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Notes from the Dakar briefing
Etienne Lavigne talks to the crews
Dakar boss Etienne Lavigne held a briefing late in the forenoon Friday, welcoming the participants to the 30th edition of the famous race.

The challenge begins Saturday and will continue until January 17th, touching the Atlantic
and Pacific oceans along the way as the itinerary moves from Argentina to Chile and back.

During Lavigne's presentation, reminders were reviewed in order to ensure that the event moves forth without any hitches and in perfect harmony with both host countries.

A few key points mentioned by the Dakar organiser during the briefing:

Over a thousand vehicles, including those handled by the competitors, will take part in the event.

The order was given to always refuel before reaching the campsites.

Security will be a priority during this event.

30kph or 50kph in the speed zones for all; the penalties range from financial dues to exclusion from the rally.

Speed restricted to 150kph for racing trucks and 90kph for support trucks.

Public areas appear on every stage; a helicopter will assess the zone 20 minutes ahead of the lead bike for security purposes, and to ensure safe conditions for the public and the participants.

Race checkpoints will be replaced by security checkpoints at crossroads.

Because of the high temperatures, dehydration is a factor and must be avoided; Large quantities of water will be available at every stage start.

And finally, the crews were told to expect enthustiastic crowds!

The tone and atmosphere of the briefing was much different than was the case in Portugal last year...
Marie-France Estenave

     Alphand feels confident
     Hans Bekx makes a great start
     Dakar start in Buenos Aires
     Finally Ready
     Mitsubishi all set to challenge
     Enormous inner calm and confidence
     I always tell myself: Carlos keep cool
     And it's how they discovered America...
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