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Dakar 2008: Rugged Opel Antara takes on Sahara Desert once again.

The Opel Antara’s adaptability and functionality will be put to the test once again in January 2008. For the second year in a row, an Antara with Balázs Szalay and his ‘Szalay Dakar Team’ at the wheel will take on the Lisbon-Dakar rally - the longest and most difficult cross-country rally competition in the world. With expert assistance from GM Racing and sponsorship from General Motors/Opel Hungary, the private team’s brand new car - an Opel Antara RR - has been specially adapted to the harsh conditions and includes the latest GM race engine. In its first desert test at the UAE Desert Challenge in November 2007, the new Antara RR performed sensationally, helping the team to 8th place overall.

Balázs Szalay has been rallying Opel cars since 2003, and 2008 will be his 10th Dakar race. And with the versatile, dynamic Opel Antara, Balázs has the best chances of a top-place finish. Boasting a robust design, distinctive lines and a powerful stance, the Opel crossover is sure to cut a fine figure as it battles through the sand dunes and challenging conditions toward Dakar. The team will be assisted throughout by Gregory Prior and Ross O’Blenes, two GM Motorsport engineers who participated in the engine development for the Dakar Antara and spent time in Hungary fine-tuning the car. "The GM Racing engineers will be a great help when it comes to the technical side of the rally, and give us the assistance we need to pose a greater challenge to the other professional drivers in the race," says Balázs Szalay.

The 9723-kilometer Lisbon-Dakar rally begins in Lisbon/Portugal on January 5 and ends in Dakar/Senegal on January 20, 2008. To date, 580 vehicles have signed up for the 2008 rally, which promises to be the toughest in the event’s 30-year history.

2007/12/20 | 15:47 CET | Editor: MR/Opel/GM/hs

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