Presentation of the 2018 edition at the National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan, April 13, 2017 / Photo credit: Milagro
• More than 150 people were in attendance for the presentation of the 2018 rally-route at the National Science and Technical Museum in Milan.
• The competitors of the 2017 edition expressed their collective desire to participate once again next year and thoughts about the new route.
• The newcomers articulated their enthusiasm about the idea of taking part in the 2018 Dakar, which is shaping up to be something special.
Thursday evening it was Italy’s turn to welcome the Dakar Tour, which came to Milan to present the route of the 2018 edition to the competitors, teams, aficionados and media. More than 150 people attended the conference at the prestigious National Science and Technical Museum in the city centre.
Tiziano Siviero, who twice won the world rally champion as co-driver to Miki Biasion, lent an important hand to Marc Coma in the conception of the itinerary, presented the rally-route for the 40th edition, which will see the rally return to Peru and its dunes and cross Bolivia and Argentina. “This 40th edition brings together the best Peru, Bolivia and Argentina have to offer: dunes, dunes and more dunes, demanding navigation and adventure”, said Siviero.
The 2017 Dakar competitors had the chance to recount their sporting and human experiences and a good many have already committed to taking part in the 2018 Dakar, such as Alessandro Botturi (Yamaha), but also Jacopo Cerutti (Husqvarna), Simone Agazzi (the best Italian finisher in 2017) and riders entered in the ‘Malle Moto’ category such as Diocleziano Toia and Livio Metelli. The public congratulated the Pandakar team that last January, finally completed the rally after several attempts. “We saw our dream come true in arriving in Buenos Aires”, declared Giulio Verzelletti. “We put in a lot of hard work and now we can say mission accomplished”. It is the same story for Renato Rickler’s RTeam RalliArt that saw both of its cars finish the Dakar with Tassi (the first Italian disabled competitor to participate in the Dakar) and Scandola. “It was a very positive outcome. We envision returning in 2018 with more cars”, said Renato Rickler.
Dakar legends such as Giovanni Sala and Giacomo Vismara expressed their enthusiasm for the 2018 rally-route: “According to what Tiziano Siviero explained, the 40th edition will be really special”, said Gio Sala. “There will be a lot of dunes and navigation, in the pure Dakar tradition. It promises to be very exciting”.
Among the rookies who aspire to be at the start-line this coming January, Maurizio Gerini (Solaris Team), who comes from the same hometown as Fabrizio Meoni, Castiglion Fiorentino, will race in the Dakar Challenge during the Merzouga Rally, with the hopes of winning his Dakar entry.