Dakar dreams

Alfie Cox's Nissan in the bivouac

Alfie Cox's Nissan in the bivouac

The Dakar rally, which runs for 16 days from the first of January each year is perhaps the ultimate Off Road racing event and one to which most competitors aspire.  In recent years there has been a much greater participation on the event from UK individuals and teams. This increase in many ways owes itself to the likes of Drew Bowler, the Round family and their Rally Raid UK operation, Qt Services, and the likes of Keith Banyard and the Gotts, but also to the various individuals who have put everything they have in to making it to the startline.

Although the event has moved from its heartland in the African deserts to the terrain of South America it seems to me that it has lost none of its spirit or challenge.  In fact for me the hugely varying terrain is if anything more appealing, if a little less accessible.

Those of you blessed with access to Eurosport can follow the action everyday, whilst there is also a wealth of places to follow it on the internet.

In particular I have been following two friends of ours and fellow UK based competitors, Simon Pavey and Ben Gott.

Simon, who some of you may remember from Charley Boorman’s ‘Race to Dakar’ TV series, is tackling the grueling.event for an impressive 8th time.  You can follow his trials and tribulations here.
SimonPavey.com

Ben's 8x8 MAN at altitude on this year's event

Ben's 8x8 MAN at altitude on this year's event

Ben Gott is driving an enormous 8×8 MAN support truck looking after the PS Laser Nissan Navara of Alfie Cox and Jorgen Schroder.  Ben’s excellent blog which he is somehow managing to find time to update on a nearly daily basis is a fantastic insight into what goes on behind the scenes on the event to keep the competitors running.

Ben’s Blog

Ben is also bidding for a drive on the Gumball Rally, thanks to an online competition. Please watch his video and vote for him here!

You can also get full results and tracking from the Dakar official site as well as some brief video coverage.

Marathon Rally is the best aggregation of journalism and press coverage that I have found. It also covers the concurrent Africa Eco Race which is bidding to take on the Dakar in its more familiar African setting.

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