Rest Day – Dong Ming summarizes Haval’s first-half performance: Something got, something lost

The first half of the 2014 Dakar Rally came to an pause after Stage 6, hot on the heels was the only rest day. At the camp in Salta, Dong Ming, frontline commander-in-chief of “Haval Dakar Team”, summarized the team’s first-half performance in an interview, considering the result satisfactory and the frustration acceptable.


Reporter: The 2014 Dakar Rally has gone more than halfway as of today, how do you feel about the team’s first-half performances.

Dong: After the acid test of six stages, the first half of 2014 Dakar Rally finally came to an pause. Our performance can be described as “ups and downs”. We notched up our first stage win but suffered the first withdrawal over the five years since we joined the rally. Luckily, Christian was stable and got a good place in spite of competing alone, laying a solid foundation for the second half to begin the day after tomorrow.

Reporter: Christian was given time penalty for loss of a CP, but he appeared very stable when he returned to the camp every day and his car was well protected, how do you comment on the driver’s performance?

Dong: So far, Christian’s performance has totally gone beyond our expectation, he is a driver with impact force, we chose him because of his strong impact force. It was his first time to compete in the Dakar Rally. He knows his responsibility and obligation clearly, and knows he has the responsibility to familiarize himself with the car in order to control it better. Take today’s competition for example, he did not perform well at first, but towards the end of Section 2, he could fully enjoy speed and have the car under control, thus achieving normal results. This is what a mature driver should have.

Reporter: Given that Christian’s place was unstable, what new tactics will “Haval Dakar Team” take in the second half?

Dong: I think it must be progressive. In terms of stage setting, the desert stage is a great test. Besides, competition among the leaders will lead to non-combat losses, which is also a favorable factor for us; we can afford to wait.

Reporter: According to our experience from the previous four editions of the rally, there were no great changes to the overall standings before the rest day, how do you view the possible problems to be faced by Christian in the second half?

Dong: The car’s performance is now stable and will continue in the stages to come. You see, in the previous four years, once our cars moved in, the drivers would go to the maintenance supervisor for a long time discussion to ensure that all minor faults were eliminated. Yet nothing like that has ever happened until now, everybody is relaxed, showing the driver has a good control of the car and car upgrading is effective.

Reporter: How do you view the Haval racecar which has competed in the Dakar Rally for three years?

Dong: To tell the truth, the car has improved significantly these two years. Christian has mastered the driving skill quickly, too. “We are much satisfied and I believe he will make astounding progress in the rest of the rally.”