Face to Face The Dakar Magazine January 6, 2005 Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind... Guangyuan Men - Ralliart - 373 Serge Henninot : "the same ...
Face to Face
The Dakar Magazine
January 6, 2005
Everyday feelings of those who are not specially famous but who dare the challenge and give a dream for those who stay behind...
Guangyuan Men - Ralliart - 373
Serge Henninot : "the same pleasure as learning something to my own child" "I'm sort of a driving teacher, but specialized in off-road rally". With 12 participations in the organisation or communication staff, and 4 as driver or co-driver in the race, Serge Henninot, 37 years of age, is already an old timer on the Dakar Rally. This rich experience incited Mitsubishi to sign him last year to coach a chinese driver on the Dakar tracks. All of that for one goal: to detect, then train the next Mitsubishi top driver, who will succeed to Masuoka in the next five years.
"China has an extraordinary commercial potential, It's the future biggest market in the world and it's very important for constructors to be there in time. So to win the fight between brands on this exciting market, Mitsubishi, as well as Nissan, decided to bring a Chinese driver to the leading positions of the Dakar Rally. And Mitsubishi hired me to take care of that, which is a great opportunity for me who loves this event more than anything in the world. " The first attempt last year was with Luo Ding. But he wasn't good enough, eventhoigh they finished the Rally in 47th position of the overall standings. So this year, Serge Henninot has a new driver, the young Guan Yuang Men, 24 years old, but already very good behind the steering wheel. Now, the job of the Frenchman is to teach him all the specificities of the rally. "At the beginning, the most important thing is to make him understand he has to drive keeping the car, the terrain and his brain in harmony. He has to take the time to understand the world around him on a rally. Then we will take care of the real technic, how to drive safely but quickly in the dunes. This experience is a real pleasure for me, because it's a marvellous feeling to share your own experience. It's like looking at your own child growing up. That's fantastic, really! In fact, I like this youngster like a father and my dream will be to bring him to the highest level of rally raid racing and then becoming his racing assistance".
But before this date, the lessons continued with a flip during the 6th stage. "There was a biker on the first big dune of the day, and Guan didn't want to disturb him so he went a little too fast and the car jumped off the top of the dune. We hit the front of the car, then bumped before landing on the roof. I'm sure it would have been possible to take a picture of the car vertically in the air! " An accident without big consequences, despite the fact they had to carry on without their front screen.