RMC SPORT INFO – On December 30, just before the introduction of the Dakar, the utility vehicle of driver Philippe Butron, Mauel Barbet and their friends exploded after leaving the hotel in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). The next night, Camelia Liparotti’s other utility vehicle had “exploded”, according to the truck driver.
While the investigations into the Philippe Butron incident in Dakar are progressing, a semi-similar investigation is of interest to the Directorate General of Statistics. This other “event” happened the next day. Exactly on the night of December 31 to January 1. The Camélia Liparoti utility truck decided to make the connection between Jeddah and Hail, a little earlier than the other two, because the next day is the big start for the Dakar. But at the 102nd kilometer, the pink car is suddenly forced to stop.
The first deafening “bang” was heard by the assistant, named Walter. The only person present at the wheel of this truck. The latter then considers a puncture in one of his tires, before noticing that they are all intact as shown in a video entrusted to the RMC Sport. But looking in his rearview mirror, he soon saw the flames in the middle of the truck, before jumping out of it and seeing a massive “explosion”. The tank was found 50 meters upstream, with a hole in it. From that moment on, Camellia Liparotti finds herself with nothing. He lost his passport, computer and even his work phone in the ashes.
The French-Italian pilot was not at the scene at the time of the accident. She had stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel surrounded by her X-Raid team. A far cry from this prized machine, set up in a motorhome version (shower, coffee maker, personal belongings, etc) with a workshop section aft for racing. Its occupants said it had nothing explosive inside.
Two cars missing already?
Immediately after this incident, the local police arrived at the scene with Saudi firefighters. In one night, the authorities cleaned up the site of the explosion. So Camelia Liparotti and her team decided to go to meet the head of security at the ASO (Amauri Sports Organization), which runs the Dakar. Currently, neither the driver team nor the ASO know where the truck is. A lawyer is now responsible for this case. After the accident that affected Philippe Butron’s team and this other “explosion”, the ASO reinforced security measures on the track.
“They boosted security but we were still vulnerable,” says one competitor. “We heard this rumor before we saw the pictures on Camélia’s Instagram… It’s totally insane, another participant admitted. After that, we tried not to talk about it too much and focus on racing.” continued. Some members of Camelia Liparotti’s squad see parallels with the attack on Philippe Butron. For this latest case, DGSI hopes to be able to send investigators to the site this week. The Yamaha racer is still waiting for news from her truck, and she was able to honor her thirteenth entry by finishing sixth in the Light Prototype class.