Ever since he can remember, Germany's Markus Walcher has dreamed of following in the footsteps of his father Gerhard, who took part in the Dakar Rally eight times during the 1980s and 1990s. Born in Esslingen, Markus quickly developed a passion for rally raid, making his debut in the sport at 16 before training as a mechanic and spending five years working for Porsche. Having joined the family business - a bicycle shop - in 2011, the 29-year-old is now gearing up for the adventure of a lifetime after being selected by BFGoodrich, official supplier of the 2018 Dakar, as winner of the Good Project Special Dakar. His prize was direct entry to the 40th edition of the rally, as well as a full supply of tyres and engine oil, courtesy of BFGoodrich and Dakar 2018 major partner Motul. Walcher and co-driver Tobias Henschel - a fellow rookie but with plenty of rally experience - will also be supported and advised throughout the Dakar by two-time winner Nani Roma, while proud father Gerhard will be keeping an eye on his son from the assistance truck. As a bonus, Dave Marsh - the man who designed Markus' car - will also be part of the team on what promises to be a memorable debut.
M.W.: "My dad starting racing in 1981, and took part in his first Dakar in 1985. In fact, I was at the prologue in 1988 - inside my mum! So I suppose I've been preparing for the Dakar since before I was born. My dad told me lots of stories about the adventures that he experienced, and when he started competing again in 2004 I had a chance to accompany him. I knew I would eventually do it myself." "I met Tobias on a rally, which I think is the best way to meet your co-driver. We quickly realised that we got on and shared the same spirit of adventure. Tobi is always looking forward. Whatever happens, he doesn't get angry and tries to find a solution. You can joke around and have fun with him, but he's a very reliable guy. That's the most important thing for me."
WALCHER RACING TEAM
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