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Gerard De Rooy: ''Highly Confident!''
Dakar : News from Scrutineering
Blue has been replaced by orange, a truly natural color for the Dutch De Rooy father and son team. Forced to quit anticipatively last year, the Dutch truckers are coming back with the ambition to win the Dakar.

"We are highly confident,
says son Gerard. It will be a tough one with a lot of sand but we like that. It's perfect for us. The Kamaz remain our main rivals. We will keep an eye on their race and try to be as good as them, or even ahead of them."

To this end, the De Rooy will be counting on the reliability of their Ginaf truck. "This is the 2006 truck with a few changes and a new engine", says Gerard who insists upon the fact that there is no set hierarchy between him and his father.

Jun Mitsuhashi: "Winning Again in my Category"
A former biker, Jun Mitsuhashi is now a well-known face of a Dakar he is racing for the eigth time this year. In 2007, the Japanese pilot won in the Production category which corresponds to vehicles only slightly modified compared to standard ones.

"My aim is - of course - to win again in my category. This season, I took part in the Dubai Rally where I was able to test the car in good conditions. It is really competitive: the model has been around for 10 years and with each Dakar slight improvements are added. It's the last run for this one, next year we'll move on to something else."

Let the Ringing Begin
A twisted iron thread is put around the main parts of the car and closed by a so-called "lead seal" embossed with the number of the crew and vehicle. This is probably the most time-consuming operation for the mechanics involved in the scrutineering round.

But it is the only way of making sure that once homologated the vehicles will not be fraudulently tampered with and altered during the race. In the T1 series, it is the engine block, the chassis, the cylinder head and the inlet valve that are ringed. But it is in the T2 series that work is more fastidious.

About 10 of these little seal rings are set on the front and rear axles, on the body and on the gearbox, in addition to the ones already installed in the T1 series. This is an "almost full-proff" ringing system says Daniel Ribeiro, chief technical steward. The influence of these "leads" on the weight of the vehicle is negligible as they are actually made of... aluminium.
Press Release A.S.O

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