and machine were clearly not designed to operate in these extreme hot conditions.
“So a huge shout out to all our customer teams who successfully managed to finish this torturous race among the less than a third of the crews that set off on this adventure. Morocco also adds to our fairy tale start to the racing season at Red-Lined. We scored a FIA class 1-2 at the Dakar, another 1-2 class result at the opening round of the South African Rally Raid Championship, and then another class win with our VK56 at the Tuareg Rally.
“All in all, the Morocco Desert Challenge was another really successful event for us as a team. Together with our Partners at Desert Foxx Racing, we once again had many learnings and gained some valuable insights, along with a whole lot of critical data in extreme conditions. Most of all however, the 2023 Morocco Desert Challenge was an extreme adventure that none of us will ever easily forget!”
*Red-Lined Motorsport competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich Tires, Motul, Dragon Energy, PentaSure, OMP Racing, ExpandaSign and Wheel Collision.
Issued on behalf of Red-Lined Motorsport
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