“The Dakar is an illness you can't get rid of”
The Dakar has run in the veins of Rainer Wissmans and his co-driver Fabrice Roche for many years now. The German still remembers the days when he worked in Algiers and went to see the Dakar go by, back in the early 80s. Over a decade later, the Frenchman was himself on a bike at the start of the 1994 event from Paris to Dakar and back that he finished in 44th position. At the time both men didn't yet know each other. Eventually their destinies met through their common friend Patrick Sireyjol a former biker turned driver who competed with Rainer at his side in 2010. For this 2014 edition they will be part of the Cummins France Team in a Wildcat 200. Their goal will be to help out Sireyjol, driving a buggy, in his quest to be in the leading positions of the rally.
R.W.: “The Dakar is a legendary event for me. When I was based in Algiers between 1981 and 1984 I would come and see the race every year. My first experience in off-road races was during the Algeria rally when I was the driver of the race doctor. My target was to one day do the Dakar. I had planned it years back and finally we created a team with Patrick Sireyjol. My first Dakar was in a Bowler but the car wasn't good enough. So we bought a buggy and worked on it with our own engineering resources. The target (for Sireyjol) is to be in the leading positions. I'll be with Fabrice Roche behind, driving a Bowler Wildcat, working as a “water-carrier”. The goal is to be consistent and not too far away from Patrick. Finishing 2nd of the Morocco Rally, he showed he wasn't that far away from the factory teams. Fabrice, my co-driver, is a former biker and that helps a lot for navigation. He's also a very good mechanic.”