Luc Alphand – Paris-Dakar Winner
With a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R in the garage back home, 2006 was
already looking like a year to remember for Luc Alphand.
win in one of the world’s most demanding motorsport events
is now already on his career record, with a fine victory for Mitsubishi
in the Paris Dakar Rally - a well earned single step up on the podium,
after a second place finish last year. Alphand is pictured with
motorcycle winner Marc Coma.
It was by no
means a walkover for the ex-skiing champion though: it was only
after a substantial delay for Mitsubishi team leader Stephane Peterhansel
that the pressure came off Alphand, and he then drove away from
the opposition (which included the impressive VW factory backed
Touareg team) in his Pajero rally raid special.
In taking the win he eclipsed an array of talent,
both the experienced Rally Raid brigade and the likes of Carlos
Sainz, Phillippe Gache and Henri Pescarolo, all of whom showed well
early on, but faded later in the event.
It was sadly an event once again tainted by tragedy,
with motorcycle competitor Andy Caldecott and young local spectators
Boubacar Diallo and Mohamed N'Daw joining the list of names who
have joined the sad roll call of victims of this challenging but
Alphand’s fine win is unlikely to harm his
hopes of gaining an entry at the Le Mans 24 Hours.