Repsol presents 2006 Dakar lineup

WITH THE OVERALL VICTORY AS THEIR MAIN AIM, REPSOL PRESENTED ITS TEAMS FOR THE 2006 DAKAR Stephane Peterhansel, Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Nani Roma make up the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Marc Coma, Giovanni Sala and Carlo de...

WITH THE OVERALL VICTORY AS THEIR MAIN AIM, REPSOL PRESENTED ITS TEAMS FOR THE 2006 DAKAR

Stephane Peterhansel, Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Nani Roma make up the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team

Marc Coma, Giovanni Sala and Carlo de Gavardo are the Repsol KTM Team. Jordi Duran and Jordi Viladoms form the Junior Team

Repsol has been developing made-to-measure products and exclusive products for Mitsubishi during 2005, which were tested at the races of the Raid World Championship.

Repsol YPF presented its official teams for the 2006 Dakar Rally today, in Madrid. A powerful representation made up by the four drivers of the Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Stephane Peterhansel, Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Nani Roma, as well as the three from the Repsol KTM Team: Marc Coma, Giovanni Sala, Carlo de Gavardo, and finally two from the Junior Team: Jordi Duran and Jordi Viladoms. The race that is due to begin 1 January in Lisbon will make possible a double challenge, in particular a very demanding challenge, like looking for victory in both categories.

High level Technological collaboration

During the last years the teams sponsored by Repsol YPF have been able to count on cooperation from the Repsol YPF Technology Centre, a result of this is the victories achieved by the Repsol KTM Team. During 2005 the teamwork at a high level between Repsol YPF and Mitsubishi have allowed the Spanish oil company to develop a new range of "made to measure" products and exclusively for the Japanese manufacturer: a new range of lubricants, and different evolutions of petrol for use under high temperature conditions, for cars that have to face extreme conditions in the desert dunes. These products have been evaluated in the Mitsubishi facilities in Japan, in World Rally Raid Championship tests.

Already Repsol YPF have won with motorbikes in 2004 and cars in 2005, and the strength and experience of its teams is a guarantee that permits year after year a renewal to face challenges to be conquered. The year 2005 which is now coming to an end has been an especially important year. The customary participation in Dakar with motorbikes, Repsol YPF was also present with a squad of five cars that resulted from an agreement reached with Mitsubishi Motor Sports. When reflecting the months that have passed, the results are very satisfactory. Stephane Peterhansel won in Dakar and Dubai, Luc Alphand in Tunis and Portugal, and Nani Roma in Baja Aragon.

These victories, and the hard work of a whole year, guarantees that Mitsubishi with Repsol colours, will once again be leading characters, this being mainly due to their outstanding riders, and the work and dedication of Dominique Serieys, Team Manager, with continuous support from Isao Torii, President of Mitsubishi Motor Sports.

Repsol YPF aspires to fight for victory with cars, and of course, with motorbikes where once more the Repsol KTM team will be one of the favourites. However, this year the team has something that was missing, a champion. The company has one of the best records in world competition. During more than thirty years it has achieved victories and titles in nearly all specialties, but a World Raid Champion was missing.

Marc Coma is the team leader, and a few weeks ago has demonstrated more than ever his capacity by winning in Dubai a well deserved World Championship. He is one of the big favourites to win in Dakar. And this is not just due to his riding, but also to his colleagues. Giovanni Sala and Carlo de Gavardo will always be on hand. And when they reach their goal the Team Manager, Jordi Arcarons, will be waiting, to improve day by day the level and the effectiveness of a brilliant and very professional team that has always received maximum support from KTM and, Heinz Kinigadner the person responsible for Competition.

The Junior Team will also call the attention of the fans. At the wheel of Coma, Sala and de Gavardo, Jordi Duran and Jordi Viladoms will continue with their apprenticeship in Raids. Last year Duran suffered a serious accident, but he is back in shape. In the last races he has had a magnificent partnership with Marc Coma and his help will be highly valued in Dakar. He will be accompanying Jordi Viladoms, who will be leaving the Motocross tracks and make his debut in Raids with the highest expectations.

Caring Dakar. Uniting a humanitarian action with a sports project.

In Dakar 2006, an important initiative that has the Repsol riders and teams collaboration. Managed by Dr. Xavier Mir, from the Fundacion Dakar Solidario which is under the auspice of Repsol YPF, will carry out humanitarian work of special relevance taking advantage of the logistical infrastructure set in motion by the racing organization. Different hospitals in Mauritania will receive medical help in form of instruments, vaccinations and all types of medicine and medical material. This help, channelled through the Foundation and managed by various Hospitals in this country will permit the establishment of medical coverage programs for the population, and will be continued, supervised and amplified during the following years.

