Dakar Rally : Scrutineering
For her sixteenth Dakar, queen of the rally-raid Jutta Kleinschmidt will be sporting new colours. After her first Dakar on a bike in 1988, then more noticeable races behind the wheels of a Mitsubishi and a Volkswagen, the German driver was all
smiles when she climbed out of the cabin of her new BMW X 3 to start the long haul through scrutineering.
"I'm very happy to be a part of this team. There is an excellent atmosphere with Nasser (Al Attiyah) and Guerlain (Chicherit)", admits the winner of the 2001 rally. "The field for the car category is prestigious this year, so to finish in the top 5 would be a good result for me, but I'm really hoping to be on the podium".
Chicherit is ready like never before
For his third Dakar and second with the BMW X-Raid team, Guerlain Chicherit is impatient to get on the race tracks. Encouraged by his first special stage victory a year ago, the French driver believes he is ready like never before. "Physically, I'm in great form and I'm ready to do the business. We've also done plenty of tests with the team and after the experience of 2006, the car's reliability has improved", insists the 9th-placed finisher of last year's edition.
However, Chicherit refuses to get carried away: "We are a good team, but in what measure? It's easy to be world champion during testing, but it's during the race that our performance level needs to shine through".
The clear goal for the man from Savoy is to finish in the top 5…
Nasser Al Attiyah : "Avoid making the same mistakes"
Still just as smiling and enthusiastic as usual at the prospect of starting a new Dakar (his fourth), Nasser Al Attiyah is particularly optimistic for this 29th edition of the rally. The BMW X-Raid driver is one of the three trump cards in the team run by Sven Quandt. "We have learned a lot from the last Dakar. Progress has been made with the car, it is now more reliable and we will avoid making the same mistakes. I'm aiming for one of the first three places", insists the Qatari.
Al Attiyah can also rely on the astute advice of Jutta Kleinschmidt, a new member of the X-Raid team. "I'm really learning plenty of things from her. We talk a lot together and she helps be benefit from her experience on the rally".