All the competitors and teams, all in all some 700 people gathered for the official competitors briefing presented by the ASO organiser Etienne Lavigne and race director David Castera.
The emphasis is on sporting conduct and safety. And of course the spirit of the Dakar rally which is important: it’s not a race, it is THE RACE!
After the briefing all competing vehicles rolled over the starting podium and made a presentation before driving a loop for the public waiting to celebrate the competitors.
Garry and I had a great drive round town, waving, honking, and I even jumped out and danced in the street for all the people. I think we got some new fans along the road!
VIDEO Dakar intro street show, cars and trucks:
Youtube.com/watch?v=hzZgxutKi8g (total 15 min) – #366 at 1:10-1:36
http://Youtube.com/watch?v=lKUvEF30SCE (11 min) – Truck #552 at 5.15
In the evening we packed everything for the race car and I made my road book, which is colouring and making notes to help me while navigating for Garry.
Now the Dakar 2014 really kicks off!
About a million spectators kicking off the greatest event of the year.
VIDEO of the Dakar fiesta (english speaker)
Unpacked my brand new Bell Helmet, straight from the factory with my new but “old” yellow and black design!
The Killer Babe Rallyprincess laughing at her own design.
The stuffed toy is a copy of my little dog!
Report by: Judith Tomaselli.
A hell of a special stage!
Stage 2: JAMALUN 2013-10-22
Road connection: 3.43 km – Special Stage: 191.69 km – Road connection: 6.07 km – TOTAL: 201.19
As announced yesterday by the organizer, todays stage of the Merzouga Rally was not meant to be taken lightly. In fact, narrow uphill tracks, small dunes and camel herb required competitors to be 100% focused and prove their technical driving skills. Garry Connell and Annie Seel (N°205) managed to earn their first victory on the Polaris RZR XT+ 900 XP40, leaving an important gap between the second place.
“Today was very difficult, tells Garry at the bivouac in Erfoud, and very technical too. We went on goats tracks, so steep I had to lower my gear, three times, to “short speeds”. The roads were stony and went up in only one way, like enduro racing tracks, and our wheels were outside the track. The dunes were so technical that we did some slalom between the camel herbs. The day was long but I am glad and satisfied because Annie taught me many things for the Dakar.”
Annie Seel also had her moment of glory because navigation was difficult today. “I was focused on the road book, tells the Swede, and I did my best to share my experience in the desert with Garry, especially at the moment we crossed the erg. You have to learn how to read the dunes when you arrive to them and then, they open up your path like the Red Sea in the Old Testament. It was a great learning day for the Dakar and Garry has done an excellent job.”
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