“I'm a weekend driver”
Passion is what pushed Francisco Pita. Passion and enthusiasm for a race that has been so cruel to him. The Portuguese driver and head of Team Prime Stadium still has in mind the day the 2008 Dakar was cancelled on his home soil. A great memory that turned sour. Not at the start last year, he returns for unfinished business. Indeed Pita and his faithful co-driver Humberto Gonçalves failed in their last two attempts to reach the finish (2010 and 2012) after capturing 78th spot of their very first Dakar. To do so, the crew can count on a very impressive car, an SMG buggy. The goal is to see Valparaiso and compete with the best two-wheeled drive machines.
F.P.: “My best and worst memories on the Dakar are linked. They both came in 2008. I remember the enthusiasm of the team getting everything ready, during months, for the departure! Arriving at the “Mosteiro dos Jerónimos” and being part of the whole show. Everyone on the team was so excited and we had worked so hard to get there! The next day we would take off for a great adventure. Then came the worst memory without a doubt: the cancellation of the biggest off-road race in the world in 2008 and we were part of it! I also remember our terrible 2011 Dakar. Several incidents will forever stay in my mind. It went from bad to worse. We broke three gear boxes. In one stage, someone trying to tow my race car out of the mud, pulled and ripped half of my vehicle off, while I stood still, astonished, watching the front of the car on the track. We eventually had to quit during stage 11 in a river.
I'm a weekend driver and that's how I prepared for this Dakar. Our goal is to see Valparaiso, to finish the race and if possible fight for a place among the best two wheeled drive cars.”