Dakar : Team Galp Energia - Preview
Frequently named among the drivers ‘to watch out for', Team GALP ENERGIA driver, Carlos Sousa, is facing this edition of the Dakar with motivation and determination. After a shakedown session with his Nissan Navara during the Baja Portalegre
in October, and a number of specific test sessions, the Portuguese driver is confident. On December 31st, the Dakar will set off from Lisbon – yet another reason to boost the morale of the driver and the whole GALP ENERGIA team.
The 2006 edition of the Dakar 2006 looks like being difficult, both in terms of the route chosen and the new features (most notably the regulation changes) implemented by the ASO. The navigation will have a significant effect on the final result, due to hidden waypoints. Navigation has reclaimed its place in rally-raid competition.
But Carlos Sousa will be starting from Lisbon, and this point alone is enough to make sure that the Team GALP ENERGIA will start off on a high point. To start from home, on the last day of the year, should bring a smile to the face of the 2003 World Cup winner : « Of course, I am very pleased that the rally is leaving from my home country. It is great for all the Portuguese, who are all passionate about this sport. For our sponsors, without whom we would not be racing, it is also a major factor. However, we will have to quickly get down to work, and there will only be two stages in Portugal… We tested after the Baja Portalegre in order to improve the car's behaviour in the sand. I think we worked well on that point.
But the Dakar is a very complex event, and anything can happen, good or bad. I am confident, and I know the team will be fine. It is a small group, but everyone is very motivated, and their work is very professional. It is true that I would like to be able to celebrate my fortieth birthday on January 16th in Dakar, having set a good result… But we're not there yet !” Effectively, if all goes to plan, there would be a fantastic party for the whole Team GALP ENERGIA. Since the Baja Portalegre, Jean Marie Lurquin has been Carlos Sousa's navigator. A duo that could well cause trouble to the bigger teams, considering the Belgian's talent for finding the best possible routes…
While waiting for the start of the 28th edition of the most legendary of the African races, Team GALP ENERGIA has done everything it can to work for a good result.
This was confirmed by Team Manager André Dessoude, who is happy to be able to work with Carlos : “I am very proud to have Carlos in the team. Considering the current configuration, and on an event such as the Dakar, he is the ideal driver. He is consistent and good at endurance, being perfectly able to manage the length of such an event. He uses his head, without excess zeal or getting carried away. Moreover, he respects the men, their work, and his vehicle. It is a real pleasure to work with him!”
The Dakar caravan will leave Lisbon early in the morning on Saturday December 31st, heading for Portimao, the end point of the first leg. A caravan of no fewer than 700 vehicles, including the competitors and assistance vehicles
Press Release Team Galp Energia