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This is the single-news section of the news "Offroad & Motorsports". To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Dakar 2009: Scrutineering with the Czech Loprais Team.

Hundreds of hours of final preparations are always terminated with a moment to say goodbye and leave the team headquarters. The Czech Loprais Tatra Team could enjoy the interest of fans and media. After the initial stage at the Ostrava City Hall, the team made its way to Prague where another event took place at the headquarters of Emil Frey.

No wonder about that - the new navigator of Ales Loprais, Vojta Stajf, is supported by the Czech Subaru importer in classic rallying. The team set out in a limited line-up. Only the race crew spent all the way together. The assistance 6x6 was driven by Leo Loprais and the new assistance by Lubos Kypet. His co-driver, Michal Ptacek, drove the press car.

"All we have devoted to the preparations, was to bring us to the only goal: to reach the podium at Buenos Aires. We have never been prepared so well. Compared to what we were to use in Lisbon in January, we are at lest 30 per cent better in all aspects, including the team assistance backup. There is only one name on the result board but this is truly a team sport," Ales Loprais said at the press conference.

He also expressed hopes that the new image of the Dakar will be greatly appreciated. "The exact location is not the main thing. The Dakar has become the world’s best trade mark and a symbol of the hardest automobile marathon. It will be very varied and complex and its difficulty and spirit will not disappear," he said.

Later, in Le Havre (France, the scrutineerings took place in a giant dock hall called Ocean Cafe. Unlike in the past, the checks were fast and relatively efficient. Vojta Stajf, however, compared his new experience to the one from FIA World Championships: "I still cannot understand why some of technical commissioners do not speak English. Well, a French rally."

The Tatra-Team passed the scrutinnerings dividend into two groups. The race crew made its job by itself. The second one conducted the scrutineerings for the press car and the assistance. The team’s turn was about one hour after the "sbornaya komanda" of the Kamaz team. The technical part was not too detailed, just putting stickers on and taking the weight of the vehicle (by the way, the traditional weight handicap of Tatra trucks sis gone). The main technical steward for the truck category, Fabien Calvet, then applied seals on turbochargers. "Fabien knows our homologation is very precise. I did not expect any problems," Ales Loprais said.

After taking the necessary documentation, the press car made its scrutineerings as well. The final check of the safety equipment was a way more precise. The second part of the scrutineerings will take place in Buenos Aires. It will be related especially to the people part, especially medical conditions, imunisation etc. The accreditations will be concluded as well.

All vehicles took their way from the scrutineering halls to the harbor with an impressive overview of all the vehicles of the Dakar, including organization ones. The last step was handing the keys to the organizers along with instructions how to start the vehicles. Large teams are sending their vehicles to Buenos Aires by plane.

2008/12/02 | 00:54 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Jirka Vintr

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