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Thursday, 22 March 2012 05:41


Competitors in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles began the anticipated Prologue stage yesterday deep in the deserts of Morocco near the town of Erfoud. The Prologue is an essential stage of the rally, as it allows competitors to test their skills and learn the new terrain of the desert without accumulating penalty points. With the official start of the rally March 22nd, spirits were high as teams were eager to tackle the Sahara terrain in their rally competition vehicles.

Earlier in the day, teams participated in the required odometer check, verifying accuracy for each vehicle. Once completed, teams moved to the bivouac, also known as the tent city of the rally, southeast of Erfoud and north of the famed Erg Chebbi dunes. The bivouac housed the start line of the Prologue, where 150 teams revved their engines amongst an international buzz of media, press, and organization officials. Crossovers, quads, motorcycles, and 4x4s lined up at the start, as each team waited for their scheduled turn taking off in two-minute intervals. With road books in hand and three different check points (CPs) to hit, Gazelles took off in the early afternoon for their short loop of approximately 42 kilometers. Routes were not the same for each team, and as the Prologue was underway, gusty winds kicked up the sand, creating less than ideal visibility for competitors.

Teams found themselves on varied courses of extremely rocky terrain, thick camel grass, and a riverbed, all aspects preparing them for what is to come in the next eight days of competition. Some teams struggled to hit their first CPs, while others were able to navigate with ease. Team Lerner Reina #107 hit their first CP fairly quickly, and was moving fast in their orange crush Jeep Rubicon to CP 2. Reina stated, "The wind and sand storm posed a problem, but we were still able to hit all three checkpoints." Additionally, both know a little more the second time around. "We were reminded of mistakes we made last year that we should be aware of. We had some fun, there was good communication between driver and navigator, and all in all it is good to be back."

Starting classes will be established once all competitors have returned to the bivouac. The next two days of competition will be spent in the Nejekah, Erfoud and Merzouga area. Results will be posted as they are finalized.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012 07:29

Team Lerner Reina in Erfoud, Morocco

The caravan of gazelles wasted no time in getting from Paris to Erfoud, Morocco where the rally will begin. Departing from the foot of the Eiffel Tower Team Lerner Reina made their way south to Almeria, Spain where they boarded a ferry. Back on land in Nador, Morocco they continued the southbound trek that ended in Erfoud where the team will prepare. The rally starts today with a 42km prologue that begins and ends in Nejjakh, Morocco. The prologue will establish the starting order of the teams for the official start tomorrow.

The Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles can be followed in real time here. Team Lerner Reina is Team # 107.

Before leaving Erfoud the team managed to snap some beautiful pictures of the AEV JK231R around the city. Check out the gallery below!



While the Team is already in beautiful Morocco we're still receiving some really nice photos of the AEV JK231R undergoing a technical inspection in Paris. Check em out!

On March 17th Team Lerner Reina gathered with 150 teams from 21 countries in Paris at the Trocadéro Gardens to undergo technical inspections for the 22nd annual Rallye Aïcha de Gazelles. The Eiffel Tower served as a spectacular backdrop to the day of preparation and ceremonial start line activities.

At the end of the day, teams departed for the trek across France, Spain and Morocco and will arrive at the town of Erfoud, Morocco where the rally will begin with a Prologue stage on Wednesday, March 21st. The two week race spans 9 days of intense competition across southern Morocco's most brutal terrain including the famed Erg Chebbi and Erg Chegaga dunes. In order to emphasize navigational skills as well as technical driving abilities the rally is not won with overall speed but by reaching checkpoints using the shortest distance possible.

Team Lerner Reina is one of two American teams participating in the Rally and they are the only American team returning from last year. Amy Lerner will be piloting a 2012 3.6L V6 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon customized by American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). The vehicle was purpose built to handle the specific demands of the Gazelle competition and features our 3.5" DualSport RS Suspension with Bilstein 5160 Remote Reservoir Shocks. The JK is also sporting several features specifically for rally efficency including IPF 900xs HID lights, a Snorkel with Pre-Filter, Pintler Beadlock Wheels, Premium Front Bumper with a WARN Winch, Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier and our 10-Gallon Fuel Caddy. “Our vehicle is extremely capable, and combined with our training and experience from last year, we are prepared for the wide variety of terrain we encounter on the rally," stated Lerner.

Stay tuned for photos of the trip from Paris to Morocco as well as race updates!


Team Lerner Reina has landed in France to be reunited with their AEV JK231R Wrangler! With the help of AEV distributor Indiancars the ladies have begun to put the Jeep through its paces in preparation for the rally. Stay tuned for more updates as the team makes their way from Paris to Morocco!

Check out the gallery below for a couple of pictures of the team in France.


Image Gallery

Leading up to the start of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles Team Lerner Reina will be making a number of media appearances. On February 16th Amy Lerner stopped by Fox Car Report to talk to host Gary Gastalu about the race, the team and the AEV JK231R Wrangler that they'll be driving. Check out the video below or visit the Fox News website.

Friday, 17 February 2012 14:52

Welcome to AEV's Team Lerner Reina Blog

AEV is proud to be sponsoring Team Lerner Reina, the only returning USA based team at Rallye Aicha des Gazelles (Rally of the Gazelles) in Morocco. We have built Team Lerner Reina a rig that we know will help them compete at a high level in this incredibly demanding race.

Over 9 days, from March 17th – 31st, sisters Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina will compete amongst 300 women in one of the most difficult off-road races in the world. Teams are provided with a daily “Road Book” containing geographic coordinates, headings and distances. With only a compass and a 1:100,000 scale map they must plot the shortest passable route and plan their itinerary. Taking place in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and the dunes of the Northern Sahara, the race is a demanding test of navigation, driving skill, endurance and vehicle durability.

As the only sporting event in the world with ISO 14001 environmental certification, it is loved throughout Europe and Africa for its humanitarian and environmental commitment. With a focus on health and welfare, its staff has brought significant improvement to the region.

Everyone at AEV is wishing Team Lerner Reina good luck. Check here often or visit us on Facebook and Google+ for Team updates before, during and after the race.

Starting with an Orange Crush Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon AEV equipped it with a modified JK231R package, which includes:

Premium Front Bumper
Winch Mount
Warn 9.5cti Winch
Front Skid Plate
IPF 900 HID Off-Road Lights
Heat Reduction Hood
Snorkel with Pre-Filter
Rear Bumper & Tire Carrier
Rear Corner Guards
Splash Guards
Hi-Lift/Pull-Pal Mount
Hi-Lift X-Treme 48" Jack
Pull-Pal 11,000lb Winch Anchor
IPF Backup Light
AEV 3rd Brake Light (CHMSL)
AEV Water Pump Kit
3.5" DualSport RS Suspension with
AEV-Tuned Bilstein 5160 Remote
Reservoir Shocks
17" Pintler Beadlock Wheels
35" BF Goodrich All Terrain Tires
AEV ProCal Module
AEV Jack Base

Image Gallery

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