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Optic 2000: Loprais Tatra Team heading to Tunisian Marathonrally

With a few scars on mind from the cancelled Dakar 2008 competition but always ready to look to the future and eager to fulfill its plans, the Czech Loprais Tatra Team announces its participation in the 2008 edition of Optic 2000 Tunisia. Faithful to its promises and plans, the team is launching its 2008 racing program with another major desert event.

Straight after the unfortunate cancellation of the Dakar, it was clear the racing schedule of Loprais Tatra Team would continue throughout the whole year, just in a different structure. The Tunisia Rally is a traditional, well regarded and worldwide respected event fully sanctioned by FIA and FIM (taking part in the FIA and FIM championships of cross-country rallys).

"We are convinced this is an excellent opportunity for Tatra to prove its qualities," pilot Ales Loprais says. "Dakar 2008 is behind us and we have looked for an attractive desert event with solid media coverage and hard stages. This year, the organizers decided to extend the race for a few stages to Libya to make the race even longer and more demanding. Marathon stages have always suited Tatra and I am sure the race is an optimal platform for us to meet our ambitions from the Dakar. We love sand and dunes and so do our fans and partners. Tunisia offers lots of kilometers on surface like this."

The team is entering the rally in the same configuration as the Dakar: one racing truck and two assistances. "Our advantage is a precise FIA 2008 homologation, enabling us to participate in virtually any event we select," Ales Loprais adds. "The FIA roundup is a guarantee for us that that compliance to valid technical rules will be looked after. All vehicles are 100% ready to start and so will be the entire team."

The rally starts with scrutineerings in southern France on April 23, 2008. The opening stage is planned two days later, and the finish is scheduled on May 4. The race is closely followed by Eurosport and other major media. "We look forward to an excellent desert competition. We expect competing truck teams to follow our steps," Loprais concludes.

2008/01/21 | 02:10 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Ales Loprais

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