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Portuguese Champions seek new challenge
In 2006 Lisbon Dakar
Miguel Barbosa, as twice Portuguese Off-Road Champion, will be one of the drivers receiving the most attention amongst the Portuguese entrants. At just 27 years old he has already won an honourable roster of results. The motivation to take part in the
Euromilhões Lisboa Dakar Rally, where he will race for the first time with his usual navigator Miguel Ramalho, is huge.
Besides having shown that he is one of the fastest drivers in the sport, ever since he took up motor racing, which is to say in the last five years, Miguel Barbosa has always managed to finish championship races with remarkable results: twice winner of the Absolute National Champion 2003 and 2005, to which he also added twice Runner-Up Titles in 2001 and 2002 in Portugal and also in the Iberian Championship and in the European Cross-Country besides the title of Iberian T2 Champion in 2001.

After having nothing further to prove in the National TT, Miguel Barbosa dreamt of entering the toughest race in the world, a challenge which, this year, he has prepared with modesty and great dedication. Instead of the large machines which he was used to dominating in recent times, and which have given him a long honour's list, the Portuguese driver preferred to drive a less powerful but certainly more reliable car in his début, a Nissan Pathfinder, which is more suited to whoever has the objective of learning the Dakar.

“The first year of the Dakar is a little like facing the unknown. Or rather, it's about learning. I'm not expecting major sporting results in terms of position but rather it's about gathering information, gaining experience and learning as much as I can for future races, that's more like it, thinking about the end result,” he started out by saying.

“So, my main objective in my first year is to reach Dakar. If I can do that then we can consider it a personal victory. And it's with this in mind that I'll be leaving Lisbon on the 31st of December.”

Preferring the company of his Portuguese co-driver Miguel Ramalho, for whom this is also his first time in this race, Barbosa thinks that: “although this is also Miguel's first time, he is an excellent navigator with a proven track record. I know I will be able to depend on all of his professionalism and dedication. I fully trust his ability and I know that together we will give our best to arrive home. Besides having our professional lives in common, Miguel is also a great friend, which makes everything easier as, with the race lasting for so many days, it's good to have someone we like at our side.”

Miguel Barbosa will participate as part of the Nissan Dessoude technical support team, and will have the experience and moral support of Carlos Sousa, who has been his mentor and who has also been his team companion.
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