Dakar 2006: administrative checks & scrutineering (Day 2)
For the second year running, Robby Gordon will be starting the Dakar. After a first experience behind the steering wheel of a Volkswagen race Touareg that saw him clinch two special wins and make it to the Lac Rose
in overall 12th position. But this time, the American has a whole new project: his own program with a Hummer vehicle powered by a GM engine.
“I had a good time with Volkswagen last year and I learnt a lot. But I wanted to come back with my own program. Now we'll see what happens but we don't quite know what to expect against the other guys that we've never competed against. Anyhow, this time or next time: we want to win this race. We're not here to play.”
Toshinori Asaga: “Just enjoy myself!”
For his twentieth Dakar, Toshinori Asaga (TOY – n°338) intends on putting pleasure before performance in the overall standing. But the Japanese veteran who will be 62 next February is often a specialist at misguiding opinions. Last year, he had already announced he wanted to quit racing after the event, but his victory in the production category changed everything. This year again, the goal of the Toyota Auto Body team is to clinch the win in the T2 diesel class.
“I believe this will be my last Dakar. I did indeed say the same thing last year but I won my category. I changed my mind because I couldn't leave the Dakar without defending my title. But I'm part of Shinozuka's generation and he's decided to stop racing. So… For my 20th Dakar, I really just want to enjoy myself. I love driving in the desert. I have so many fond memories of this rally-raid".
English speaking countries well represented
Year after year the Dakar is getting bigger and more popular around the World… Indeed, more and more countries are represented in the race. The English speaking nations should be in the limelight for this year's event. Twenty-three competitors from England should be starting the race on Saturday (if all goes well during scrutineering). The US will be counting on 13 starters including big names such as Robby Gordon or Mark Miller in the car race. Also present are 5 Australians (including Andy Caldecott), 3 South Africans (including Alfie Cox in a BMW X 3) and 1 Scot.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation