Dakar Rally : Scrutineering
At the end of the first day of scrutineering, the drive past of competitors was completed in compliance with the programme set out. More than a third of the vehicles were examined by the race commissaries on the circuit's various stands. No major
anomalies were detected. Whilst some competitors will need to re-submit their vehicles after a few adjustments, none of those hoping to be at the start were rejected. Today, the main favourites for the rally in the three categories will be arriving at the scrutineering site. During the morning, Luc Alphand and all the Mitsubishi Team will be there…
The winner of the 2006 car category has arrived at scrutineering. Luc Alphand also appeared to be in great shape physically and already concentrated on defending his title. "A fast start is going to be necessary", he declared. The Mitsubishi driver is disappointed with the modification to the route which led to the removal of the unassisted stage in Timbuktoo : "It's a shame because that type of stage is the team's strong point and bread and butter. But I'm satisfied with the organisers' decision".
The former skier is now comfortable with his status and confirms his ambitions by reminding everyone that he is "the favourite, and I can't wait to get stuck in". His rivals should also take note that their task will be difficult : "Since the last Dakar, I really have the feeling that I've become an even better driver".
"Obviously, my aim is to win". Stéphane Peterhansel did not hide his ambitions on his arrival at administrative scrutineering, before setting out the Mitsubishi team's philosophy : "We know that we won't gain a thing by racing against each other. First and foremost, we are a close-knit team. It's the race that will determine the rankings".
Smiling yet determined, the two-time winner of the car category finds this competition healthy and normal.
He also admits to being more relaxed than usual : "This year's later start has allowed me to arrive less stressed". Words of warning for his rivals.
Nani Roma finished in 6th place on the Dakar in 2005 for his first participation in a car, then 3rd in 2006. In light of such progress, the former winner of the motorbike category is one of the main favourites. He is relaxed and feels free in a Mitsubishi team in which the competition is still just as strong. "As a competitor, you always want to win when you take part in a race. Mauritania will be a good place to stand out from the crowd, but it will also be the place where we could lose everything".
Hiroshi Masuoka might be a discrete kind of guy, but he is especially a determined driver. At the scrutineering site, the two-times winner did not waste much time in explaining that for his twentieth participation in the rally, this year his goal is to win the race. His strategy is simple : "Avoid driving errors, avoid technical problems and go for it", faithful to his unwavering attacking temperament.