Ari on… Dakar
‘Dakar today isn’t really Dakar – it’s more like a regular rally than it used to be back in the Africa days. But there are still plenty of unmade roads and it’s always unpredictable, so you need completely different suspension to the WRC. That’s why Peugeot built its car to buggy rules – you get big wheel travel, lots of ground clearance, enormous tyres. They’ve built a really fast off-road car.
‘Figuring out how much to push on the Dakar is like drawing a line in water. You’re always afraid of what’s over the next brow, so it’s only in the evening you know whether your speed was any good. But that’s the beauty of Dakar. When I started, you only had an approximate road book and a compass. Everybody got lost, maybe for half an hour, maybe an hour. But it was an eye-opener too – we were driving through the poorest countries in the world.’