French champ wary ahead of Dakar
A LABOUR OF LOVE: French motor sport veteran Laurent Fouquet alongside the BMW X6 Sodicar he built to participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally.
LIMA, Peru - In the technical scrutineering tent, the BMW X6 Sodicars are the centre of attention and the talk of the town, to the immense pride of the designer of this genuine prototype, Laurent Fouquet.
At the age of 40, the driver-mechanic, several times French all-terrain and autocross champion, is taking part in his first Dakar, behind the wheel of his 230kW, 1900kg baby, hence the slight tension as he entered scrutineering.
Fouquet explained: “I know the car by heart because I built it and I always hear small noises that worry me, even if there is no reason to be anxious about it.That said, I was still confident, because we already checked the car in France, but there is always a little bit of apprehension.
"In the end, everything was OK.”
TRIUMPH IN ITSELF
Fouquet further added that it was truly rewarding to “experience the achievement that participating in the Dakar represents.
It's impressive just to see how vast everything is".
Despite being a newcomer to the Dakar, Fouquet is by no means any less clear on his race objectives than the veteran drivers:
“Now we'll have to make sure we can cut it on the tracks, especially since we have to make a good account of ourselves, to show that the car has plenty of potential and reinforce our partnership with Sodicars.
"That's no bad thing, because it matches my competitive temperament. However, for the car's development, we need to rack up plenty of mileage. It's my newcomer's challenge: to go fast and to go far."
Laurent can count on a certain amount of experience to achieve such a feat, having already won the 24-hour all-terrain trophy in 2000 alongside an illustrious Dakar competitor, one Stephane Peterhansel…Wheels24 will be following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.