Organizers of the Africa Eco Race, one of the biggest desert rally races in the world, have announced a change of course. Instead of taking the traditional route from Europe to Morocco and Western Sahara, AER 2021 will now start in Senegal, cross into Mauritania, and route back to Dakar. According to their recent social media post, the change is being made because of the COVID-19 – related restrictions in Morocco. The rally staff are unable to recce rally tracks in Morocco before the race, and the organizers have taken a decision to alter the traditional Dakar route.
This is what they’ve said in a recent Instagram post:
“AFRICA ECO RACE 2021: CHANGE OF COURSE ‼️
The will of Jean Louis Schlesser and his team has always been to move forward, to continue to keep the race alive, in order to satisfy this passion for off- road rallying which drives us all. For a few weeks now, the organization of the Africa Eco Race has been working on several scenarios in order to be able to go ahead with this 13th edition.
In view of the global health crisis and the restrictions imposed recently in the Kingdom of Morocco, making it impossible to maintain the recces planned for September, it is with a heavy heart that the Africa Eco Race has decided not pass through the Kingdom of Morocco in 2021 and to orient the organization of the next edition towards a new format: SENEGAL – MAURITANIA – SENEGAL “DAKAR – DAKAR”.
What this means in terms of logistics and vehicle shipping for rally competitors remains unclear at this point, but the organizers seem determined to make the rally happen. As long as Senegal and Mauritania keep their borders open, AER 2021 is poised to go ahead with the altered route.