|TEAM REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART CREWS TAKE PART IN FITNESS AND BONDING PROGRAM IN BRITTANY||
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart have just completed their final physical training and team bonding preparations in Brittany, northern France, prior to the 2007 Dakar Rally, which gets underway in Lisbon on Saturday, January 6th, 2007.
The teams drivers and co-drivers, Stéphane Peterhansel, Jean-Paul Cottret, Luc Alphand, Gilles Picard, Hiroshi Masuoka, Pascal Maimon, Joan Nani Roma and Lucas Cruz were joined by MMSPs President Isao Torii to carry out several days of training and relaxation at one of Frances leading health retreats.
Team members spent their time at the Thalasstonic centre in Douarnenez from Saturday, December 9th to Thursday, December 14th. Training was arranged and carried out by Patrick Chamagne, with assistance from Vincent Ravanel, with MMSPs Team President Isao Torii who joined the team members for three days of the session.
"We arranged quite an active program of events for the Mitsubishi team," said Patrick Chamagne. "The sessions were divided into morning and afternoon, with some work in the evenings. Over the course of the four days we laid on cycling, tennis, ball games like rugby, and a fair amount of work in the gymnasium.
"Members of the team were able to work on their abdominal muscles and traction exercises to strengthen their back muscles. One of the key factors was to improve and maintain team spirit throughout. This is very important in team sports like the Dakar Rally."
The Japanese manufacturer is bidding to rewrite the history books next month by winning the Dakar Rally for a seventh successive season in its 25th season competing in the worlds greatest off-road challenge.
Managing and Sporting Director Dominique Serieys is fully aware of the importance of teamwork and physical fitness in the teams final preparations for the worlds most famous off-road motor sport challenge.
"This was an excellent final opportunity for the drivers and co-drivers to spend time together, to go through a light fitness regime, and carry out some team work," said MMSPs Sporting Director Dominique Serieys.
"The facilities were there for them to relax, undergo some gentle cardio-vascular exercises, enjoy massage, and mud therapies. It was another chance to work together as a team and to prepare them, both physically and mentally, for the Dakar."
Prior to Novembers UAE Desert Challenge, key members of the team had joined forces for a similar training course, near Montpellier, in the south of France.
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart will test the four new MPR13 versions of the Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution at a final shakedown session in Le Creusot, France on Monday, December 18th.
Twice former Dakar champions Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret gave the MPR13 its world debut in the UAE Desert Challenge and finished an excellent second overall behind team mates and defending Dakar champions Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard.
On the 2007 Dakar Rally, they will be joined by Hiroshi Masuoka and Pascal Maimon and Spaniard Joan Nani Roma, co-driven for the first time by Lucas Cruz.