After a sophisticated first participation final yr, the BRX group returns to the Dakar with higher ambitions, backed by the assiduous work remodeled the previous couple of months. Nonetheless, with the introduction of the brand new T1 + laws in addition to the arrival of Audi with its hybrid automobile, the playing cards have been reshuffled with regards to ultimate victory.
For Nani Roma, there is no such thing as a doubt that the 2022 version has been one of the vital unsure for a really very long time. The Spaniard, winner of the rally-raid on bikes (2004) and in automobiles (2014), was primarily concerned within the improvement of the brand new Hunter T1 +, now bigger and geared up with wider wheels which ought to restrict the troubles of punctures to rehearsal encountered final yr.
Crew managed by Prodrive, BRX is getting into the Dakar which can begin subsequent weekend in Saudi Arabia with the label of candidate for victory, since two different Hunter might be entrusted to Sébastien Loeb and Orlando Terranova. A standing that Toyota and Audi inevitably additionally get pleasure from. Besides that every one these little individuals have by no means confronted one another in competitors with the machines which might be in competition in a number of days.
“It’s clear that Nasser [Al-Attiyah] is the one who has raced probably the most this yr and who due to this fact has a better degree of competitors than the others “, explains Nani Roma to Motorsport.com. “We’re those who raced the least, we solely did the Baja Aragón. So Nasser, a priori, might be aggressive as he at all times is, as a result of he’s in higher form. However technically, it’s is probably the most unsure yr and we must transfer ahead from everyday. “
Nani Roma will take part in his 26th Dakar.
The brand new T1 + class ought to logically take the lion’s share within the normal classification and the presence of outsiders geared up with machines assembly the outdated T1 laws does not likely fear the Spanish rider, except there’s a bloodbath on the forefront. .
“I feel that if the T1s discover themselves within the battle, will probably be as a result of the T1 + can have technical issues”, he says. “It’s true that the MINI buggies have been very aggressive in 2021 and that, even when the flange has been lowered, they’ll proceed to be so, as a result of final yr Carlos [Sainz] and Stéphane [Peterhansel] have not had lots of issues. However the 4x4s can solely be there if now we have issues. When it comes to competitiveness, I frankly do not suppose they’ve an opportunity. “
The course arrange by the organizers in Saudi Arabia must also play a significant function, particularly as hostilities will in a short time be unleashed with a gargantuan menu from the outset. Even when the director of the occasion, David Castera, has defended himself from any entice set, the truth that the Marathon stage takes place from the second stage constitutes an enormous impediment to beat.
“That is in all probability what worries me probably the most”, concedes Nani Roma. “From the second day, on the first bivouac, we set off for the marathon. It is worrying as a result of [à ce stade] everybody remains to be within the race. For me it is rather necessary to succeed in the third day with out having any issues, then we will depart extra relaxed. The marathon normally takes place after the remaining day, however will probably be the identical for everybody. “
Interview by Sergio Lillo