“We're hoping the car will work like a Swiss watch”
Edvinas Juskauskas and Aisvydas Paliukenas's hopes of a successful Dakar debut quite literally went up in smoke last year, when their car caught fire on Stage 6 of the rally. Luckily the Lithuanian pair were unharmed, and even pushed on for several days in the Dakar Experience category before a crash brought their maiden outing to a definitive halt. It was a baptism of fire in more ways than one for Edvinas, who only started competing in motorsport in the year leading up to Dakar 2020. After getting hold of a Desert Warrior from Gintas Petrus, Edvinas linked up with highly talented young co-driver Aisvydas in the spring of 2019. Considering they only had 6 months to prepare for their maiden Dakar, the duo were coming along very nicely until their misadventures on day 6, sitting in the top 30 of the extremely competitive T1 cars class. For this 2021 edition, Edvinas and Aisvydas will be competing for Benediktas Vanagas's Team Pitlane and driving 'Black Hawk V', the car in which Benediktas claimed the best Lithuanian result in the cars in 2019 (11th). They are hoping to have a smoother ride and make it through to the finish line in Jeddah, hopefully in the top 25 of the standings.
AP: “It's our second time on the Dakar, and of course we're feeling much more prepared than last year. More confident, I guess. I think we were doing quite well until the day we caught fire. I was really surprised by Edva's performance. It was not only his first Dakar, but also his first year in motorsport. We were in the top 30 before the fire, which was quite a good result. Benediktas helped us a lot with his experience and knowledge in the car. When you do your first Dakar, it's great to have someone so experienced helping you out, the logistics and preparation are much easier. So we're continuing our partnership with Benediktas, and we hope it goes well. I did some rallies this year, but Edvinas and I trained separately, he was trying a new co-driver.
The main thing at Dakar this year is to finish the race. Last year, we didn't make it because of technical failure. This year, we're hoping the car will work like a Swiss watch! We hope the car will be OK, and that we can keep our pace like last year. I think the top 25 is an objective for us.”
HESTON AIRLINES TEAM PITLANE
- Mark : TOYOTA
- Model : HILUX
- Performance tuner :
- Assistance :
- Class : T1.1 petrol modified A-T 4x4
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