The Rally of Tunisia gets underway today with the KTM-UAE team leading the World Championship in the bike category. And Tim Trenker, the Dubai-based outfit's lead rider, says he is confident of securing a top-five finish. It is the first time a team representing the Emirates has competed in Tunisia and Trenker, who alongside James West will fly the UAE flag, says he is intent on doing the country proud after the pair triumphed at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge earlier this month.
"First and foremost, we need to finish the race," he said. "We need to get the points that come with finishing because this is only the second race of the World Championship. We need to be competitive because we are representing the country, as well as our sponsors. "Our goal is to finish as high as we can and, personally, I think we can finish in the top five." Trenker knows the task that lies ahead is not easy, though. The seven-day race will see competitors battle with the elements as they aim to overcome rocky terrain, low-lying dunes and potential wet weather.
"The weather conditions here are a lot cooler than in the UAE," said Trenker by phone from Tunis. "It is refreshing, but it can get quite chilly. We are hoping it will heat up as we are obviously more used to driving in the heat. We are being told there is a chance of rain, but for us it is a case of the warmer the weather the better." Trenker added that after enduring the expected government bureaucracy on arrival, he is simply looking forward to getting started on a rally route that may venture into Libya.
"This is new to us and we don't know what to expect, but we just want to get riding really," he said. "We will be carrying our passports and identification cards on us, for sure. To get this opportunity to race and represent the UAE - and to do that, while competing against the best in the world - is something special and we are here to get the job done." firstname.lastname@example.org