Statements of the main figures

Isao Torii. Mitsubishi Motor Sport President: "Our career in the Dakar Rally is filled with success and last year, the first time we joined forces with Repsol, we managed to take our fifth consecutive victory, the tenth since we started participating in the Dakar. This year we'll go for the sixth. We expect the best from our drivers, because the team has thoroughly prepared to reach the top."

Dominique Serieys. Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Team Manager: "We reach the race in excellent conditions, with an improved car compared to last year, thoroughly tested in the last months by all of our drivers and after the hard work of many months, not only on the technical but also on the physical and human side. This makes us feel very confident and hopeful to achieve another victory.

Tomas Garcia Recio, Advertising and Sponsorship Manager: "For our company, the Dakar Rally is a very significant challenge from several points of view. First of all as a company, looking for a return of the investment made in our teams. Second, from the sporting point of view, giving thanks for the incredible luck of being able to join our experience in the Dakar with two makes such as KTM and Mitsubishi. And third, the human aspect, because Africa is a continent that seduces you, it marks differences and forces our sportsmen to an extraordinary effort. Its spirit is what impresses us most because the Dakar is much more than a competition. I also want to highlight Repsol's support of young riders and the presence of Duran and Viladoms is good proof of it. I want to thank KTM, Red Bull, Zenit and Jordi Arcarons for helping us in order to have riders with such a promising future in the Dakar.

Nani Roma: "There's not much left for the start of the Dakar and I'm really looking forward to it. Now it's time to think about the race and to avoid leaving any issue up in the air, because we'll soon be taking the start in Lisbon. I'm very happy about my progression this year, especially as regards driving on dunes, although there are always things to be learned. I still have to improve my driving style, but we're well prepared as regards the rest. We have a good race pace and I'm lucky to have a great co-driver and an excellent team around me to reach the aim. We'll try to improve last year's result and it would be great to finish on the podium. It's an ambitious aim but this is the right approach. We're all highly motivated and I think that everything will work out fine."

Stephane Peterhansel: "My feelings for this Dakar are very good, especially after the good results we've been achieving recently. We just won the Dubai Raid and the car worked perfectly well. The new Mitsubishi is very good, even better than last year's and the team is ready. We feel really confident as regards our aim, which is no other than regaining the title, although we cannot forget that the desert and the Dakar are very hard."

Luc Alphand: "Training is over and we're ready to take the start in Lisbon. I think that we have made a good season and the car has improved a lot both as regards performance and reliability. We've covered more than 3,000 kms testing and we've won the Tunisia Rally and the Baja Portugal, so I think that we're arriving in a good moment. I have a lot of confidence in the team and I'm sure that we'll make a good Dakar and that the Mitsubishi team will win, because it has very good drivers."

Marc Coma: "Here, at the presentation, I've realised that time has passed by very fast, but I'm very happy that the Dakar is going to start again soon. It is fantastic to be able to race it with the same colours, the same people, even more excited than last year, if it's possible. We all know that the Dakar is a very long race and that there are many factors playing a role. It is a big rival all by itself, but this year there are many riders that are extremely well prepared. We are in a great moment, both as regards sports and excitement, so we hope that there will be no surprises and that everything will work out well."

Jordi Duran: "This year we've been working very hard from the very first moment to be here, and although I'm not at a 100% yet, I'm almost recovered from the injuries suffered last year. I'm happy because the latest results in Egypt and Dubai have reflected the efforts made. I'm really confident in achieving our main aim, which is no other than reaching Dakar."

Jordi Viladoms: "First of all, I'm looking forward to my first Dakar with a lot of respect and excitement. It is something I've always wanted and a big step in my sports career. I really want to thank the team for giving me this opportunity of racing the Dakar and doing it in the best team, surrounded by the best people and the best riders. It's a great opportunity for me and I won't miss it."

Carlo De Gavardo: "I'm very proud to be in this team, with this great sponsor, Repsol. It's the best structure there is right now, so I'm really confident in the team achieving its aim, which is no other than winning the Dakar. I'm ready and I'll work hard to contribute to achieve it."

Giovanni Sala: "I'm very happy because the Repsol team have put their trust in me again to be in their team. That means that they are happy with the job I did last year. Racing in a team like this is not at everybody's reach and I'm grateful for it. I'm an enduro rider and my role is not winning the Dakar, but helping my team-mates in case of problems, But I can do a good race as well. My aim is to reach Lake Rose among the top five, although I know that it will be a hard job. Speed will be high and I still have to improve my feeling as regards navigation. I'll try, but working on the principle that we also have to enjoy."

Jordi Arcarons: "This year we've created two teams in one, with the aim of winning the Dakar. I'll be in charge of establishing the system to be followed as the race goes by and according to everyone's results. There is a very good mutual understanding and they all know our aim: to win the Dakar as we already did in 2004 with Nani Roma. We'll go for all."

-repsol-

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Series DAKAR