Every three minutes today, the seven teams leave the port city, with Groningen set to leave first. The German team from Aachen will be the last to leave, but are already happy to start at all. The Sonnenwagen Aachen crashed on Sunday after hitting a tree stump, but the team proved able to repair the damage.
Driver Paul Heineman completed the qualifying lap on behalf of the Twente team. 'I found it an honor and at the same time very exciting to drive the qualification. The result is as expected, which gives us a good time to start tomorrow (Monday).'
Thomas Jansink, team leader of the Twente solar team, expressed his satisfaction with the qualifying time of 02.30 minutes. 'In this challenge there are stages with a fixed start and finish, a concept similar to the Dakar Rally. The team that completes the total distance in the shortest time wins. As a result, starting position matters less this year than in previous years. You can even gain a tactical advantage from it.'
The teams will cover 473 kilometers today. The finish line of the first day is in Zagora, a city of around 40,000 inhabitants in eastern Morocco. Along the way, there is at least one checkpoint, where the teams change drivers and have to stop briefly. The teams should arrive in Zagora before 18.00 (Moroccan time). There the entire caravan will spend the night in a bivouac.