Life and Times Blog

Dakar Rally

The Dakar rally doesn’t get as much coverage as other motorsport events, but it definately is one of the most interesting sporting events in the world. This years 17 day event ended on the 16th January.
From Wiki:

The Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road automobile race. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres per day.

The race originated in 1978, a year after racer Thierry Sabine got lost in the desert and decided that it would be a good location for a regular rally.

The three major competitive groups in the Dakar are the bike class, the car class, and the T4 truck class.
The total racing distance was 9,030 kilometres (5,610 mi) for cars and trucks, and 8,937 kilometres (5,553 mi) for bikes and ATVs. Of the fourteen stages, seven were in Argentina, and seven in Chile.

Passage from an article from the Telegraph:

Death and this race are not strangers. In its 30-year history the Dakar has claimed the lives of 51 riders, back-up personnel and spectators or other innocent bystanders.
For the participants the entire raison d’etre is to take themselves out of their comfort zones and visit areas – geographical, physical and mental – that they have never been to before and, occasionally, which mankind itself has never visited.

The Daker is ‘out there’, extreme and edgy. And unless human nature itself changes, it, or a race like it, will always exist. The thrill of living to tell the tale will never diminish.

From goafrica website:
The Danger
It isn’t called an extreme race for nothing. Every year people get lost or killed during the race. Some major incidents that made headline news include:
1982 Mark Thatcher (Prime Minister Margaret Thatchers son) got lost for 6 days in the desert.
1988 DAF the leading truck (which was also beating every car at the time) crashed and killed a driver.
2005 Two of the top motorcyclists to compete in the rally died within 2 days of one another.
2006 Australian KTM motorcyclist Andy Caldecott, in his third time in the Dakar, died as a result of injuries after a crash. 2 young spectators were also killed in the latter stages of the rally.
2007 2 motorcyclists died, a South African crashed in the 4th stage and a Frenchman died of heart failure during the 14th stage.

Some pics from

BMW's driver France's Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret cross a valley during the seventh stage of the Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally 2010 between Iquique and Antofagasta, Chile, Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) #

Russia's Leonid Novitskiy crosses dunes in his BMW during the 7th stage of the Dakar 2010, between Iquique and Antofagasta, Chile, on January 8, 2010. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images) #

An aerial view shows the site where a Robinson 44 helicopter crashed in Fiambala, Catamarca province, January 4, 2010. The pilot, co-pilot and two reporters who were following the Dakar Rally sustained injuries when their helicopter crashed, local media reported. (REUTERS/Gendarmeria/Handout) #

A racer crosses desert terrain in stage six of the Argentina-Chile Dakar Rally 2010 between Antofagasta and Iquique, Chile, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) #


January 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments