Nani Roma: “I was convinced to come to Toyota for the car”

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Nani Roma faces a new challenge. The Catalan has left
Mini to call at Toyota and played the next Dakar at the controls of a
Toyota Hilux V8 Overdrive Racing. Taking advantage of the day of copilotaje with media
organized communication after the Rally TT Basin, in which was the
victoria, in Engine.it is we have been able to talk with Nani and review as well now
of its movement from Mini to Toyota, the keys that will decide the next Dakar, its main
rivals in the rally raid south american, and other aspects associated to the test.

Engine.is: How do you value your experience in the Rally TT Basin?

Nani Roma: “In two days we have done almost 800 miles, therefore it has been very positive. The fact that there are no arrows it has also been good because the work with the airbag is more complex. Don’t just look at the arrows, but there are that find the path. Had difficult sites, open track both days and therefore it has been interesting to level of training. Of course, winning is always good, we enjoyed it and I think that has been a good preparation for the Dakar“.

M: Does The victory motivates you for the Dakar?

NR: “The wins are always good. Cost beat in a race of 800 miles, although it may seem easy. There were many traps, paths in the forest, trees and stones. Open track, you know racing as well and mark the time is positive. The rally-raid does not always go in depth, is to do it when you’re on the good track. When not, you have to have the time to search for the track and here is what we have done. it All helps to face the Dakar“.

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M: Do you Have a scheduled test prior to the Dakar?

NR: “we will test the new car in Paraguay. We do a day or two of test, although with a day just. Si all works well we do this shakedown, and tested that everything works well. From the test of Morocco as everything is tested and decided, so that now there are no changes, because any change you can leave out. Try not to touch anything“.

M: physical Preparation.

NR: “for days we train with a specific plan for the Dakar. we will Try to train at the High Performance centre of Sant Cugat to simulate the conditions of high altitude. To fund up to 27 that we’re going to Paraguay.”

M: technical Changes in the Toyota Hilux V8.

NR: “We have worked on the suspensions. The car is very good, works very well. It is very well thought out, it is easy and we have a super engine. I think a car is very sturdy and works very well. The technical change is larger and the flange, we have 2 mm more than flange of admission, which means that we have more power. On the one hand we are optimistic, but when more you run the more stress you have the car. We have to be cautious. The people of Toyota has worked very well“.

M: What Then is a positive change to Toyota?

NR: “changes are always good, even if it may not appear so. The team have welcomed me very well, we find very comfortable. I can not say anything bad about the Mini, I have won a Dakar and I’ve had great cars. It has been a pleasure to work with them, but now the life is changed, it is a fun opportunity. I’ve been with Mitsubishi, Mini and now with Toyota. This very well”.

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M: Suspensions, weight distribution…

NR: “The position of the spare tires already changed in the past year, but yes we have tried to adapt the suspension to the steering of each one. We have tried to do the best that we have known. I insist, the most substantial is in the flange. 2 mm more means more power, so we have sought to improve the reliability. I Think some parts will have to change them before the miles that they did before for the highest stress by the power of more. We have everything under control to spin out of control there is very little in the Dakar. We appeal to the wisdom, we take it with calm and humility to try to make a good race.”

M: why we have opted for the Hilux 4×4 in place of the version 4×2?

NR: “The 4×2 have tried it, it sure is competitive, but there has not been time to do it right. Have had to decide what to do and in this case have seen that there was no sense to make a 4×2. For very fast-that is, it makes no sense to compete with the 4×2 if you do not earn many miles. For this reason, they have stopped the project until next year. I’m willing to try it, although I am very happy with the 4×4″.

M: What Do you think of the complaints from Peugeot about the new rules?

NR: “Nobody is happy when you are not in your favor. We are not happy with the regulation of buggy. at The end of the regulation is to accept it and we accept its rules last year and now it is the other way around. The complaints are normal, we also complain about them, others complain about diesels or turbos. It is good that there are reviews for all change and progress. Makes us better at all and does not sleep. is important because it Is part of the business“.

M: key Stages of the next Dakar.

NR: “In Bolivia, going to be
hard. we Competed at 3,000 and 4,000 meters of altitude and the car loses
a lot. Our engine has a maximum power loses a lot of power and will be one of the
keys, although it is difficult to say. Two years ago, on the first day and I
I’m stuck in the mud. We think that it may be there, but we have to
see how this all goes”.

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M: What convinced you to switch to Toyota?

NR: “Umm. , I was convinced to come to Toyota for the car. When I tried it in the spring convinced me much. Then came more things that made me end up deciding. My contract with Mini ended in June and although it’s a great car, I think that among all we had to face a change. The geometries and the concept of the car have been left behind. When you win there is that you make the changes, because when you lose it is already too late. All in all, the biturbo engine of BMW works very well and we make things difficult”.

M: What are your direct rivals?

NR: “The first one, myself. At the end, to think of others makes you make mistakes. From there the of always, the four riders of Peugeot and cars strong Toyota and Mini. at The end there is between eight and nine drivers very fast, but we will try to be better than them”.

M: What should you do the Dakar, to reclaim your essence?

NR: “I Think they have to try to return to Chile and Peru. It is not that essential, but I believe that you should take the step. We must return to the arena, to the long stages in the dunes. Marc Coma is now the one who directs everything. It is a positive thing because two years ago I was running. Is knowledgeable of the career, and now has more experience. Sure that this year will be even better”.

M: Do Objectives past the Dakar?

NR: “For now just the Dakar. We focus a lot on it and when it ends we sit and talk about everything. Sure that do some of the races of the World, but for now we focus on the Dakar. The World Cup I don’t think we do, because it does not interest to brands and I hope to do some rallies with Toyota”.