As I am the world’s official number one motorsports hyperfan, January tends to be a bit of a dull month… however there is one big competition starting this Saturday, that helps pass the time: the Dakar Rally. I do enjoy watching the daily reports from the desert, as a whole host of machinery, from bikes to trucks and lorries attack some of the world’s toughest terrain.

Although this year’s competition has forsaken Africa, and will now run through Argentina and Chile, it has lost none of its mystique. Have a look at the above video, for a preview of the route.

This year’s running of Dakar looks to be a straight fight between Volkswagen and Mitsubishi. I’m not sure there is a clear favourite though. In the 2007 Dakar Rally (remember it was cancelled in 2008), Volkswagen proved to be very fast but a little unreliable. Last year, they won the 2008 Dakar Central European Rally and will be looking to carry this momentum into 2009.

Mitsubishi will be tough to beat though. The current defending Dakar champions, they have owned the rally in recent years, with 12 victories between 1985 and 2007. However, this year they will be debuting a new car, the MXR09 Racing Lancer and have switched to diesel engines. It would be quite the feat if they won on the first outing with this new package. Have a look at the video to see what you think of the new Racing Lancer Dakar challenger….

Hmmm… I think I’d put my money on Carlos Sainz and Volkswagen…. Agree or disagree?




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Despite being a VW fan, I suspect Mitsubishi will win again. New engine, but they know what they are doing. Stéphane Peterhansel or Luc Alphand


We'll have to see. VW might have the R&D edge this time around due to using a tried platform, but then again Mitsubishi has the years of experience to back up the new Racing Lancer. Can't say it won't be interesting.


mitsubishi makes diesel engines? i wonder if they're TDi ;D


Peterhansel in the Mitsubishi , as the going is alot more technical then normal Dakars,mitsubishi have over 15 years experience,just seen it on Eurosport, the course is gonna be hard this year, not that much sand

Bikes are the one to watch, my dad finished the rally in 1996 so im a big fan of the dakar, and the world rally raid series,il do the rally someday


What TV networks are going to be covering this?


Why they choose a man's voice to translate over such a beautiful lady in the 1st video.... : (


Also dont forget the africa race

in holland RTL is also covering this. its basicly dakar without the dakar name/orginisation

Hubert Auriol runs it (tripple dakar winner)


Is Hubert Auriol related to Dider Auriol?


Mitsubishi FTW! (I hope)