Is anybody else following this? I did a search but couldn't see any other threads.
It's astonishing. The guys on bikes are hard af. Kamaz rules the trucks and the electric Audi's look amazing.
Only 4 more stages to go.
Yep, watching the highlights on Eurosport player. In my (much!) younger days I dreamed of doing on a bike, but was beaten back by terminal ineptitude and overwhelming impecunity 😳
Not seen it this year.
I used to play paintball with a guy who decided he wanted a go so he bought a racing land rover, did a couple of qualifiers and him and his son entered.
They didn't get to the finish in time on day 3 but carried on anyway and on the last day got towed over the line but if I remember correctly they were the first brits (maybe amateur brits) to finish in a decade.
They went back the next year in a Bowler Wildcat and completed it with a time and last I heard they were running a racing team with trucks, cars and bikes.
The Audi electric car also has a two litre turbocharged petrol engine to generate electricity, plug in chargers being fairly rare in the desert.
Actually it's the sort of hybrid technology that interests me most in real world motoring : electric motors providing tractive power and a diesel or petrol unit providing power to run the generator. i wonder how small an ICE you could get away with to act purely as a generator in a small family hatchback?
I've followed it every year since the start, I was contracted to ride in 1983 by the Yamaha importers but Japan decided to drop the 2 stroke enduros from the market (I rode the 490 for them) and they went with the French on the 4 strokes. Shame since I was good on the big thumpers as well.
I wanna drive a Kamaz!!!!
Paul Round by any chance?
Yeah they said on the video it had an ICE. Interesting times what with Rally and BTCC both going hybrid this year as well.
I'd love to photograph the Dakar. I hear it's not for the faint hearted but it would be a fantastic experience.
Did you? Blimey Jim I'm properly jealous! The nearest I got was trogging around fields near Derby when I was at Uni. I had a Honda XL 500R at the time. Great unless it kicked back!
And *everybody* wants to drive a Kamaz! Talk about dominating. Yesterday they were doing circles in the sand playing with each other as they were so far ahead. They still came in 1st. 2nd. 3rd and 4th. Just.....gobsmackingly good!
Exciting days! I got a Yamaha ride when they brought out the IT range of 2 stroke real enduro bikes, the 250 they could get riders but the 465 was a fat pig developed for the US trail and desert racing market and struggled against the Euro bikes, being big and strong (I rode a 4 stroke in the British championships) the European importer booked me for the UK and Europeans. We finally got the bike competitive (the only original parts were the crankcases and gearbox) and planned a team in the Dakar but Yamaha France had a shedload of money from Gouloises and involved in the Dakar from the start and had developed the 600 Tenere which was going to be launched that year. So we got no budget and the IT project queitly dropped.I got support for a couple of years then we started with the 350 4 stroke development, a cool project really since we could do anything until Yamaha actually built an engine, we bored a 250 to take a 370 Suzuki piston, built a frame and WhitePower/Kayaba suspension. Then I packed it in and had to get a real job.
Still mess about though, 450KTM EXC at the moment.
The Kamaz are cool, some mad promo videos out there like the Goodwood hill climb and drift competition against a car.
Re. the trucks - can anyone remember those trucks the Dutch madman (Jan de Rooy?) used to run? I think they were described as 4x4x2 as they were two completely independent 4x4 systems with a bloody great truck engine in each, joined by a mahoosive great driveshaft / towbar device. Could accelerate up 1 in 2 slopes in the desert. I think they started to limit the madness of these vehicles when they were in danger of finishing in the top 10 overall despite being <ahem> service vehicles. Used to love watching the whole shebang on Eurosport back in the day when it actually went to Dakar.......
The quickest one was his 1988 Daf Turbo Twin XL with two 600hp engines and all the stuff. He volountarily limited it to 220kn/hr but there's a legendary pic of him overtaking Ari Vatanens works Peugeut at over 200km/hr.
Unfortunately his team mate jumped a dune a few days later at over 200km/hr and the truck rolled six times, killing the co-driver and seriosly injuring the other two so Jan DeRooy retired from racing and the T4 trucks banned.
The Kamaz would be faster nowadays with 1150 hp but they are speed restricted to 130km/hr (the cars to 180). The bikes will be next, the rules dropped them to 450cc to slow them down but they are still running 170 in the sand (my old 950KTM which they won with twice) goes up to 220 no problem which is why they slowed them down.
