ON THE ROAD TO DAKAR: EXPERT ADVICE FROM CHRISTIAN LAVIEILLE
"The Dakar is a very demanding race mechanically speaking"
Having raced the Dakar nearly a dozen times, Christian Lavieille is well aware of all the pitfalls that lie ahead. For him, the most important thing is the mechanical preparation. "Ideally, you want to start out with a new car. Leave nothing to chance. With a race this tough, you can easily find yourself stuck on the trail with a minor breakdown or a small part that wasn't changed. It can be very frustrating!"
"Get your body in shape with stamina sports"
Physical preparation for both driver and co-driver is important, too. Regular exercise and rest are the watchwords before a race like the Dakar. "The best thing is stamina sports. Try a few long cycling trips or distance running, and if possible spend a few days up in the mountains in December."
"Rest is the key to physical recuperation"
All seasoned drivers say the same thing: during the event, you need to rest, to eat well and hydrate. Christian Lavieille agrees: "Most importantly, you need to be rested at the start then always try and sleep very early during the events. Lack of sleep leads to a build-up of fatigue. Likewise, avoid skipping meals and always keep well hydrated, it lets the body recuperate more easily."
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