The dream of having a place on the podium again
At 43, Elisabete Jacinto is about to start her 10th Dakar. The Portuguese driver, famous for having won the Ladies Cup in the motorbike competition in 2000 and for having managed to drive her truck to Lac Rose in 2004, an exploit
never before achieved by a woman, still has no limits for her sports ambitions.
Since she became involved in the trucks competition in the hardest rally in the world in 2003, barely three months after she had obtained her permit to drive trucks, Elisabete Jacinto won a stage in the Tunisian rally and was first in the general classification in the Shamrock (2006) and Morocco (2007) rallies. At the latest Dakar she finished 21st in the whole classification, when there were 80 competitors at the beginning and 59 at the end; she was 6th among production trucks. This is a result the driver for the Team Oleoban / MAN Portugal intends to beat in the Dakar, which commemorates 30 years.
"Last year was the first time we entered the Dakar with the MAN. I think we managed to get an excellent result, and the progress was visible throughout the competition. From then on we have been developing the machine. We took part in the Tunisia Rally and in the Morocco Rally, and in both we managed to considerably better our sports performances. In this chapter, the progress was astonishing, and I may state that I feel more able than ever to face the Dakar, even with such a hard competition as it is expected to be.
With further classes for trucks, separating them not only in more or less than 10 litres but also in Super Production and Production, my goal became obviously more ambitious, and now I aim at finishing among the first five in my group. To reach the podium one day is my dream", stresses Elisabete Jacinto.
Inside the MAN truck from Team Oleoban MAN / Portugal, driver Elisabete Jacinto has the company of the experienced Álvaro Velhinho (co-pilot) and Marco Cochinho (mechanic). Assistance is given with the support of a MAN KAT T5 driven by Bruno Oliveira and carrying Maximiano Bizarro (mechanic) and Jorge Gil, the team sports manager.