Incredible Dakar Gallery
by Zack K
The Dakar Rally is probably the craziest race on the planet. It’s 8,000 miles long. Eight thousand. The longest route of the Baja 1000 is about 1,100 and while it is run straight through (the Dakar has 14 stages) the sheer distance of the Dakar leaves me in disbelief. Who thought this thing up? Thierry Sabine, a nut case who, after getting lost in the desert, thought it would be a good place to race. Heat, snakes, lack of water, perfect, right? “You know, driving the equivalent of the USA, coast-to-coast, off-road, twice, leaves me a bit…bored. It’s too easy. 6,000 miles? Puh-shaw. Peasants race distances so short. I want a race that is almost 50% longer, crosses 3 countries and the nearest decent hospital can only be reached with several plane flights and a working passport.” Crazy. Make the jump for an amazing gallery.
The Dakar used to be from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal but because Africa has gotten dangerous in the 7.62mm sense of the word, in 2009 the race moved to South America. I love the idea of a long-range off-road race. The variety of vehicles, terrain and driving skills required makes me giddy. A race where you can power-slide, jump, speed and possibly die? 14 times in a row? Sign me up. I’ve lusted after the Baja for years, and given the rent-a-buggy shops and variety of budget-friendly classes, driving it is an attainable goal. But the Dakar is different. I
think I would love to drive it one day but not without serious sponsorship and support. I do not trust myself to build a vehicle stout enough to survive that. Imagine gasping your last, dehydrated, sun-baked breath and thinking, “I can’t believe we forgot to use Loctite…”
For now I will live vicariously through the incredible 37-picture gallery found on www.boston.com. The locations, shots and photo quality are stunning. It gives you an idea of how desolate and isolated this race is. Many props are given to the competitors. I hope to one day embarrass myself in front of them. Click here to see the massive gallery.