Our Summer series: Off-road Generations
Philippe Gauthier (father), pharmacist, 57 years old, lives in the Issoire commune, in the Puy-de-Dôme region (France)
How long have you been rally raiding for?
Since 1996. I started with my wife in Dakar, but then I had to stop for health reasons. I got back into rally raiding thanks to my daughter who wanted to do one. We’ve been competing together now for over 4 years, and always at the same rally: the Breslau, which takes place every September in the Balkans.
What experience do you bring to the team?
I help us make the decisions and make sure we do things wisely. My daughter is all about speed, she likes performance. She’s still learning that you have to look after the mechanical side too, because rally raiding is an endurance sport. Two years ago, we had to abandon the race because our vehicle broke down 50 km from the finish line. We’d been top of the leaderboard just a few moments before!
Léa Gauthier (daughter), pharmacy student, lives in the Issoire commune (France).
Where does your passion for speed come from?
It was my father who introduced me to the world of 4x4s, motorbikes and UTVs. He took me abroad to practice off-road driving as well. The first time was in Morocco, I must have been about 5 or 6. Ever since we’ve gone to Tunisia and Libya to train and improve.
What do you get out of it?
I love the adrenaline and the idea that, when I’m driving, I can’t afford to make any mistakes. And then sharing this world with my dad, it’s really brought us closer, we share a lot more because of it. For the future, the thing that makes me most excited is getting a place on the podium, and one day I want us to win gold!