Dakar : News from Scrutineering
It's on the occasion of a press conference looking like a demonstration of strength that Team Dakar USA put on a true arrival show on the 2008 edition of the Dakar. Present since last night at the rally scrutineering, both pilots Robby Gordon
and Ronn Bailey, the only ones driving a Hummer in this edition, unveiled their respective aims today at 2:00 PM: victory for Robby and a place in the Top 20 for Ronn.
Nascar champion and the first American to win a special and finish 8th in the 2007 Dakar, his mind is set on winning this time with a vehicle that is 500 kg lighter than last year. "In the sand, my Hummer is scary, scary fast I mean!", he shouted with a smile. The Americans have arrived and they are ready to put on quite a show.
The Return of the Turkish Duo
Kutlu Torunlar and Kemal Merkit, who collected the tough times in the 2007 edition, managed to get to Dakar despite a long list of mishaps in last year's race. Both bikers kept on going through harder times when they got back to Istanbul with the many injuries that called for them to undergo treatment for quite a while:
"I had a shoulder surgery, then I had another operation in the ligaments of my knee, so I spent six months at full rest. And the other six months I did not train either", says Kutlu jokingly! But the lack of preparation did not bring the companions to despair; they still intend to get to Lake Rose this year as well: "This time we will change our strategy and take it slow in the beginning because the trails in Morocco are really deadly."
Trucks, the New Deal...
A new year and a new race for the trucks enrolled in the Dakar.
With more than 100 participants - a record in this category - the truck category is starting up a new era with the implementation of simplified regulations.
"The homologation procedure of the FIA - applicable as of January 1st - respond to a need for greater fairness and simplicity. The Federation considered that there were standard production trucks and modified trucks" adds Fabien Calvet, in charge of trucks at ASO. For the latter vehicles, the rule is now simple. The axis of the axle is used as a basis. The cab cannot be pushed back by more than 900 mm. The engine wheel must be at maximum 140 mm and the height of the chassis at maximum 450. "Finally simple and easy-to-control rules" summarizes Fabien Calvet.
Communiqué de Presse A.S.O.