Ecuador’s Guayasamin excited to race his 5th Dakar Rally


Ecuadorian driver Sebastian Guayasamin and his team are completing preparations for next month’s Dakar Rally 2019 on what he describes as South America’s most challenging terrain in Peru.

Guayasamin, 38, told EFE ahead of his fifth Dakar that the event demands “concentration and maturity.”

“The person who won the rally the previous year is over 60 years old, so strategy, the durability of the vehicle and the capacity to endure more than 14 hours in a car are much rewarded,” he said.

Seventy percent of the 2019 race will be run on sand.

Goal No. 1 is “to finish the rally,” Guayasamin says, pointing out that on average, only 30 percent of competitors complete the course.

As part of getting ready, the driver, navigator Mauro Lipez and other members of the team have followed a strict physical and nutritional regimen.

“We also got our bodies used to dehydration. We trained many hours with almost zero liquid so the body becomes accustomed to consume the smallest possible quantity of water,” Guayasamin said.

He and Lipez will compete in the same Chevrolet Colorado 4X4 they have driven to victory in the South American championship and races in Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile.

Team Guayasamin are set to arrive in Lima next Wednesday, four days before the start of the 10,000km (6,213mi) race that will take competitors from the Peruvian capital southward to the Chilean border and back again.