Taking on a four-wheel challenge at the Dakar Rally
Chilean driver Carlo de Gavardo could not possibly have watched the South America-based Dakar Rally from the comfort of his home, even if only a month ago he was still looking for an appropriate budget.
11 times aboard a bike (3rd in 2001), de Gavardo converted to racing on four wheels after reaching the number 36 when counting the fractures he has accumulated.
"Too many of my friends had bad accidents during competition; I wanted to pass on and think of something else," he admitted.
He may not be well-known in Argentina, but as soon as the border with Chile is reached he will become the star of the show in his home country. All the more reason for him to aim for an honourable position before crossing that national boundary with long-time friend "Jeannot" Brucy sitting in the co-driver's seat.
After a pair of Brazilian rallies and two Pharaoh rallies set back by mechanical issues, Carlo de Gavardo and Jean Brucy will take on the Dakar at the controls of an SMG buggy... a way for both to start over again.
"In Chile people are used to seeing me in the top ten aboard a bike," said de Gavardo. "It's important for me to finish among the top 30 cars to remain credible."
"It's decisive for me in order to set up a project on the long term," he added.