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?