Buenos Aires 2016-01-02
Dakar rally 2016
“Today, things finally get serious”
A super-relaxed Annie Seel shares her thoughts and feelings the day before it all really gets going.
Annies focus is now clearly on Dakar 2016.
Tomorrow is the 3rd of January: the prolog in Buenos Aires, then laison to Rosario. A year of planning and preparation is finally over. Today Annie and her co-driver Bert Heskes (NL) will take their Dessert Warrior through scrutineering.
Annie’s passion for the”hardest rally-raid in the world” is tangible. The goose bumps that she shows me on her arms as she tells me that “Today, things finally get serious” are infectious, maybe signaling an end to Annies laid-back run-up to the over 9000 km trial of (wo)man and machine.
We talk of Annie’s primary goal of completing the Dakar for the first time on 4 wheels (after 5 finishes on 2) and of how the tinyest problem can lead to a retirement when unfortunate circumstances and coincidence are combined. Being the fastest female is also on Annie’s to-do list!
Annie is known for keeping her head under pressure, and she is quietly confident of her, as yet unproven, co-driver Bert Heskes. Bert says that they have a natural understanding of each other, making communication simple. Bert comes with a depth of mechanical experience, having raced his own Dessert Warrior for several years.
When pressed, Annie admits that when the “shit hits the fan” she may well stay calm, but might “strangle Bert slowly”
The Desert Warriors gleaming paint is as yet unscarred. The bonnet displaying the names of many of Annies micro-sponsors. Again this year Annie is being supported by many of her fans, some who have bought a kilometer of Annie race, and others have contributed to see their names on the bright yellow bodywork.
You can follow Annie on Facebook, Instagram and http://www.annieseel.com/
Dakar official website: http://www.dakar.com
By David Trenholm
davidatdakar <at> gmail.com
All competitors in Team RallyRaid
Class: Auto T1.2
#373 Annie Seel/Bert Heskes
#396 Derk Pierce/Jim Pierce
#411 Bruno Rodi/Glen Thompson
Class: Truck T4
#553 Paul Round (teamchef)/Arjan Arendse/Joe Yanas