This year, the Dakar 2019 will only be taking place in Peru, starting from Lima the capital and the finish line will be at the same spot. Even though, the race will only be located in Peru, it won’t be any easier and is raising many eyebrows. Christina Gutierrez mention the difficulty of the race, especially throughout the dunes that are usually very tricky as the temperature will be high and might result in getting stuck in them easily. Nevertheless, Mikko Hirvonen is affirming that the whole race will be in the smaller area which might result to an easier team management as they will be able to stay longer in one service area. He still admits the danger and challenges the dunes will provide. He describes them as waves going in mixed directions with deep holes or drops behind many dunes which can be unpredictable to any pilot. That is why some precautions given by our expert might be useful. Mikko Hirvonen is recommending to be vigilant with the speed and go over the dunes in 45 degrees’ angle and never straight over it, which is still difficult to do and requires experiences. On the other hand, Christian Lavieille recommends being careful of broken dunes to avoid damaging the vehicle. For him, there are no special tricks but to have experience and do not hesitate to deflate the tires to go through the dunes with a margin.
As mention above, high temperature and dunes will be main challenges for pilot during Dakar 2019 and for that tires can be a true asset to your race. As affirmed by Christina Gutierrez, it is important to know how your tires work especially for high temperature as you will need to choose one that will be able to deflate. “BFGoodrich is the best option for this type of race and in the market, overall!”.
For Mikko Hirvonen, it is important to test your tires to learn their limits and which type of pressure will be the best to use. “In general, BFGoodrich Tires are coping very well with the difficult conditions of the Dakar”. Indeed, the Dakar needs preparation, and for that all our experts have their proper tips. For Christian Lavieille, physical preparation is important and he is always preparing by doing long activity as the Dakar is a long race, pilots need to get used to doing long activities.
Mikko Hirvonen is getting ahead, and starts drinking a significant amount of water two weeks before the kick off, of a race. He never forgets to bring snacks, drinks and a first aid kit within the car. All of our experts adopt a specific diet of eating healthy with many proteins and tries to stay fully hydrated. They also always make sure everything is ready and on track for the race, they are as well making sure with the technical team that nothing is missing and that they can be ready for the starting date.
During the race, many challenges await the pilots but of course our experts never run out of advices and tips to stay on track! For all of them, the breakfast is very important to begin the day and especially in a race of this extend, breakfast can be game changing. Sleeping is, on the other hand, an important aspect but not always followed correctly. For Christian Lavieille, sleeping must be regular and going to bed very early is important so that the following day you are ready and fully regenerated. He also mentions taking at least one nap during the day. However, for Christina Gutierrez, “every time you have free time, you need to try to sleep and rest” The most important in the race is to stay focus, to communicate with your team and to stay calm, it is important in every challenge to avoid panicking.
BFGoodrich® is proud to support each experts and Sergio Samaniego for this incredible adventure and wish them luck and success!