It is one of the most challenging motorsport events on the planet. More physically challenging than Formula One, more enduring than the Le Mans 24 Hour. This is the Dakar Rally 2012, the ultimate test for both man and machine as the epic race begins in Mar Del Plata Argentina, enters Chile and ends in Peru. Mountain ranges, deserts and a multitude of climates stand between the athletes and their drive to the finish. One of the biggest challenges faced by competitors in the closing days of the race is that they enter a marathon stage where riders and drivers will have no contact with their mechanics. One miscalculation or malfunction will cost them the race.
Rider Cyril Despres is “triple checking” his bike before tomorrows stage. As a precaution he has changed the engine on his trusty steed as by the end of the stage the motor will have to cope without repairs. You can follow Cyril’s progress using the brilliant Red Bull Dakar site that is updated regularly as he pushes for victory. The Frenchman is already a three time Dakar champion (2005, 2007, 2010) and hopes to add a 2012 trophy to his cabinet. An interesting fact about Cyril is that to gain the funds required to enter his first Dakar he traveled France selling special Dakar wine portraying a map of the event on the label. Let us hope his map this year is a little more advanced as getting lost, I have no doubt, is not on his agenda.
The Red Bull Dakar Rally site is pretty impressive – with up-to-the-minute news, updates videos and blogs, it’s definitely worth following throughout the Rally. Red Bull invites you to share all the action both on the road and off so check it out here.