There's a good film clip from those days of the massed start off the beach at Dakar (I think) where the trucks just outdrag all the cars, probably pissed the rally-car manufacturers well off!
> Paul Round by any chance?
That's the fellow. Not seen him for what must be 20 years but he was a top bloke. Rather wealthy to say the least but very down to earth and one of the lads.
Paul now owns RallyRaid, building vehicles for the Dakar etc. His place is about a mile from me, and I drool every time I go past it. 🤢🤩
Last time I saw him he was setting up Rally Raid, not as a builder though. Back then it was just a race team. Doesn't surprise me he is now building though, everything the guy touches turns to gold.
I remember him setting up a small chip and dent mobile car body repair business to give him and his lad something to do and next thing you knew he was setting up national franchises.
Absolutely a top bloke and genuinely self made too, I remember him telling me he lived in a caravan for years whilst he set up a small garage that ended up a national chain like HiQ or tire services. I think the fact he came from nothing is what kept him grounded.
> The quickest one was his 1988 Daf Turbo Twin XL with two 600hp engines and all the stuff. He volountarily limited it to 220kn/hr but there's a legendary pic of him overtaking Ari Vatanens works Peugeut at over 200km/hr.
Thats the jobby! Vatanen would have been laughing like a drain; and i'd have loved seeing him drive one of those.
> Unfortunately his team mate jumped a dune a few days later at over 200km/hr and the truck rolled six times, killing the co-driver and seriosly injuring the other two so Jan DeRooy retired from racing and the T4 trucks banned.
> The Kamaz would be faster nowadays with 1150 hp but they are speed restricted to 130km/hr (the cars to 180). The bikes will be next, the rules dropped them to 450cc to slow them down but they are still running 170 in the sand (my old 950KTM which they won with twice) goes up to 220 no problem which is why they slowed them down.
I've never got on with big off road bikes; an ex g/f used to be pretty handy at enduro riding, and i would have a go on her DR350. Only rode her DR800 twice, and it just seemed it was trying to spit me off all the time. That bike was a "challenge" to ride, and truth be told, she didnt like it much either. faster on the smaller stuff.
> There's a good film clip from those days of the massed start off the beach at Dakar (I think) where the trucks just outdrag all the cars, probably pissed the rally-car manufacturers well off!
Yes, that final stage mass start was spectacular. Might have to consult youtube it to watch again!
Dakar is mad the Bikers are off the head.
Rally in all its forms is definitely the top motorsport IMO.
Shame the Wales WRC round won't be running anymore.
Have a look at the Kamaz truck test videos against WRC cars, madness! 4min 30 against 4.19 and that's on narrow rally stages where the truck barely fits.
The trucks are actually much more sophisticated than WRC rally cars, they can adjust almost everything suspension, engine and power-train wise as they go. Bit hard on fuel though, 2l per km in the sand, they carry 1000l !
I think there's plenty of good rallying outside WRC. Just looked and the Donegal Rally is supposed to be returning this June. I would love to see that nutcase Frank Kelly in action.
There are I agree, but nothing comes close to the wet gravel stages flat out with the top drivers. Especially 2017-2019 era cars they were incredible. Plus it was the full weekend, get there set up camp on the stage have a fire and what not then wander up to the stage in the morning then drive to the next one for that evening. The smaller rallies just don't have the same following and atmosphere.
San Marino n Italy looks to be the one to go to! The Eifel rally is good, but doesn't look as wild as the former.
Sorry to be anal. While it is impressive granted, that is only an R5 which isn't top WRC. It is nearly 90bhp below the top one and has a lot less Aero and less technical components compared to the Full WRC.
But still impressive
True, the other video with Latvala in the WRC Polo is obviously more staged and no times given but seeing the truck over Finnish jumps is cool! Somewhere there's a video of them training in Siberia (snow = sand) and the things jumping 40m or so.
Well my son and i went to watch the WRC in Wales in a rainy November about 15 years ago and I remember texting back to my wife that in a bucket list of Fifty Things to Do Before You Die it would probably come in at number 300.
I could be tempted by Corsica though ( even the Mrs might like the idea of that)