The Walcher team getting ready for the real life Dakar!
Markus Walcher – The driver
The 29 year-old rookie driver from Germany combines all the attributes of a great driver and team mate. Experience, motivation, strong values and a great state of mind. Competing in the pinnacle of rally-raid racing with his Wildcat is a whole new experience for the young driver: “Despite my experience, it is a bit like driving my first race as the stages are longer, the altitude higher, the terrains totally unknown…”. Markus is therefore preparing this adventure just like a pro. From strict fitness training to fine-tuning his mechanical competence, he is leaving nothing to chance. Beyond his capacities as a driver, one of his best assets in the race will surely be his team. For Markus, more than a race, it is a human adventure he is about to live: “A good atmosphere is so important. Laughing and having fun enables us to remain close-knit when facing problems”.
Gerhard Walcher – The father and manager
When asked about his role in the team, Gerhard answers: “I do all the things the others do not want to do. It’s my privilege as the oldest!”. The oldest maybe…but also the most experienced! Indeed, the 60 year-old driver participated himself in 8 Dakar rallies. It must be running in the blood, right? This year, Gerhard will be driving the Unimog assistance truck, coordinating the whole race and wholeheartedly encouraging his son. “Markus is my son and my best friend. We have a great connection”. The seasoned racer is also very much looking forward to seeing how things have changed at the Dakar and remains cool-headed in spite of his excitement to be back on the Dakar tracks. “Our objective is to make it to the end. Crossing the finishing line is challenging enough”.
Tobias Henschel – the co-driver
Tobias, 42, owner of a garage in Leipzig, has participated in races both as a driver and co-driver. Since he was a little boy, his whole world has been about cars! 4 years ago, he answered a post from Markus on Facebook who was looking for a co-driver. 10 minutes later, the two guys became a team and have been racing together since then. “Markus and I understand each other without words. We are both calm, love to have fun and we never focus on problems but only on solutions!” The experienced racer feels a bit like before the “first day at school” for this “first” at the Dakar. Quite a challenge that he is preparing with a lot of physical training and Dakar regulation studying. You can bet he will be 100% ready for the testing marathon.
Andreas Greb - the “good soul" of the team.
Andreas, 60, is the life and soul of the team. He is an old friend of the family and joined the racing team around 10 years ago. His role? Making people laugh and cooking! So, in the run up to the Dakar, he is actively fine-tuning his joke and recipe repertoire. Probably also refining his community management skills as Andreas will also be in charge of the social media . “Fun and happiness are the most important ingredients of a good team. Being positive is the best way to get results”. He will be in the Unimog which, amongst the mechanical equipment, is fitted with a mini kitchen to enable Andreas to uphold his life motto “Good food makes good mood”.
Dave Marsh – the English mechanic
Markus and Dave have a lot on common. A passion for racing, of course, but also the Wildcat built by Dave in 2009. So when the two guys met by chance at the Tuareg Rallye in 2015, Dave was definitely the man of the situation to help Markus out with a mechanical mishap. Since then, Dave has advised Markus on many occasions and he was therefore the obvious choice for the Dakar. Dave, 53, who has been a racer himself since he was 18, is confident that Markus will know how to preserve the car. “The stages are very long and arduous. More than speed, it is for the long-run and the finish”. The car will be shipped this week from Le Havre to South America. The count-down has begun…
BFGoodrich® is proud to support such a #driver enough team. We are confident that with this state of mind, the motivation of the Walcher team won’t falter, even in the extreme and gruelling conditions of the most punishing of races! We wish them a great adventure!