Dakar 2008 canceled. We are on the way back A day before the start of the rally, Dakar director Etiene Lavigne announced the cancelation of the 2008 edition because of serious threats of terrorist organizations on African ground. The news was ...
Dakar 2008 canceled. We are on the way back
A day before the start of the rally, Dakar director Etiene Lavigne announced the cancelation of the 2008 edition because of serious threats of terrorist organizations on African ground. The news was officially announced at a provisional briefing held in Lisbon on January 4.
"It is the most rational decision we could possibly take. Tragic events that took place in Mauretania at Christmas were followed by very concrete and strong terrorist threats we could not oversee. We appreciate the great endeavors of all Dakar participants and I see a lot of disappointment. However, Dakar values and especially health and life, are prevailing. We will continue organizing the Dakar and so will continue the values of the Dakar and programs we are running in Africa," Lavigne said. The reaction of a thousand-head racing crowd was not emotional, the disappointment of everyone was remarkable.
Loprais Tatra Team learned the news upon leaving the hotel. We all are disappointed of the current development of things as we were deeply convinced the 30th Dakar would be the best truck race in the history. Still we think our endeavors will pay. Dakar is not the only rally in the world and our development program will not stop. We are already considering other alternatives like Trans Orientale, Morocco, Tunisia, Desert Challenge. They all offer great racing platforms. "The decision seems to be reasonable and is understandable. I am sorry the organizers did not even attempt to run the European and Moroccan stages. I was absolutely looking forward in the truck race. The truck is tuned up like never before, it was prepared for an excellent sport battle and so were our rivals," Ales Loprais said. His father and team manager Milan Loprais added: "There is no other chance but respect the arisen situation. We must do a thick line after Dakar 2008. All I see now is how to enrich our racing program for the whole course of 2008. I hope that also our rivals will follow in such a positive way." So, there is time for packing up. The trucks have not even passed the scrutineering and so the only crew to have returned all compulsory equipment was our press team.
On Saturday, the team is to head home. And last but not the least, we would like to thank all of our fans and partners for their support. Our racing program will go on.
-credit: loprais tatra