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Dakar 2008: Petersen Motorsports comments on Cancellation

While the specific threats to competitors such as Petersen Motorsports were not made public, recent unrest in the region, including on the rally’s planned course, have raised concerns for the safety of participants. Driver/owner Michael Petersen (Las Vegas, USA), Dakar Program Manager Dale White, Petersen Motorsports’ Crew Chief Dennis Chizma, and Lead Technician Nico Castellaccio are safe and scheduled to return to the United States within the next two days. Members of the Petersen Motorsports/Wide Open Dakar collaboration are currently working to organize the return of all equipment and personnel to the United States.

Michael Petersen, Owner/Driver: "As competitors we have not been made aware of the specific threats to the rally but nothing is more important than the safety of the guys on the team. If the A.S.O. decided that it was too dangerous to hold the race this year, then we know it must be the case. That doesn’t help ease the disappointment or frustration. We are disappointed for the fans and supporters and our corporate partners. Everyone worked so hard to put this together. We overcame a lot of challenges to be here. We were scheduled to go through tech [technical inspection] today and do the first stage tomorrow. We were all excited and all ready to go. It was a shock to wake up to this. Right now, we are all still trying to digest everything that has happened here but safety is always the most important thing. The guys that make up this team are my friends. I have known some of them for over ten years. I share their disappointment but I’d rather see them disappointed that put in harms way."

2008/01/05 | 14:07 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Petersen

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