|The French team is at the start of the 44th edition of the Dakar with 4 Polaris Pro XP in a year characterized by the record number of over 100 SSV in the starting list. No doubt that it’s going to be an interesting battle.|
January 1st, 2022
The 44th Dakar Rally has finally kicked off for competitors as they attack the 8,375 kms over the next two weeks around Saudi Arabia for the hardest and the most legendary race among the rally raids.
With a record number of 409 racing vehicles at the start, including 144 bikes, 20 quads, 89 T1 and T2 cars, as well as 95 T3 lightweight and T4 SSVs, 56 trucks (T5) and lastly 5 vehicles in the Open category, plus 142 vehicles participating in the 2nd edition of the Dakar Classic, there is no doubt that this will be a very hard fought and challenging 44th edition of the Dakar Rally.
Started on the shores of the Red Sea, the competitors tackled the first day from Jeddah to Ha’Il in the north of the country for a total of 834 kms including 19 kilometers of prologue that featured dirt tracks and small dunes. The prologue will determine the starting order for tomorrow’s stage with the top 15 competitors of each category having the possibility to choose their starting position.
It was a very good start for the Xtremeplus team that lines up four Polaris RZR Pro X in the SSV category.
“Despite it was only 19 kms, the navigation was very important as it will be throughout the whole rally. There were sandy dunes and small broken dunes”, stated Pietro Cinotto, 19th at the finish alongside Alberto Bertoldi. “We were able to take a good pace, managing at the best speed in order to avoid useless risks because the race is very long. The feeling with the machine was also good, it felt well balanced”.
“I’m happy because I felt comfortable with the new roadbook unit 4 ertf that works also a GPS for the way points”, tells Alberto Bertoldi, “It was very important the test we did before the race. It makes me feel more at ease. Regarding the results, finishing only 2 minutes from the category winner, Goczal Marek, is nothing. The race has just started”.
It was a good satisfaction for Pietro’s father, Michele, P26 at less than 3 minutes from the top, followed closely by the Jean-Claude and Jerome Pla, P27 at their debut in the hardest Rally in the world. It was a very good start for Shinsuke Umeda, 40th today at 4 minutes from the top.
“It was a first smooth day, with an interesting prologue and a very long transfer”, said Michele Cinotto. “The terrain was kind of tricky because in this area there are sharp rocks under the sand and you have to be very careful”, said Maurizio Dominella, a Dakar legend.
“It was a short but a fun stage today. It is my first Dakar and I was very excited”, said Shinsuke Umeda. “It was unexpected to find rain in the long liaison to reach the Ha’Il bivouac and also such cold temperatures. Tomorrow we have a loop Ha’Il- Hail with 333 km of special stage and I will do my best”.
Tomorrow the Dakar enters into the real stage with 333 kms of special stage Ha’il – Ha’Il for a total of 514 kms.