J.P.. Mingels Dakar 1982 – Honor to the vanquished

The goal of the Dakar 1982 approaching, At Nioro between motorcycles Yamaha success goes to Guy Albaret. He departed for the special Nioro-Tambacounda, with the two stages of 260 and 120 kilometers. Kayes won Jacky Barat (Honda), and in Kadira still Guy Albaret. But the day of Pambacounda is marked by double twist starring Jean-Paul Mingels.

Following the penalties imposed on Vassand and Raghava, It was the third crew man Sonauto on his Yamaha XT 550 to go to the head of the General. But fate has no respect, is cynical and baro also with heroes: Mingels fell victim to a disastrous fall in 250 km from Dakar and because of an error in the roadbook, at the speed of 150 mph slipped into a crack in the ground.

The fall that follows was really disastrous and traumatic. The list of fractures suffered seemed to go on forever: skull fracture, spine, the pelvis more numerous fractures in arms and legs.

All the other riders understand immediately the gravity of the accident, They stopped and waited until they arrived the car care. Among these Vassard, that gave the day before the leadership of, and while facing the possibility of making “Bang” and return to the top, He was the first to go back looking for rescue. Cyril Neveu passed automatically to the command of the race with two hours ahead. From the day of the rupture of its engine, in Tit, I recovered almost twenty!

There were only two days of a race that, At last, tone down to give survivors the opportunity to reach Dakar without further disruptions. To Tiougoune with three special, then the final sprint toward Dakar, until the Pink Lake Beach. The final four special went to Olivier Kirkpatrick, Marc Joineau, Michel Merel and, the last, the winner of the race, Cyril Neveu.

The Honda can finally celebrate: on the first two steps of the podium Cyril Neveu and the hero Philippe Vassard and third, with the same Honda engine embedded in frame Barigo, Gregoire Verhaegue, 21 years, private heroic arrives in Dakar completely alone – pure private competitor – from the first to the last day.

From the hospital bed, Mingels, just whereof the said: “My XT has fallen into a hole, but the fault is all mine”.

For the record, the following year he appeared at the prologue of Paris!

Photos main Gigi Soldano