The 2019 edition of the Dakar rally will have 18 Portuguese to participate and will be “one of the hardest ever”, revealed the organizers at the presentation ceremony held in Paris today.
“For the first time it will take place in a single country, it will have ten days and a geography in which 70% will be sand and dunes,” revealed the director of the competition, the Frenchman Etienne Lavigne.
Between January 7 and 17, the caravan faces about 5,000 kilometres, of which 3,000 are timed, but the head of the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) warns that this edition, totally disputed in Peru, will be “one of the hardest ever “.
“This year, we are facing terrains that require a good physical preparation. Dunes and sand are scenarios that require a lot of technique and piloting knowledge, in addition to navigation, guidance in the dune labyrinth. “said Etienne Lavigne.” It’s all about the Dakar Rally, “he said.
The departure will be given on January 7 in Lima, where the caravan returns on the 17th.
Among the 534 participants, divided by the 334 registered vehicles, there are 17 Portuguese. Paulo Gonçalves (Honda), Joaquim Rodrigues Jr. (Hero), Mário Patrão (KTM), David Megre (KTM), Fausto Mota (Yamaha), António Maio (Yamaha), new national champion Sebastian Bühler (Yamaha) and Miguel Caetano (Yamaha), participate in motorcycle competition.
In the cars, Pedro Mello Breyner participates, in a High Route 4×4 Peru, navigated by the Peruvian Juan Godoy.
The Portuguese navigator Filipe Palmeiro will be, this time, next to the Czech Boris Garafulic, in a MINI of the X-Raid
In the category of SxS, which this year has twice the participants (30), will be Miguel Jordão, in a Can Am, navigated by the Brazilian Lourival Roldan. Also, the former all-terrain national champion, Ricardo However, secured a place for the first time, with a Can Am, navigated by Jorge Monteiro. Also, Bruno Martins (Can Am) and Rui Ferreira will be present.
In the trucks, José Martins returns to be the driver of the DAF, navigated by the Frenchman Jean-Jacques Martínez and the Spaniard Jordi Obiols.
In 2019 there will be nine more participants than in this year’s edition. There are 126 cars, 167 motorbikes and 41 trucks.
As in 2018, the cars will be the first to start in the second stage. In the fifth and the ninth, the match will be in a group, while in the eighth, in Ica, will be the top ten in the previous round in the cars, the top ten in the bikes and the top five in the trucks out front.
The marathon stage, in which the riders can not receive outside assistance, will be between the fourth and fifth day.
This 41st edition of the Dakar will have a record of rookies (135 pilots, which corresponds to a third). It is also the edition with more female drivers (17) since the race moved to South America in 2009.