The 1st of January is the traditional start of the 'Dakar' - an event that sadly mourns the death of motorcyclist Argentine Jorge Boero. One of the favorites of the race, Christian Lavieille, is a major figure in endurance racing for motorcycles and cars.
Like Henri Pescarolo who often made the transition between Le Mans and Africa, Christian Lavieille takes part in his ninth Dakar. Since 2002, the triple winner of the Bol d'Or, but has never won the Le Mans 24 Hours Moto (twice second), converted to racing cars. After finishing 24th and 16th at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2002 and 2004 (Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Luc Alphand Aventure), the driver (who comes from the Rhône-Alpes region of France) entered history in 2006 by winning the world title in Rally Raid in the T2 category. He has joined the very small circle of world champions on two and four wheels. Racing in the premier class, Christian Lavieille be seen this year taking the wheel of a Mitsubishi (powered by Nissan) that could take him to victory on 15th Jan in Lima.
Among the big names in Endurance in the race, also note the presence of Italian Alex Caffi (3 participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans Auto, 6th in 1999) an the Frenchman Philippe Gache (10 participations in 24 Hours of Le Mans Auto, 21st in 1996) has hung up his helmet to enter the Chinese 'Great Wall Motors' via his SMG team.