International off-road racer and Albury resident Andrew Houlihan has finished 21st outright in the gruelling 2020 Africa ECO Race.
The 14 day off-road rally saw riders struggle at times with the demanding terrain, some stranded in the desert for up to 30 hours, and one stage cut short due to multiple serious crashes requiring evacuations by helicopter.
Whilst the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia has captured plenty of attention in recent weeks, 3 Australians, including Andrew Houlihan, have been tackling an equally demanding event in Northern Africa.
Andrew Houlihan has finished 21st outright in the gruelling 2020 Africa ECO Race.
He crossed the finish line at Lac Rose on the Coca-Cola Energy KTM 450 Factory Rallye late Sunday night Australian time. Teammate, Pablo Guillen finished 17th outright and second in the +450cc class.
Whilst it was an easier stage with only a short 187km special, the African continent still threw up some serious challenges. “The 280km liaison after today’s special stage from Mauritania to Senegal was extremely hard, we were in a sandstorm with shocking wind and horrendous tracks.”
Stage 10 proved to be another very tough day for competitors and a mixed bag of results for the Coca-Cola Energy/Nomadas Adventure riders. After several very bad crashes rally organisers stopped the stage at CP2 and results were taken from CP1.
Andrew Houlihan has continued his climb back up the rankings in the 2020 Africa ECO Race with a 17th place in today’s 9th stage lifting him to 17th overall. Fellow Coca-Cola Energy/Nomadas Adventure team rider Pablo Guillen is 1 place behind Andrew in 18th outright.
A brutal 8th stage of the 2020 Africa ECO Race has decimated the field, with many riders still out in the Mauritanian dunes well into the night. The Coca-Cola Energy/Nomadas Adventure team of Andrew Houlihan and Pablo Guillen made it through the stage relatively unscathed.
Andrew Houlihan has continued his climb back up through the rankings in the 2020 Africa ECO Race and after finishing today’s stage in 13th place is now 22nd overall. Andrew’s progress through the difficult stage shows he has become a strong contender in international off-road racing.
After the rest day it was back to business today for Stage 6. Andrew Houlihan finished 19th and ahead of rally leader Alessandro Botturi, and fellow Australian Matt Sutherland won the stage! Today’s stage was 560km in total with a 176km special once the riders had crossed into Mauritania.
Tough navigation has taken its toll on a number of riders in the 5th stage of the 2020 Africa ECO Race. Waypoint 3 seemed particularly hard to find – only 22 of the 70 riders who started the day found it – and Andrew was in a group of riders lost for almost an hour.