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Dakar 2008: Michael Petersen to support African Education.

Team owner and driver Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, USA) took advantage of the preparation time on his Dakar 2008 entry, the No. 331 Petersen Motorsports Chevrolet, to announce the team's "Right to Write" program. Throughout this year's 30th Anniversary of the Dakar, he and members of Petersen Motorsports will distribute ink pens to children along the 5,762 mile journey. Petersen thought of and crafted the "Right to Write" program with the objective to help encourage the children of Africa to pursue their educational dreams in an effort to reverse the poverty facing so much of the continent.

Beginning with the Nador, Morocco to Er Rachidia, Morocco stage, the United States-based team will begin distributing the pens to all the children that they come across during the stages and in the nightly bivouacs. Petersen will be joined by other members of the team including Program Manager Dale White, Crew Chief Dennis Chizma and Lead Technician Nico Castellaccio in the Rally. Co-driver Matthew Stevenson and Team Manager Darren Skilton, who is the owner of Wide Open Adventures, will also be involved in the handing out of as many pens as possible while the supplies last.

The two-wheel drive vehicle will undergo its first official step at January 2nd as the No. 331 Petersen Motorsports T1.3 class buggy rolls into the scrutineering.
As a rookie in the 2007 Dakar, Petersen earned an impressive finish of 23rd overall, fifth in the two-wheel drive class. He drove to a high stage finish of eighth-place in the final "special" of the rally. That final stage charged along the Dakar coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

"We are blessed in this country. No matter how bad your individual situation is in the United States, it is better than a good situation on the route that we'll take during Dakar" said Michael Petersen, Team-Owner and Driver. "We hope that this program can give a very basic tool, a pen, which will help inspire the kids to go out and fight to get an education; to improve their situation. It is a big challenge to the whole continent and for the world, this won't solve the problem of poverty in Africa but we hope it is a small step forward."

2008/01/02 | 08:44 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Petersen

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