“Every real rally driver wants to do the Dakar”
Rally racing is one thing. Juraj Sebalj can tell you loads about it -the Croatian driver is a 12-time national champion, 4-time winner of the Croatia Rally (now part of the WRC calendar), who also participated in high profile events such as the Monte Carlo Rally. But the Dakar is something totally different, he assures as he gets ready to embark for the Saudi desert with his friend Ivan Vidakovic, used to piloting drones and to exploring the great outdoors for National Geographic. Passionate for authentic adventures, Sebalj first envisioned a participation in the Dakar Classic with a Fiat Panda. He had a blast with it in Tunisia, mastering racing on the sand… But he eventually turned to a Nissan Terrano II to be more competitive ahead of potential participations in the main Dakar in the coming years.
J.S.: “From my point of view, every real rally driver wants to do the Dakar. This has been my dream from the first time I drove a rally. And right now, the dream is coming true so I’m very excited. It’s the biggest physical and psychological challenge, it takes the very best of the drivers. To finish the Dakar, you need to be a complete person. You need to be a good driver, to manage your finances, to be a strong sportsman… It’s a real test.
This year, the stars are connected. I didn’t try before because I was in competitions and now I want to do desert racing. The other thing is I’m driving the Dakar Classic because it’s my first Dakar. Classic may be less demanding, less difficult, but in the future I would also like to do the real Dakar. The first thing is to finish the first special stage. Then I can spell my ambitions.’”
I.V.: “Juraj and I have been working together on some projects in recent years. We were together at RedBull’s Wings for Life and he told me about the Dakar. I told him about how I always wanted to go there, how I had some arrangements with contenders… And he asked me: ‘Do you want to come?’ Of course I said yes!
It’s a life changing event, the biggest thing I can do in my life I believe. Working with National Geographic was already something, and now Dakar is everything. It’s a huge event. I’m mind blown. I’ve been in the desert, in Tunisia, but it has nothing to do. I’ve been a huge fan of the Dakar for many years. This is my first time as a co-pilot so it’s really amazing for me to do this, it’s gonna be really fun! Every night, I spend two hours getting advice from participant, swatching videos on Youtube, and just preparing myself.”
NISSAN TERRANO II
CRO DAKAR CLASSIC TEAM
- Marca NISSAN
- Modelo TERRANO II
- Preparador Tecnosport
- Asistencia -
- Clase Classic Auto (Media moderada) 87-96
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