Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Exclusive interview with Dakar winner Nani Roma

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The Dakar legend Nani Roma will try to claim a hat-trick at the world’s toughest rally raid. The Spanish driver signed a contract with Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) team and will try throw down the challenges to MINI and “Toyota” in the Dakar 2021 car class.

The 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally will take place in Saudi Arabia for the second time in the race history and N. Roma will attack Dakar the 25th time in his career, 7,900 km route in his customary attacking mode.

The Spanish has now won the event on two different continents, with two different manufactures, and has a total of 25 Dakar stages win to his name. The first title N. Roma grabbed in 2004 with KTM team where he was driving motorcycle. Meanwhile, the pilot won the second Dakar title after 10 years with MINI in the car class.

It also seems that he’s hungry to have at least one more crack at winning another Dakar Rally and ready to resume the epic four-way battle with Nasser Al-Attiyah, Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz in 2021.

We caught up with N. Roma in the United Kingdom where he finally will try a new BRX team’s car with which he will race in Dakar 2021. With RacingLifeNews.com the Spaniard shared his thoughts about new team, challenges and differences between Africa, South America and Saudi Arabia.

Why did you decide to join BRX team?

Last year I’ve heard about this project and talked with Richard Taylor. And also the first Dakar day I met David Richards, in the bovouac. We had a small talk. After Dakar I’ve got a call and on March 11th I did intro drive. It’s a wonderful project with big possibilities and nice people.

“Prodrive” has a huge experience in motorsport. In Dakar rally you must work together and then you can create something really good. After that as you know Covid-19 spread in the world, but we were still talking even no one didn’t know how it will go. On June I’ve started working as the team’s consultant and now it’s the time when we must work very hard minimum for next two years.

“We must work very hard minimum for next two years”, nani roma.

What was the first impression of your new car?

Honestly, till now I can see it just from pictures. I’m now in quarantine for 14 days in the United Kingdom. But I work a lot with engineers and team. Everything what I see looks really nice and high-technology. Now we must drive this car and work hard. Because of Covid-19 whole preparation is a little bit late, but we have a capacity and good people in this team.

Most of the time new car in Dakar needs time – sometimes two or three years. Do you agree with that?

Sure. It’s not so easy discipline. You have many types of terrains to reach with the car. It’s the main difference between now and the past. I remember times when I was with “Mitsubishi”, we discovered many things. All the time we step with car’s evolution and technology. Now you can go to the market and find something really strong. You can buy one of the most sensible parts of the car – transmission. The main parts of the car today exist in the market and it’s really strong. The other thing is to build budget, sometimes it takes 6 years to win.

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