Dakar: Face to Face, day 16

Face to Face The Dakar Magazine January 15, 2005 Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... Sylviane Goutaland - Toyota Team Feminin - 442 "A benefit for...

Face to Face
The Dakar Magazine
January 15, 2005

Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind...

Sylviane Goutaland - Toyota Team Feminin - 442

"A benefit for our association..."

Sylviane Goutaland and Elodie Metge are the only women crew of this 27th Dakar Rally. A participation motivated by only one thing: talking about their association, "Enfance et Partage", which defends children rights. With experience and passion, the two girls are managing a great job and should race tomorrow on the banks of the Lac Rose. Added to that, they've achieved their main goal with a lot of press articles about themselves and obviously their association.

With already five Dakar rallies behind her, Sylviane Goutaland, 45 years of age, has found a perfect teammate in Elodie Metge, the daughter of René, who won the Dakar rally three times in the past. "I like navigating", explained Elodie, "and Sylviane is a great driver, very talented...She crossed the dunes without any problems and didn't do one mistake during all the race." With the support of Toyota France, which gave them their land cruiser and assistance, the two women were in very good hands to achieve their race with a strong car and a good team. "During the stage between Atar and Kiffa, we broke the gear box, but the assistance truck couldn't change it on the track. We had to wait a long time, because we weren't the only ones to have problems, but when they found us, they changed the gearbox in only two hours. Of course we couldn't sleep that night because we arrived very late on the bivouac, but without them, we would have given up. So... apart from that, the mechanics are so nice to us every day before the stage. To give them something back, we tried not to damage the car."

Racing in a very smart way, especially during the terrible stage from Zouerat to Tichit where they arrived in the first hours of the morning, the two girls are 52th of the overall standing in front of some experienced drivers like Christian Lavieille or Alexandre Debanne... "That's a great result but you know our main target is only to get to Dakar. But the most important thing for us is to get more press exposition for our foundation, and trying to get people to give money."

From a more technical point of view, Sylviane's only concern was a gear problem, at the beginning of the race when she wasn't still totally confident in the car, while Elodie didn't do any navigation mistake. "I was expecting something terrible, but in fact it wasn't. It bothered me a little. But this Dakar was ten times harder than the one that went to Sharm El-Sheikh in 2003, which I did with my father." Her father, who drove a press car this year, gave her a big fright when he stopped just in front of them just to give his daughter a kiss! Just before recognizing him, the two girls in the car were yelling at this crazy guy who stopped just in the middle of the way.

Very happy of their experience, the two women explained that the main difficulty was the lack of sleep. They are also a little bit disappointed by the bad weather, which prevented them from admiring the beautiful scenery on the race. But the joy of racing and all the memories they've built together should quickly erase those little disappointments.

-aso-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Christian Lavieille , Alexandre Debanne