Sponsored Post: Dakar 2012 – The Ultimate Race?
When it comes to challenges, there’s nothing bigger than the world’s biggest rally raid, the Dakar Rally. Running since 1978, the race originally followed a route from Paris to Dakar, but following terrorist attacks in 2008, it has since switched to South America, and this year runs from Mar Del Plata in Argentina to Lima in Peru.
Strangely there haven’t been many videogame versions of the rally, with Paris-Dakar by Activision in 2001 for Xbox, PS2 and PC, and Dakar 2 following up in 2003 for Gamecube, PS2 and Xbox. The main reason is probably the immense scale of the race and the challenge of including all the competing classes, which span motorcycles, quads, cars and trucks.
But if you’re a racing fan, you need to see what the Dark involves and there’s amazing coverage with videos and photos on the Red Bull Dakar 2012 site , in addition to sponsoring a number of competitors.
Their team in 2012 includes Toyota Hilux driver Giniel de Villiers, who became the first ever South African winner of the Dakar in 2009. He’s looking set for a podium position at the moment after a tough battle with the Hummer of American Robby Gordon, which means he can relax a little and admire the scenery!
‘The second part of the stage was super tricky and technical. We had to climb up a big canyon and the four-wheel drive of our Toyota Hilux was a definite help. As we came to the end of the stage, we were found ourselves amongst a million big rocks. On the rare occasion the pressure to avoid all the obstacles was off, we had a look around and I was blown away by my first views of Peru – it was like we were racing on the moon!’
You can read see more about the challenge of competing on four wheels on his Dakar 2012 Diary
But possibly even more insane than driving a truck at high speed through these stages is the idea of tackling it on a bike. And the battle for victory is between two Red Bull riders, the legendary Marc Coma and Cyril Despres. Coma has won the Dakar rally three times, as has Despres, and the pair are still separated by just a matter of seconds going into the final stage.
Both riders are amazingly calm when they pass on their experiences:
The day started with me getting a bath in a stream as I pushed the bike along the track. After that it was another hard day but, apart from a small crash I had at low speed, I’m pleased with how the stage went.
There was a modification to today’s roadbook and that meant one of the tracks wasn’t very visible. I rode 100 metres too far at one point but then I saw that Marc was turning around and coming back. Marc started two minutes ahead of me today so it was good to catch up with him.
It may sound relatively normal, but check out the videos on the Red Bull Dakar site to see exactly what it’s really like!