Dakar Rally cars are back barcelona After their last visit in 2005. In the 46th edition of the test, Barcelona almost became the logistics base of the world. 800 vehicles They undergo technical verifications before boarding in Saudi Arabia. 100 people came despite the rain and strong winds Vell Port to take photos with the vehicles and to say goodbye to the Spanish drivers who will race in the Saudi desert between January 5-19.

As part of the ‘Barcelona viu el Dakar’ initiative, He took over the Catalan capital from Marseille. From Thursday to Saturday, the forum area was filled with motorcycles, cars and trucks undergoing technical verification to take part in the Dakar. Access Forum inside This Saturday, like Friday, it is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We want citizens to have the opportunity to see the rally vehicles from the front and to participate in this rally. great event world sports,” explained a member of the city’s sports council. David Escude.

Cheers to Nani Roma

In the fifth edition, held in Saudi Arabia, 15 years after leaving the African desert, The organization wanted to raise the bar. This was the hum as the heroes waited to take the stage. “It will be the toughest of the five Dakars held in Arabia,” the event’s director said. David Castera. One of the greatest innovations of printing is 48 hour marathon stage, will close the first week of the competition.

Huge applause throughout the afternoon went to the event’s two-time champion. Nani Rome. With Ford’s help, he will run his 27th Dakar race and make it happen. “the most special.” Veteran Catalan pilot suffered bladder cancer incident last year that forced him to get out of the car. When he recovers he will return to the dunes. “I’ve been racing for over 30 years, but when I got back in the car at Baja Aragon I was so nervous, like I was starting over,” he said.

wheelchair bound

He didn’t want to forget those who were there either. Isidre Esteve and Albert Llovera, those competing in wheelchairs. “Sport helps a lot, I faced a complicated situation, Isidre and Albert faced more difficult situations than mine, but here we are. I have to fight“added.

Three of the public’s most anticipated drivers are, Carlos SainzLaia Sanz and Cristina Gutiérrez had to excuse their absence via a video as they competed in the final Extreme-E test in Chile. Among the 778 contestants who will challenge the Saudi sand dunes There will be 119 SpaniardsIt is the second most represented nationality after France (163). Only 6% (46) of the total participants were women.

“Live the adventure”

Dakar first came to Barcelona in 1989, when the former Free Trade Zone beach hosted an exhibition at the end of the first stage of the rally before heading towards Tunisia. In 2005, the Catalan capital was the beginning and end of the first stage.

Eighteen years later, Dakar returned to Barcelona, ​​this time as a departure point for Saudi Arabia. “There are people who come to win, there are people who come to experience the adventure… there is room for everyone. This is the magic of Dakar“Castera concluded.