Dakar: De Rooy preview

Contrary to the last three years when the rally started in France , this year the Organization has chosen for a start in Barcelona , the Catalonian Capital. It will be the fourth time that the rally starts in Spain . In 1995, 1996 and 1999 the...

Contrary to the last three years when the rally started in France , this year the Organization has chosen for a start in Barcelona , the Catalonian Capital. It will be the fourth time that the rally starts in Spain .

In 1995, 1996 and 1999 the big adventure started in Granada .

Barcelona is nuts about the motorial force as it turned out in October during the Grand Prix Road Race when over 100,000 people found their way to the circuit. In 1987 and 1989 the convoy passed through the beautiful Spanish town and managed to raise over a million people . . . .

The real rally starts with the stages through Morocco and Mauritania , a trek filled with challenges for men and machine through beautiful, often barren places, where the competitors have to deal with sand dunes and untraceable ergs. The time differences between them will increase from here. That's right up the street for those who love cross country and not forgetting navigation.

After a number of stunning specials through the Sahel, the remaining competitors will go to the heart of Mali where they can admire the first greenery. As well the DAKAR veterans as the newcomers will appreciate the change from the desert to the tropical jungle.

At the end, the beautiful Senegalese Capital Dakar waits for them where the exhausted convoy will descend on the shores of the Lac Rose. The end of an adventure that will strain the competitors to the limit even though the track is shorter this year, certainly for the assistance vehicles who will do 40% less than last year. More than ever, the Organization will watch the speed by means of GPS.

The entries for the motor cycles closed on 3 rd September 2004 . All records were broken. 233 Motorcycles entered four months before the start, 30 more than last year; with the permission of the French Motorcycle Federation.

On 15 th October last, all entries were closed. They reached the limit to guarantee safety and organization. 468 Teams in the 27 th DAKAR , of which 166 cars and 69 trucks.

60% Of the competitors are from abroad. New entries represent near to 45% of the total in the motorcycle category; 20% in the car category.

To remember:

The crossing from Europe to Africa will be done during the night of 2 nd January, 2005 .

The rest day is in Atâr , Mauritania .

There are 2 marathon stages on the program. The assistance vehicles will stay at the bivouac during these stages. The maximum speed for the trucks is set on 150 km./hour. This will be checked by means of the GPS.

The technical scrutineering for non-Spanish competitors will be on 29 th and 30 th December, 2004 . The briefing and Prologue are planned on 31 st December. The start from Barcelona will be on 1 st January 2005.

-derooy-

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Series Dakar