The former Catalan driver participated 16 times at the legendary race, debuting in the 1987 and running for the last time and in the car in the 2003 with the BMW.
“The Dakar for me is a race that has a very important human part and a competition that requires following a roadbook running and it's a constant of improvisation, knowing how to compare all the elements to be better than all. I couldn't win, but everything I've experienced I maintain a very high value in life”, The Spaniard responds to Motorsport.com.
Jordi Arcarons stroked the win many times, was the second on four occasions and understood better than anyone what the word Dakar meant.
Four times he caressed the glory, but he had to confront me with a sports giant, Stephane Peterhansel.
“You can't have a bitter taste in your mouth, because in the end the important thing in life is to continue and everything I learned gave me a lot. It would have changed my life a little bit for winning it, but nothing happens, what i couldn't get from pilot, i had it after coach and coach with Nani Roma, with Marc Coma .
With Peterhansel it was a challenge not always on par because maybe we had less means, we didn't struggle with the same budget. We were like a private team and until KTM made a motorcycle to win we had a lot of mechanical problems. It was very difficult to fight Peterhansel and the Yamaha team, were almost untouchable “, remembers Arcarons.
Arcarons recalls that it was Juan Porcar and Carlos Mas who opened their curiosity for the Dakar.
“On TV you see the pictures, I followed several every day a minute and that encouraged me and I told myself I had to be there. As soon as I finished the Dakar in the 1987, i told myself i had to start. All year Round Enduro, the Spanish raid championship, Baja Aragón and the Enduro World Championship.
In fact, i had a very good technique to adapt it to this kind of race, in the sand dunes. What I had no idea was navigation because the national rally was without a road book, Baja himself, and taking a course with a compass didn't give me any confidence, nor did I know how to do it.”
“It was a survival adventure because the stages were very long, we arrived at night for many days. In addition, supplies were every 450 km and the bike didn't have enough petrol because the deposits were broken and we had to bring the gasoline in a jar on our back and everything was survival. Nothing to do with the race now, which is more human and more sporty. It was a total adventure. As a negative memory 7 people died in the rally, pilots and non-pilots “.
Contrary to what may seem, Arcarons remembers that in that Dakar went very fast, crossing endless and legendary deserts.
“In those running Dakar very, because crossing Algeria and Teneré was all speed, even with a lot of navigation, but the bikes were at 170-180km / h, and when there was an accident it was serious.
I remember duff trucks going online in the desert of Keep with cars and they had double engines and they had a lot of energy. They were at the same speed as the Peugeot 205 of that time. And that truck overturned and the drivers were fired from the glass in front. It was tremendous”.
And death, that almost every year flew over the caravan:
“I remember a Dakar where Gilles Lalay died, what went to South Africa, in Cape Town, and I only saw the bicycle. It was not known what brand he had been since he was bruised. The Driver, Of course, died instantly in the event of a head-on collision with a change of rank. Here you are for everything”.
The only adventure in a car
“I went to try the race in the car, maybe because he has fewer risks and seems more comfortable to ride a motorcycle. I wanted to try it because I decided to retire from the bike after the sum of the injuries, because you're an age where you're not that competitive anymore … I got to know this specialty and had no luck with the equipment, which was very simple, did not contain spare parts. I broke the car in Tunisia in the third stage and we went home and leave some money on you says 'Mom, if I come here and they have to pay that, we're not doing well”.