Tragic accident in Morocco Rally
Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart withdrew Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret from the Orpi Rally of Morocco after the final 222 km selective section, as a mark of respect to team co-driver Henri Magne, who lost his life in a tragic accident between the first and second passage controls at the 60.30 km point of the event’s final selective section. Peterhansel had been leading the event when he crossed the finish line of the final stage, unaware of what had happened behind them, but the crew were officially withdrawn for the rally by MMSP Team Director Dominique Serieys at the arrival control.
Henri Magne, winner of the Rally of Morocco in 2000, 2001 and 2002, had been co-driving Spaniard Joan ‘Nani’ Roma when the accident happened before the assistance point on the day’s special. The crew collided with a concrete wall front side. Magne was officially declared dead by event medical staff at 10.02 hrs (local time), less then five minutes after the accident. Driver and Team-Mate Nani Roma is not injured.
Team mates Hiroshi Masuoka and Pascal Maimon stopped at the scene of the accident to offer assistance and did not continue from then on.
“For over 25 years Mitsubishi has been competing successfully in this sport without any tragic incident of this kind,” said MMSP’s Team Director Dominique Serieys. “Today, tragically, Henri ran out of luck. In the name of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and MMSP I give my deepest sympathy to Henri’s wife and family.
“Henri was a good friend and colleague. He was a gentile man, always smiling, always cheerful. We worked together when I was a co-driver. Henri was a true professional, without any desire to end his career. The next goal for us will be dedicated to Henri. My heartfelt sympathies are also with Nani after this awful day. It will not be easy for him to get over this, but we will all support him all the way.”
Henri Magne was born in France in March 1953. He first took part in the Dakar Rally in 1982 and finished 21st overall and first in the diesel category. In 1985 he co-drove a rapid support truck for the official Mitsubishi team and finished ninth in the Trucks class. His career began to move forward rapidly and he and Kenjiro Shinozuka finished second overall in the 1988 Dakar.
Henri Magne won the Dakar for the first time with Kenjiro Shinozuka and Mitsubishi in 1997 and repeated the feat on the Paris -Dakar-Cairo Rally in 2000 with Jean-Louis Schlesser. He finished fourth with Carlos Sousa in 2003 and in a similar position with Luc Alphand in 2004. Both he and Sousa also won the 2003 FIA World Cup title and the 2004 European Baja Cup.
After taking part in the 2004 UAE Desert Challenge with Andrea Mayer, he joined Joan Roma for the first time in the 2004 Qatar Baja, finishing second overall, and then in the 2005 Dakar Rally and onwards through last season – the highlight being a maiden win together in the Baja Spain Aragon. The pair began this season with a superb third overall in the Dakar Rally, second in the Patagonia-Atacama Rally and a second place in the Transiberico Rally.
Magne is survived by his wife Lucette and two adopted children. MMSP offers their deepest condolences to all members of Henri’s family at this time.