At the end of the year
Lisboa is going to be the “Motor Sports Capital” from the 26th to the 31st of December 2005, with the Glamour of the famous who will attend the scrutineering mixing in with the adrenaline of the high performance machines in their final preparations
before the official departure of the Euromilhões Lisboa Dakar Rally, the 28th edition of which will kick off here in Portugal.
The magic of the “Lisboa Dakar Rally”, which stirs in everyone who loves motor sports, spread quickly and entries in all disciplines ran out in an instant. A solidarity campaign will be held at the same time as this sports event with the objective of raising funds for the UN's projects against hunger in Sudan and Chad.
The rally will be concentrated for a few days in historical zones of Lisboa, such as the Jerónimos Monastery, Belém Tower and the Coach Museum. The roads in front on the Jerónimos Monastery were prepared to act as a Closed Park, which will be filled with assistance vehicles, racing cars and all of the paraphernalia which attracts the curious and which constitutes the particular focus of this Lisboa Dakar Rally.
Tourists who come here will have no difficulty in coming face to face with major names in world motor racing such as the winners of eight editions of the Portugal Rally. The former rally drivers in Lancia's golden years, will now face each other in trucks, the charismatic Markku Allen (winner of the Portugal Rally in 1977, 81 and 87) and the transalpine Miki Biasion who won the Portuguese Rally in three consecutive years, 1988, 89 and 90.
Entering the adventure for the first time with a position of responsibility in VW's official team, Carlos Sainz will race in a Touareg and will be a major “pull” for the Spanish crowd.
Paul Belmondo will attract the attention of the television cameras, although he is not the best of the former Formula 1 drivers on the list of entrants. Jean-Louis Schlesser and Henry Pescarolo insist on taking part in the Dakar. The star of the American oval tracks, Robby Gordon, will also be racing in this edition of the Lisboa Dakar Rally.
One piece of news is the return of Hubert Auriol, the former director and several times winner of this magical race across the desert, to the statute of driver and Alfie Cox's change-over from two to four wheels. Lisboa has also attracted drivers from traditional rallies like Simon Jean-Joseph and Freddy Loix.