Dakar Rally. Fascinating adventure or fierce competition
Once in 1977, the French racer Tieri Sabin disappeared (he lost his way in the Abidjan-Nice rally). Three days later, the Tuareg (local people) found him, and he miraculously managed to survive in this way. After this incident, Thierry got the idea to organize the annual Paris-Dakar Marathons. And those who were bored to meet at home New Year and painfully long to wait for spring, could go on an extreme two-week adventure.
The history of the first rally
From the Trocadero in Paris on December 28, 1978, the first start of the Paris-Dakar rally was given. The journey was not an easy one, in which 182 participants participated (12 cargo crews, 80 cars and 90 motorcyclists). Only 74 participants successfully reached the finish. There were no distributions by classes and categories at the first rally, so the top three were divided among themselves by the fastest and easiest French on Japanese motorcycles (two Yamaha and Honda).The first winning auto-crew of the same French was in English "Range Rover" V-8 and consisted of three people (pilot, navigator and mechanic). It was the only such case in the entire history of the rally - the Dakar raid. Later on, only the pilot and the navigator (or just one pilot) were included in the crews. Two years later, in 1980, trucks, cars and motorcycles began to be divided into categories of winners in classes in the rally. In 1986, the founder of Dakar, Tierry Sabin, was tragically killed.
His helicopter crashed on a dune, hitting a sudden sandstorm. Thierry watched one of the stages of the Dakar Rally. On board were a pilot, a French singer, a sports journalist and a radio mechanic. They all died. This is not the only case of deaths at the Dakar Rally. In the future, the right to conduct the race was transferred to Father Thierry, and then exclusive rights were sold to the firm “ASO” by French media magnate Philippe Amory, who still has them.
Traditionally, the Dakar Rally started every year in Paris (France), and the finish was in Dakar (Senegal). But after 1995, the start was transferred to other cities (due to protests by the Paris authorities).In 2007, four French tourists were killed in Mauritania and the French authorities prohibited the organizers from holding competitions (the Dakar rally stage was in the country where the incident occurred). The start of 2008 was canceled due to the danger of the emergence of new terrorist threats. Since 2009, the rally is simply called “Dakar” and is held in the countries of South America (transferred indefinitely). Some states also hold similar competitions, only under different names. In Africa, there is a race competition called “Africa-Eco-Race”. And in our country, the Silk Road Rally to the Caspian Sea is gaining popularity (Moscow - Astrakhan). The rally - Dakar raid is a difficult test for pilots, navigators and mechanics of all teams. Also, over the long years of holding, there have been deaths, both professional and among viewers, ordinary citizens in the host countries. This, of course, is a drawback, but sport requires sacrifice, as it is not sad to realize.
Features of the competition
These competitions are exciting and full of surprises. It is necessary, having looked at the map, to go from memory to control points.There are also check points hidden for participants. Also, the organizers impose various speed limits (in order to avoid additional accidents and rapid engine wear). If riders get lost, it is allowed to enter a special code to open the next control point (but penalties are given for this). For the use of GPS-navigation generally disqualified. Many limitations and surprises await riders on the course.
Since 2000, KAMAZ and Tatra have been leading among truck teams. Dakar 2017 was also held in the countries of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay). Our racers successfully took part in it. This year, Eduard Nikolaev from the Kamaz-Master team (already three times in his career in Dakar, twice as a pilot and once as a crew mechanic) won among trucks, thus resuming the interrupted series of victories of our famous pilot - the seven-time winner of Dakar - Vladimir Chagin.
From 2000 to 2017, Dakar, the Kamaz-Master team, was only four times lower than the pedestal in this world prestigious rally. This year, our compatriot Sergey Karjakin (in the new class of ATVs) also won.On his iron horse "Yamaha Raptor 700", overcoming the disease at the distance (pneumonia), he managed to cross the finish line cherished in the overall standings, taking first place.
The sports ministry, in spite of its worldwide fame, personal and in the country, still didn’t even give Sergey the title of master of sports. Let's hope that in the future the state will help our athletes more. And also simple motorists, improving the quality of local roads. After all, as drivers themselves confess, that in deserts there are better roads than in their homeland.