The Dakar rally looks set to gain a high-profile entrant in the coming years. Andre Villas-Boas – manager of Premier League football team Tottenham Hotspur – has revealed his ambition to enter the gruelling race in the next five to ten years.
Villas-Boas – who launched his career in English football with a short tenure managing Chelsea – is known to be a car enthusiast, reportedly owning a BAC Mono. The Mono is an exceedingly-focused, single-seat trackday special which the coach has been seen driving in London.
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Aged 35, Villas-Boas – known as AVB – is relatively young for a football manager. He has high hopes for Tottenham in the coming years, but looks equally keen to scratch some petrolhead itches.
AVB told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo – ‘My passion for football makes me live it very intensively over 11 months and dedicate myself to that, but I think life allows you to enjoy other things.
‘For me, there is a limit and, in the next five to 10 years, I will quit coaching. To compete in the Dakar Rally is a lifetime ambition for me and is something I know I have to do. It went from a passion to an obligation, a destination of life, but I can only do it when I leave football. I will do it.’
The Dakar Rally – formerly the Paris-Dakar – now takes place in South America, with bikes, quads and trucks competing as well as cars. Previous high-profile entrants have included the Race2Recovery team of injured British servicemen (read our Dakar feature here), the late WRC world champion Colin McRae and Mark Thatcher, son of then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who disappeared for six days during the 1982 Paris-Dakar rally, prompting front-page newspaper headlines.