Dakar man Panseri gets emergency call
Bryan Bouffier’s last-minute replacement co-driver, Xavier Panseri, has talked about the dash which got him to Gap less than an hour before the start of last week’s Monte Carlo Rally.
Bouffier’s original co-driver Jerome Degout was injured in a recce crash, forcing Bouffier to call Panseri – the man who won the Irc-qualifying Monte Carlo Rally in 2011 – to ask him to step in. A day after landing back in Europe from finishing sixth alongside Khalid Al-qassimi in the Dakar Rally, Panseri was travelling to see his parents close to Geneva when he got a frantic call.
“I had come off the plane on Wednesday morning and my telephone was on mute,” Panseri told MN. “I was driving to Geneva and I saw a message from Bryan’s sponsor, then I saw three missed calls from Bryan. I called him and he said: ‘I’m in the sh*t. I need you…’ I came off at the next junction, called my parents and told them I wasn’t coming and my friend drove me to Grenoble where somebody from M-sport met me. I got to Gap 45 minutes before shakedown started.
“I had no kit. The team bought me some new overalls, Julien Ingrassia loaned me a watch and I had to buy a pencil! It was incredible. What a week.”
Panseri and Bouffier finished eighth in a Ford Fiesta WRC.
Panseri arrived just minutes before Monte Carlo started