Saturday, December 31st. At a time when many people are preparing the course of their day, Frédéric and Magali are getting ready to take the « Final Test » otherwise known as the Prologue. It is quite short and has no impact on the race itself.
But it will allow Magali to familiarize herself with the on-board instruments and for our couple, the driving with 2 on sand.
In the morning, group photo of all the Classic category and a photo with the godfather of this edition: Jacky ICKX (Belgian car driver, having raced successfully in Formula 1, endurance and rally-raid. He has one of the richest track records in motorsport after a very eclectic career). Then departure to the starting line of the Prologue, which will be fast, about thirty minutes.
On the starting line, they have time to see the queen categories and of course… The bikers!
But that was enough to make Frédéric and Magali want to see the next stage. The little Buggy behaves well, Frédéric manages to push it enough to get it through the small dunes of the course which, according to Fred, is worthy of a real Dakar special. The strakit pulls like a truck and behaves well.
Magali is serene, she did well with the navigation and prepares her micro roadbooks the day before to help herself. The Barlerins are also participating in the « Authentic Copilot » Challenge, which means that the Buggy does not have any modern regularity instruments. So they use a stopwatch to calculate their pace.
At the end of this « stage » they have chosen to change category, which will allow them to leave a little earlier (and therefore return earlier) and especially before the trucks. They will be in category H1, that is to say that they evolve in moderate average, ideal for their vehicle. They can also choose not to go on some dunes that could be too complicated for the Buggy. The main objective is to reach the end of the Dakar!
Tonight, it’s a little mechanic to prepare the next day, briefing of the stage 1 and campfire at the bivouac!
And a little message from Guy Levy, the pilot of the Strakit in 1982: « Don’t give up and above all, have fun ».
The good surprise for all: Magali and Frédéric will be every evening in the program « Le Journal du Dakar » broadcasted at 7:20 pm in the evening, in the section « Le Coeur du Dakar », which follows 3 amateur crews.
The link of the 1st episode (only in French)
The evening interview by the Dakar teams (English)