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PAX Rally: "All the bandits are here" said Carlos Sainz.

During today, Parque Eduardo VII, the Carlos Lopes Pavilion and the "Estufa Fria" were invaded by the competitors of the first edition of the Euromilhões Pax Rally, that completed the always demanding and time consuming scrutineering (administrative and technical), necessary to obtain the "steaker" that allows them to align at the departure.

By the end of the afternoon, some of the competitors that during the next five days are going to be the centre of the attention of the passionate Portuguese spectators were at a Press Conference where Carlos Sainz (VW Touareg 2) cheered the spirits saying that "all of the present are bandits", pointing to his rivals sitting next to him.

The Spanish driver considers that this event will be "very open, where all want to succeed", adding that the Euromilhões Pax Rally "will be very difficult due to the narrow tracks that can easily become a problem because all the cars are big".
One of the themes discussed was the controversial cancellation of the last Lisbon-Dakar. Carlos Sainz recognized that it was "a huge disappointment" for all: "We worked hard during one year to participate in that event and 24 hours before the departure we were informed that it was cancelled."

About the future Dakar, that will be disputed in January 2009, in Argentina and Chile, the Spanish driver didn’t hide that we will see an "enthusiastic audience" because in Argentina exists a "huge passion" for motor sports, in particular rallies: "The big question is how the organization will give birth to this event and what media coverage will it have. Only after that we can make any analysis."

Another Spanish driver, Nani Roma (Mitsubishi Pajero Evo) that was runner-up the last edition of the Trasibérico after dominating the rally, returns to Portugal: "I like this country very much and I want to win, even knowing that nothing is guaranteed, especially in such a demanding race."

For Stéphane Peterhansel (Mitsubishi Pajero Evo), the "biggest difficulty is the fact that we are still developing a new car, with diesel engine, that we are very confident about and that will be our future weapon. This will be the last race with the old car".
The French driver also didn’t hide his uncertainties: "This race is going to be very difficult and almost impossible to predict any winners because there are many candidates to finish in first place."

Guerlain Chicherit (BMW X3) confessed that he is "going to try to achieve the best possible result, even knowing that his rivals are very strong". Because of this fact the German driver doesn’t want to risk any prediction, but he showed confidence revealing that he is going to start the rally with one goal: "I want to win, just like all of us here present."

In a similar tone, Nasser Al-Attyah (BMW X3) considered that the "race wont be easy for anyone and, certainly, there will be an excellent battle to obtain victory".

On the other hand, Dieter Depping (VW Race Touareg 2) recognized that his aspirations are limited: "This is my second race of the year and my first time in Portugal. Even if i know it will be very hard, I will fight for the best position in the final standing."

Filipe Campos (BMW X3), the Portuguese driver that is expected to do well in the Pax Rally 2008, didn’t hide his ambition: "My goal is to be the best Portuguese driver and finish right behind the official teams, much faster than me. I don’t have big chances with them because their cars are superior to mine."

Finally, Tenente-Coronel Fernandes, coordinator of police for this event, said that "the biggest preoccupation of the organization is the security of the drivers and of the spectators". To assure that everything goes well, Tenente-Coronel Fernandes explained that there will be around "500 policemen always present during the event, always ready to help all the people involved in this event and to avoid complications with traffic".

2008/09/10 | 15:06 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO

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