On the starting grid at the Dakar.
Montreal - January 3, 2015 - The countdown has reached zero and 406 vehicles have been cleared to compete in the 37th running of the Dakar following Friday afternoon's final technical scrutineering. Of the 406 that will take the start this Sunday, in Buenos Aires, there will be 161 motorcycles, 137 cars, 45 ATV Quads, and 63 Active Roadside Assistance Trucks.
For the fourth time in their career, Canadians David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaulé of the ALDO Dakar Racing Team, will cross three South American countries in 14 days battling for top honours against private entries registered in their car class.
Some of our fellow-competitors have had their vehicles parked in the bivouac, visited by thieves. The economy is at a real low here.
Their ALDO Toyota Tacoma Overdrive #380 will cover 9,111 kilometres during the world toughest rally raid, of which 4,578 km will be special stages designed to separate contenders from the "also ran".
"The team is in great spirits - the atmosphere in our pits is just great. We really do have a dream team this year," said David Bensadoun. "Both support trucks are ready, and our Toyota Tacoma Overdrive rally vehicle is almost there. We had a last minute issue with the hydraulic system, which operates the automatic car jacks, and the crew fixed it.
The engineers from Overdrive Racing delivered a wonderful New Year's present: a new 37 mm restrictor, 1 mm more than last year and part of the new rules, which are designed to equalize the field with the diesel-powered cars. It doesn't sound like a lot but if you remember geometry, 36 mm x 3.14 = 113 sq mm and 37 mm x 3.14 = 116.5 which is a 2.6% difference and worth 10 horsepower. For gear heads like us 10 hp is a lot! So we are good to go on Sunday."
"The Toyota is ready and so are we," said co-driver Patrick Beaulé, who has spent his nights in the ALDO Racing camper truck. "The new air conditioning works wonders, and this will make all the difference in the world during the hot nights in the bivouacs. I have been sleeping in the paddocks since my arrival here in order to keep a watchful eye on our equipment. Some of our fellow-competitors have had their vehicles parked in the bivouac, visited by thieves. The economy is at a real low here."
On Saturday at the Technopolis Centre located in the Bicentennial Park in Buenos Aires, drivers and teams were introduced to an estimated crowd of 1 million fans.