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British duo Thomas Bell and Patrick McMurren have had plenty of time to get excited about their Dakar debut, having travelled out to South America to recce the world's most famous rally a year ago. Thomas is the founder of the Sabertooth Motoring Adventure in Dubai, which specialises in desert tours, driver training, rentals and corporate days, and over the past few years he and co-driver Patrick have picked up crucial experience on the FIA World Cup circuit as they prepare for the adventure of a lifetime. Being based in Dubai is likely to come in handy for this 2019 edition, almost three-quarters of which will be contested over sand. Cautiously optimistic after an impressive sixth place at this year's Dubai International Baja, Thomas and Patrick are just hoping to make it to the finish line in Lima on 17 January, which will feel like a victory of sorts in this maiden participation.
PM: “This is our very first Dakar, which of course we're relishing. One important point is that we're arguably well-positioned from a sand point of view, with the Dakar being 70% sand. We've been training hard in the dunes of Dubai, with a replica of our Nissan Navara that just left Le Havre for Lima. We had a navigator come out and do some training with us; Diego Vallejo, who was second in the rookies last year. He made a bit of a Freudian slip in his Spanish, where he said that what you need to do in Dakar is 'win' a finish. And I suppose that's what Tom and I are all about now. We're looking to 'win' a finish, in terms of just getting to that finish line. In an endurance event like this, that's effectively a win for rookies like us. So we're really relishing the chance, we're training hard. We can't wait to get into the dunes of Lima and really make sure we're doing everything we can to get to that finish line.”
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