“The Dakar has been half of my life”
Nani Roma has had a long, very long relationship with the Dakar. Quietly and especially without swank, the 44-year old driver from Catalan, winner in the bike category in 2004 and in the car class in 2014, has spent half his life as a rally-raider. His more than 20 years of competing in Africa and South America has built a level of experience and wisdom but also ambition. Undoubtedly fiery as one would expect from a Spaniard, and perhaps even more so for someone from Catalonia, Roma is always among the potential victors. Following two long stints with Mitsubishi then Mini, today he is making his mark with Toyota Overdrive, which he joined two years ago and where he is in perfect synch with co-driver, and fellow Catalan, Alex Haro. This new stability puts him in a position to; once again, aim for a strong result this time out despite a relatively light preparation programme. The Roma-Haro tandem only took part in two significant events: the Baja Aragon and the Morocco Rally. But a sixth place in Morocco and the reliability of the Toyota as well as the long and patient development work are enough to give Nani Roma the needed confidence to take on the rally and the competition.
N.R.: “The preparation work we've done is really very good. We are optimistic, but we're also remaining prudent, because the Dakar is a particularly complicated rally. The verity of one day, like recently in Morocco, isn't necessarily that of the next day…you have to be humble, even when the work was done well with a strong team. I really hope everything goes well.”
A.H.B.: “Nani and I get along very well. And it has been that way since the start. We almost do not need to communicate…We are very satisfied with the new car. It is also easier to drive. Our adaptation has gone very well and we are pleased even though we've raced very little because doing just the Baja Aragon and Morocco Rally. This edition well depend on how our rivals do, but we have to concentrate to be among the leaders and if we manage to be consistent the result will be there in the end…”