January 5th 2013

Countdown to 2013 Formula One season: 69 days

Birthdays:
French driver Franck Montagny, who briefly drove for Super Aguri in 2006 and was a part of Peugeot’s LMP1 team before their departure from the discipline, is 35 today.
Young up-and-coming Dutch driver Meindert van Buuren is 18 today.

Today:
The Dakar rally starts. Contrary to its name, it is being held in South America for the fifth consecutive year, and will travel through Peru, Chile and Argentina. This prestigious and dangerous event features cars, trucks and bikes, and I couldn’t tell you a thing about the competitors. Former champions include Jacky Ickx and Carlos Sainz.

Stat of the Day:
Franck Montagny competed in seven F1 races in 2006 with Super Aguri, taking over from Yuji Ide before Sakon Yamamoto took over from the French driver. He and Anthony Davidson were the team’s only non-Japanese drivers. Takuma Sato drove for Super Aguri in all of their two and a bit seasons of F1, scoring four points for the team in 2007 – they beat Honda’s works team that year. After 2008, Sato moved to IndyCar, and this season almost won the Indy 500 but spun in the final laps of the race, handing the victory to Dario Franchitti.

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