DAKAR 2009 - ABOARD WITH THE 'MITSU'

STAGE 1: 'With all that dust, there are risks of hitting a motorcycle'

For the opening stage, France's Luc Alphand was the best-placed Mitsubishi driver, coming home in fifth place while compatriot and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel was sixth. Their team director gives his take.

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Dominique Serieys, 47, is Mitsubishi Motors' general director. He won the Dakar in 1993 as rally champion Bruno Saby’s co-pilot.


Pace. “Everybody was driving really fast in the first stage. Some drivers don’t have a clue about what’s coming. They are going to be surprised in four or five days….”

Dust. "We were careful because there are risks of hitting a motorcycle or a quad with all of that dust. Our new diesel engine also makes less noise than our former one…the bikers don’t hear us arrive behind them. The average pace today was 140 km per hour, so of course, the cars lift loads of dust. But each track has its own specificities. We have to accept it. The Dakar is an adventure..."

(Picture: Mitsubishi's Spanish rival Carlos Sainz is seen driving his Volkswagen in a cloud of dust.)


D-1: 'Go to sleep and rest for tomorrow'
D-2: 'Pilots are ready to get started'

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