Dakar 2006: administrative checks & scrutineering
Part of the organisation, David Castera event sporting co-director, is one the main men in charge of the big start in Lisbon. And the rally preparation carries on with three days to go before the first stage on New Year's
Eve with the traditional scrutineering sessions. “As usual we are a bit late on our planned schedule because it takes time to start this big machine. The main difficulty is due to the installation of all the security devices and especially the Iritrack system, and the competitors aren't used to that. But we're slowly catching up time on this delay, especially because it isn't the busiest day. The race anyhow promises to be exciting. Yesterday we flew over the first two specials by helicopter with event director Etienne Lavigne and we were reassured by the conditions. It's been raining quite a lot in the past few days but the tracks look fine.”
Jean Brucy: “It's a new challenge”
After 16 Dakar rallies on a bike (including a fourth spot in 2000), Jean Brucy (MIT – n°367) is about to live a first experience on four wheels as a co-driver in a Mitsubishi. Thanks to his experience and his knowledge of the desert, his goal is to help his young 23-year-old driver Mana Pornsirached of Thailand make it to the finish line in Dakar. Early November, the Franco-Asian crew tested their diesel vehicle for a day on the Creusot circuit. Frenchman Jean Brucy seemed delighted during the day's technical scrutineering. “It's a new challenge for me. I just hope I won't be frustrated by the navigation. I have to give Mana my knowledge of the Dakar and help him find a good rhythm during the stages. Our goal with the Mitsubishi team is of course to make it to the finish line and for Mana to gain in experience for the years to come. But the team instructions are clear: if he's in trouble in the sand, I'll take over behind the steering wheel.”
Carlos Sousa: “A great moment for Portugal!”
Before going through scrutineering tomorrow, Carlos Sousa who finished seventh of last years edition looked to be the most expected man on the day, cheered by his local fans and requested by the national media. The Portuguese driver who will be counting on a very promising Nissan pickup (similar to that of Giniel De Villiers who finished 4th last year) hopes to impress on the Portuguese stages and aims at a top five position in Dakar.
“Hosting the start of the Dakar is a great moment for Portugal. It's a huge event and will give the country a huge boost on a tourism point of view. I know that all the Portuguese have great expectations. I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders. I hope to clinch a place in the leading three in the first two Portuguese stages that I know very well. But I believe that a driver like Carlos Sainz should perform well. Concerning the overall standing, I really think that I could have finished on last year's podium with the car I have today. But meanwhile, the Mitsubishi and Volkswagen teams have improved a lot. Nothing is therefore settled. But my goal is a to be in the leading five in Dakar!”
The Servia family at scrutineering
One of the first competitors in the corridors of the administrative scrutineering was Josep-Maria Servia (SCH – n°316)… Although he will be going through scrutineering with his V6 Schlesser-Ford buggy on Friday, the Spaniard was checking out the facilities with his Josefina Roman who will be competing in the truck race as a co-driver alongside Jordi Juvanteny and José-Luis Criado. Also a member of the Servia clan, Salvator (brother of Josep-maria) will also be going through the technical check with his BMW today.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation