14th Maroc Historic Rally

HOME » Magazine » » » 14th Maroc Historic Rally

Memorable Victory for Auriol, ‘Le Lutin De Millau’

For its 14th edition since its revival in 2010 by Corsican driver Yves Loubet and the motorsports club ‘Le Grand Maghreb’, it must be noted that there was no 13th edition as well as no 13th special stage.  The number 13 was banned by the organisers!   Once a round of the World Rally Championship, in 1973 where Alpine was crowned Constructors’ Champion, then in ‘75 and ‘76 with the victories of the Peugeot 504s of Mikkola and Nicolas, a field of loyal drivers gather every year, to enjoy themselves and their cars, but also to aim for victory.  Frédéric Lombard Reports..

Photos Appix Media

Drivers such as double winners Alain Deveza (in 2018 and 2023) and Bernard Barrile (in 2016 and 2017) and, mainly for pleasure, Frédéric and Rodolphe Rosati, Franck Servais, Luisa Zumelli, Maurizio Elia without forgetting Jean-Jacques Julien who has participated every year, were joined this year by the 1994 World Rally Champion Didier Auriol co-driven by his faithful friend Denis Giraudet in a Ford Escort prepared by his brother-in-law Christian Antoine in the Auriol Competition workshops in Rodez.  The latter also prepared an Escort MK2 for Jean-Luc and Sylvie Broussy.  It was a total discovery for the team, Auriol had not driven competitively since 2021 and was new to the event – a nice way celebrate his world title 30 years ago. 

1994 World Rally Champion Didier Auriol co-driven by his faithful friend Denis Giraudet
dominated the rally from start to finish

The Maroc Historic Rally is an immersive experience.  As one competitor put it….

“What can I say?  In six days of racing, it was a lot of emotions.  With 388km of special stages, 1920km of liaisons, 6 days of racing, free assistance, changes of cities every day…, I feel like I’m a few decades younger.   We saw a real rally and not the ersatz ones we’ve seen for too long.  Is it better?  I’m not going to say yes, I’m not going to say no, it’s just different.  Mechanics have told me that they sometimes have to drive fast in liaison to make sure they can be on time.  This kind of thing clearly no longer passes in Europe.  There is certainly a fair compromise to be found between the two.  The advantage of this old-fashioned system is that you can get to know the country in depth.  The Morocco Rally really visits Morocco and that can only be positive for a host country or region.

Alain Deveza put up a spirited challenge that sadly came to an end because of a puncture

As for the stages, it’s just grandiose.  They are extremely varied because they are fast, brittle, slow, rolling, winding…  Almost every stage has its own specificity and that’s what makes it so charming.  And if it takes place in a fabulous setting, it’s just perfect.

Italian Luisa Zumelli scored her 7th Ladies’ Cup win in a magnificent Porsche 953 Dakar

So, let’s congratulate Yves Loubet for this magnificent rally as well as the entire organisation.”

On the 2024 programme were 1,943kms to be covered, including 388kms in 26 timed stages, 17 of which are different, over six legs.  On Sunday 21 April, the technical and administrative checks took place in Bouskoura and on Monday, the 33 competitors ran two specials twice.  

To read our full report see the June 2024 edition, available in hard copy or digital..

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.