The car has run more than 15 000km since the beginning of the year and is fully tested. That fact makes me confident for Dakar 2006 but the overall win is still open to everyone.
This morning I said that a Buggy could be leading tonight and I was nearly right. It was a very fast stage. We were fine with the navigation, but we did not expect to win the stage today. I will start in sixth place in the morning and I feel that this could give me a little advantage. We will see.
This second victory is a confirmation of my new status as a car driver.
We had to stop to change another tire and lost more time. I will not have fond memories of my passage through Portugal on the Dakar Rally.
The day wasn't too bad for us.
Today's stage was difficult with the number of bikes and cars running closely together. I kept my distance to stay out of the dust and avoid hitting a rock or a big hole in the track.
Today's stage was quite varied. There were places where you needed to be very careful. It was muddy in parts and some puddles of water stood in sheltered areas. Other places were much faster across rural farmland and you could push a little, but after the puncture we had no chance of setting a fast time.
It was a very difficult stage with many sand dunes and some camel grass.
It was a really fast stage today, especially at the beginning.