Former Dakar Rally navigator and mechanic Rosendo Touriñan Morist died Wednesday at the age of 74.
Touriñan started working alongside fellow Catalan Juan Porcar at the 1986 Paris–Dakar Rally; Porcar had been racing the Dakar on a bike before switching to a car in 1984. They raced a Range Rover early in their partnership, finishing tenth overall in 1987 and running as high as second in the 1989 Prologue, before switching to a Nissan Patrol. They enjoyed their best finish in 1990 of eight. The duo ran their final Dakar together in 1997, finishing eighteenth.
During his fourteen Dakars with Porcar, Touriñan got to showcase his expertise and improvisational skills, once using a sardine can to fix a mechanical issue. Many also leaned on him for his friendliness; Fernando Capdevila, a multi-time Canary Islands Rally Champion and World Rally Championship alumnus, recalled Touriñan lending his Lérida shop to make last-second engine repairs during his Dakar début in 1988.
Although no longer with Porcar, he continued to race the Dakar with Nissan. In 1999, he called the shots on the Nissan Terrano II of Rafael Santiveri, and they won the 1999 edition in the T1 Diesel category (thirty-seventh overall). The following year, Tourinan scored his third outright top ten with Ramon Vila Altima in tenth, and later also worked with Josep Maria Garrofé. His final Dakar in 2009 came in a Bowler Nemesis piloted by Antonio Vico Cordoba.
Outside of navigating, Touriñan was a contributor to SoloAuto4x4 magazine. Porcar also entered the media realm as a journalist providing Spanish coverage of the Dakar Rally and working with Jaime Alguersuari Sr. at RPM Racing.
“We lost Rosendo, my soulmate,” began a post from Porcar. “He was an extraordinary man. Brave, humane, sensitive, and endearing. Hand in hand, we shared exciting and unforgettable years in Africa. No one can replace him in our memory.”