Rallying: Unique Auriol: Paris to Dakar and back
Monday 27 December 1993
Auriol will be the only one of 400 adventurers to line up at the dawn start in Paris's Trocadero tomorrow morning who has been in every edition of the car, motorbike and truck rally in the desert.
In that period he has won the event three times, twice on two wheels and once on four wheels.
'I still get a thrill out of the rally. Every year it is different and when you begin to think that you are beginning to learn the desert, something will catch you out,' the 41-year-old said.
Drama is part of a good Paris-Dakar Rally. In 1992, the year that Auriol won in a Mitsubishi, the rally skirted war zones, traversed Africa's hottest and coldest corners and breached political barriers by finishing in South Africa.
This year the drama off the course will come in the Western Sahara, a fiercely disputed coastal strip of the desert between Morocco and Mauritania. Until this week the fastest vehicles in the troublespot have been jeeps armed with machine guns, whose need for speed comes from avoiding mines. Driving fast enough means the mine should blow up behind, not under your vehicle.
The other significant change is the finish, back in Paris, and not in the west African city of Dakar. In 16 years, the rally has crossed almost every part of the Sahara, and the organisers cited the need for a change as the reason for finishing in Paris. The 8,000-mile marathon will still go to Dakar, though, for a one day rest stop, before the return leg up the Atlantic coast through Morocco to finish at Euro Disney on 16 January.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Tim Wiese offered WWE role after German goalkeeper packs on muscle
Champions League: Liverpool vs Ludogorets Razgrad match preview
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 4 John Travolta addresses former pilot's gay romance allegations publicly for the first time
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...
£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...