Blog - Tuesday 8th Jan
- Category: Race Blog
This morning, the team woke to the sad news that the Wildcat of Captain Tony Harris and Cathy Derousseaux has been excluded from the Dakar Rally. Having returned to the bivouac after midnight at the end of Stage 2,
the team were allowed to start yesterday’s stage pending an analysis of the previous day’s results. A committee of the race organisers met yesterday and based on the evidence before them determined that Harris and Derousseaux had not reached sufficient way points to be allowed to continue in the rally.
“In the back of our minds, we thought this might be a possibility,” admitted Harris, “but we powered through yesterday’s stage without difficulty and were looking forwards to another successful day today. After two years of hard work, it’s heartbreaking for Cathy and I, but the Race2Recovery project has always been about the team and we must remember that we still have three Wildcats competing strongly in the rally. Cathy and I will now do everything we can to support them as they strive to reach the finish. We’ll be the team’s official cheerleaders!”
Team Principal Quinn Evans echoed Harris’ words. “It’s obviously disappointing for the whole team but we respect the ASO’s decision. We’ll refocus all our efforts on making sure that three remaining cars have the best chance possible of reaching the finish line in Santiago de Chile.”
Team Manager Andrew ‘Pav’ Taylor expressed his disappointment but reflected on the huge contribution that Captain Harris has made and will continue to make to the team. “Tony and I have been involved in the Race2Recovery project since its inception and without him, we simply wouldn’t been here. Having driven so brilliantly on yesterday’s stage, the news is doubly disappointing, but we all accept the organiser’s decision. Tony’s taken the news with the dignity and mental fortitude that we’ve come to recognise over the past two years and it’s a measure of the man that within minutes of being told, he was talking to me about how he and Cathy can help the team reach our common goal of reaching the finish. ”