The 3rd running of the Marrakech Tour was stage October 22-28, 2016 in Morocco. Organised by Rally Story, the 7-day rally got under way with a new stage far from the roads of the South of Morocco.
Crossing the High and Middle Atlas, by way of the dam at Bin El-Ouidane, the sports cars on the 2016 Marrakech Tour were in their element. On Monday, a very different drive lay in store for the participants. In a light mist, broken by a few timid rays of sunshine, participants crossed the Zad pass, covered in fir trees, and traveled through the plains and narrow gorge of N’Zala. Then they passed through a palm grove before discovering the first sand dunes on the edge of the Sahara Desert. With breaks for a lunch of couscous and a checkpoint amid the sand overlooking the Ziz gorges, this day came to an end in Merzouga.
At dawn, the stretch from Merzouga to Ouarzazate invited the participants to discover the shades of brown and ochre, interspersed with the green of the cedars of the Atlas. Showers and storms caused flooding in a few places, adding a dash of spice for the drivers as they carefully crossed the wadis. And at last the city of Ouarzazate came into view on the horizon.
Given the persistent rain, the organisers decided to shorten the route to Taroudant the following day, calling off the section through Tata and re-joining the Nationale 10 main road.
On Thursday, it was time to head for the Atlantic Ocean, by way of Agadir, and then to follow the coastal road to Essaouira, for lunch on the beach, opposite the ramparts of the old town of Mogador. In the middle of the afternoon, it was time nonetheless to leave this spot for the journey back to Marrakesh.
On Friday, the final leg of 84 miles (135km) brought the crews to the Moulay Brahim gorges and to the mountains at Oukaimeden, before the finish at the Mamounia Palace for lunch in its gardens.
2016 Marrakech Tour – Photo Gallery
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2016 Marrakech Tour – Results
Prize for the oldest car
Lizambard / Dousset and Charline, Bentley 4.5L Le Mans 1932
Bessudo / Wilson Jaguar, XK120 1950 (Corsica and Morocco)
Pelletier / Pelletier, Ford Mustang 1964 (Route des Andes and Morocco)
Guillod / Kjellstrom, Porsche 356 1959
Langewiesche / Langewiesche, Apal Coupe 1961
Reuland / Reuland, Morgan Plus 4 2015
Bernard / Waryas, Porsche 911 3.2L Speedster 1989
Aubin / Baron, Porsche 911 Speedster 1993
Marchi / Wietoszew, Porsche 964 Speedster 1994
[Source: Rally Story; photos: Philippe Fugier and Dany Berthelot]