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Transiberico Rali: Nani Roma debuts with a victory at the wheel of the BMW.

Five months after the Dakar Nani Roma returned to competition racing in a round of the World Cross Country Championship - Raids - and in the best way possible: with a victory. Mitsubishi`s decision a few months ago to stop working top class competition started a period of uncertainty which ended with Roma`s first appearance at the wheel of a BMW X3 CC in the Rally Transibérico. The driver, third in the Dakar 2006, will continue to have the support of Repsol for what is left of 2009 and his latest adventure in the BMW X3 CC, in fact a large part of his new car has retained the company`s colours.

From today and until Sunday there are over 1 000 kilometres of specials in Portugal to cover, a fine test for the Repsol driver. And what is more he has a new co-driver, the Frenchman Michel Perin who is a three times winner of the Dakar in the 90s with Pierre Lartigue, to add an extra dose of experience to Nani Roma`s own as they tackle this new project. His first sensations in the BMW X3 CC were very positive, although the Repsol driver is aware that it will be necessary to adapt to the new car and the new situation, and so will approach the next few days calmly and with and patience.

His debut victory at the wheel of the new car was the best possible omen for this long-term project, one which Nani Roma is thrilled with and one which really motivates him owing to the good performance of his new car. The three kilometre prologue to the Rally Transibérico were no more than a taster, but demonstrated the potential of a manufacturer prepared to fight for the victory from the very first kilometre.

This afternoon the first special section takes place, 185 kilometres long, starting in Santuario Sra do Almurtão and finishing in Castelo Branco.

Nani Roma: "I am very pleased with having started like this, but it was hard work. There are a lot of new things; the car, the co-driver, and it was complicated finding the pace. I made a few mistakes, braking too soon and similar, but even so I won the prologue, and that is good, as it demonstrtes that we can be very competitive. It will be a very long race, very hot, and it will not be easy in any way, but I start in good spirits, pleased with this first result, knowing that we will have to take things very calmly over the next few days. It will be important to learn, get used to the car and work as a team with Michel [Perin]. All this will not be easy but I am poleased to have got this far; the car is competitive, Michel has a lot of experience, and me I am motivated and in tip-top shape."

2009/06/18 | 16:09 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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