The Dakar is sometimes merciless, even with its heroes...
A two times winner of the event, on a bike in 2004 and in a car in 2014, Joan “Nani” Roma experienced an unimaginable scenario for a driver of his experience, all the more so since he was driving a car considered to be the most reliable on the rally, having triumphed on the last three editions.
However, this Mini, which gave him his finest moment of glory last year, rebelled against him immediately after he took starter's orders for his 19th Dakar: “It was 3 km after the start of the special when the oil warning lit up. We tried to change everything and we managed to get to the 10 km point. But then we saw that the oil just wasn't working anymore.
I don't know if it's the oil pump which is broken, I really don't know,” tried to explain Nani, in disbelief and with a face like thunder at the finish of the special. After this “shitty day” which he spent feeling hopeless in the cab of his car as it was towed by his assistance truck, the hopes of the Spanish driver have come crashing down, but he has still not thrown the towel in yet: “I don't know what we'll be able to do. We'll just have to get to the bivouac and see what is wrong with the car, if we have the time to work on it and if we can set off again tomorrow”.