The rally is back at the Atlantic. Hard piste route across the coastal planes tempted the competitors to test the upper speed limits of their vehicles while patches of camel grass and the occasional sand trap reminded them to stay vigilant and avoid campaign ending accidents this close to the finish. Following a liaison day tomorrow the stage is set for a decisive stage 13 in Senegal. It is safe to say that top 3 standings will not be decided this year until the shores of Lac Rose on Saturday afternoon.
The stage win belongs for the second time this year to Antonio Valero who made up important 7 minutes over 3 place Julian Meriono. Victor Rivera came second 1 minute behind Valero and is fully in control of the overall competition. In cars Glad came back from a disappointing day yesterday to win the stage and more importantly wrestle back 50 minutes of the time they surrendered to Rally for Africa the day before. Second place in the stage was earned by Wogo who are clearly very comfortable racing at full throttle. Third came the fast Wings Patrol. Both Jose Sanchez and Erik Lesak continue on as leaders in their respective class.
Overall the matchup to watch on Saturday will be the battle for the second place overall between Antonio Valero and Julian Merino with 5 minutes separating the two. Only 1 minute more is the cushion enjoyed by Rally for Africa over Glad. Both margins are razor thin considering the 40+ cumulative time after almost two weeks of racing.