CARS: StÃ©phane Peterhansel (Mistsubishi) - nÂ°206 For the moment, we haven't had the slightest problem on the car. We drove it during all the mounth of August in Chateau Lastours and in various countries. One thing's for sure, the Mitsubishi ...
Stéphane Peterhansel (Mistsubishi) - n°206
For the moment, we haven't had the slightest problem on the car. We drove it during all the mounth of August in Chateau Lastours and in various countries. One thing's for sure, the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo is safe for at least short term races. We keep our fingers cross and hope it'll last. On the boat, we'll have a good rest to prepare for Africa and start in great shape.
Ari Vatanen (Nissan) - n°203
Some might forget that we only drove a few kilometres since the start of this Dakar. Anyhow, the sun is shining and life is beautiful. We went through this last European special in very relaxed fashion because it will have no incidence on the overall. On the boat, I will start writing a book that will be published in England and talks about my first years in rally driving an Escort. I also took quite a few books: one on global civilisation, one on how to be a good husband, and one on how to be a good father. I'll have a lot of work on the boat.
De Villiers (Nissan) n. 217
It was good. The sand was quite thick. We made a few jumps with a nice pace and had fun. Now we go to Africa and I think we're in a good position. I enjoyed it. The car is 100% fine, in very good condition. We're still learning from the car because it's our first Dakar. Having prepared it is a little bit of an advantage. If something goes wrong, I will know what it is. The oher guys have so much experience, I think I don't have to give them advice. The race only starts in Africa and we'll take it stage by stage. Objective: Sharm El Sheikh.
Shinozuka (Mitsubishi) n.201
Three years ago, we had the same stage and it wasn't good for me. Because just before the finish I went wide off the track. We stopped for nearly twenty minutes here. And I still had that in mind. So I went carefully today. This rally is an African rally not a European rally. From now we start the Dakar!
Jutta Kleinschmidt (Volkswagen) - n°203
I'm really happy. It's the first special I finish without the slightest mechanical problem.Of course, I have lost a lot of time in the overall these last few days. We won't win a lot of places after this special because it's too short. I overtook many competitors eventhough the track was tough for me. I'm in the top twenty today and it's good news for the starting positions in Tunisia. I'm happy to go to Africa.
Andrea Mayer (Mitsubishi) - n°236
We were going well but I arrived to quickly in the water and it entered the engine. I can still start the engine but there are problems.
Cyril Desprès (KTM) - n°7
The race in the desert hasn't started yet but it's always nice to start the Dakar like this. These three European stages give me confidence on my physical state of form. I stayed four weeks without riding a bike and only using a home trainer. Before the Dakar, I wasn't part of the favourites due to my injury. I was impatient of getting back on my bike.
Richard Sainct (KTM) - n°3
I took it easy because I didn't want to fall. The first contact with the sand was enjoyable. So enjoyable that I almost kissed it when I nearly fell.On a jump, I went sideways and landed in bad tracks. I didn't fall but told myself 'Take it easy'. Tomorrow the program is quite simple: siesta, sleep and siesta. Seriously, I will check out the road book of the next special and read the regulations.
Nani Roma (KTM) - n°4
The special wasn't easy. But is was beautiful with a huge crowd. Before being alone in the desert, it's good to see so many people. Added to that, we were at home in Spain. I took it easily. Serious business only starts the day after tomorrow.
Alfie Cox (KTM) - n°2
On the 6th of January, it's my birthday. On that day, I absolutely want to win the El Borma special. I already came to Tunisia twice for the rally of Tunisia and it went rather well.
Fabrizio Meoni (KTM) - n°1
For me, these 8 kilometres were a lot harder than riding 800. I didn't give everything. I am not prepared for this kind of exercise but it's OK. The special was nice. We await Africa where it'll be different. In Europe it isn't a real race, it's only a show. Since the start, we've had beautiful weather and the specials were great. This Dakar looks to be a great edition. I hope it'll carry on in Africa.
G. De Rooy (DAF) -- n.414
It was very good. The sand was perfect. I had a great time today. I only want to finish in Sharm El Sheikh and my dad will go for the podium but not me, definitely not. I really don't care if I'm first or 50th."
Johannes De Rooy (DAF) - n°409
Yesterday was a great day for me. Today I had decided to take off really quickly to go through the circuit as quickly as possible. The course was really nice. I believe that this year could be mine. My start of the rally has been perfect and all is well for me. My son's goal is to finish the rally. I'm here to finish in a good overall position. Our main rivals are the 2 Tatras and the 2 Kamaz trucks as well as the MAN. It's hard to tell who the favourite is but it could well be me.