Stage 3 was the longest in the history of the Intercontinental Rally. The route headed west from Merzouga to Tata on trails once used by the Dakar Rally. The hard to navigate first special snaked its way to Zagora through canyons surrounded by impassable jebels and deep drifts of fesh fesh sands. For some teams navigational errors here caused big delays which compounded later in the day. The second special, about 200 km long, followed the classic desert route from MíHamid to Tata along Lake Iriki.
The motorcycle class was an all Spanish affair with Victor River continued domination of the field. The stage win in cars goes to the Machacek buggy while the Glad team is building on their solid lead in the long race to Dakar. The Czech riders did very well in the quad class where Petr Pisek claimed the stage win and the very attractive, first time participant Ollie Rouckova came second. As of 3AM local time all results are unofficial as few competitors remain on course and the race jury will rule on a protest in the morning.
Tomorrow brings the last of the painfully long Morocco stages: a 670 km long endurance test to Smara. The front runners are expected to do well but anyone starting the stage on short rest or injured will suffer through a really long day.