Dakar is the name of a region and city in Sénégal. But…
The name in Europe now invokes an extreme sporting event. Dakar is to rally motorsports what the Tour de France is to Cycling. Each year I’m surprised how little, if any, information you find in the US press. Dakar is a sensational and extreme challenge with death and distruction a common theme. You would think it’s appeal would be higher.
The race has a high cost of entry for ‘amateurs‘ and is a relatively individual sport, though it’s a testing ground for almost all of the brands you’re familiar with: Toyota, KTM, Yamaha, Honda, BMW, Nissan, Mini, Volkswagen, Mercedes, etc. Sponsorships, sporting associations, and partnerships come from all corners of the globe. It has a rich history full of politics and lots of good will.
This year there are 171 cars, 185 motorcycles , 33 quads , 76 trucks participating representing 50 Nationalities. 11 participants are women, and for those that finish, they will cross Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
Think Mad Max.
Here’s a link to the official site, unfortunately it doesn’t do the race justice.