You’re coming back to Dakar as the defending champion in the T3, and you’ve won this category four times; what feeds your passion to race in Dakar?
Francisco: This category is more competitive than ever, so I’m always working on new strategies and new ways of thinking, especially with so many years of experience. Yes, I’ve been fortunate to win in both the T3 and T4 categories, but the learning never stops. Evolving in this sport is good for me and makes me stronger. I’ve learned that the strongest and best drivers will be the ones who make the least number of mistakes, not necessarily who are the fastest ones out there. Those who are more strategic in their race will usually be the ones who come out on top!
What have you learned since the last Dakar, and what are you going to do differently or the same going into the 2023 Rally
Francisco: The 2023 Dakar Rally will be completely different from any other year I’ve competed in. It’s going to be a lot more technical with a lot of dunes, which is going to be a great opportunity for me and the strategy I have in place.
So, Dakar is just around the corner. Tell us how you are preparing for the race.
Francisco: Preparation for the Dakar Rally starts very early. Working closely with my co-driver and my mechanical team is an important part of the preparation, and we don’t waste time. It’s such a competitive race, and every little detail counts. You have to make adjustments and fine-tune every detail and every aspect to be competitive. We have such a passion and love for this, and we are looking forward to putting the planning to work.