20 January 2007

You mean riding my home made truck through the desert is a BAD idea?

Unimog U400L n.541 on second stage of the rally-raid Lisbon-Dakar 2006

Admit it. You have watched sports blooper videos. Everyone has done it; there is no shame in admitting it. And there is certainly no shame in laughing. You watch as guy takes a hockey puck to the face and you laugh. Perhaps a group of teenagers do their best 1988 Greg Louganis impression in a game of trampoline basketball, and you have a few more chuckles. As you laugh through one more skit of a parent taking a golf club to the head or a baseball bat to the groin, you're well in to a thundering laugh. Maybe your even crying by this point? Then it all stops. You no longer are laughing but have been literally dumbstruck. Your thoughts no longer linger on how you will avoid peeing your pants, but rather on locating the remote control. What could have brought about such an immediate change in your countenance? Bloopers of rally racing obviously.

Rally racing, for those ignoramuses out there, is much more than Racer X would have you believe. As you search for the remote control to rewind the blooper video, you may want to locate the slow motion button. If you are lucky, in this video you may get a glimpse of panic on the face of the ten guys standing in the field as the Ford Escort Cosworth slams into them at 70 mph after jumping the dip in the road and realizing that they now have to take a hairpin turn or risk veering way off course.

One of rally racing marquee events, the Dakar Rally is currently underway across Europe and Africa. The first thing you need to know about this 7,915 km race, the 2007 version of which goes from Lisbon to Dakar, is that 80% of the entries are from amateurs. Yes 80% of the entries in a race across the Sahara are amateurs. Did I also mention that of the 525 entries, 250 are driving motorcycles? Not surprisingly, the 2007 event has already been marred by the deaths of two competitors. Only a Frenchmen could come up with an idea to stage a motorcycle race through the desert. There is good news however, the race's start line is no longer at Euro Disney. In previous races, drivers were having problems being differentiated from Goofy :)

Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakar_Rally

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6 comments:

Josh said...

Looks like no (North) Americans have ever won the race... or South Americans for that matter.

Maybe we should get a car and enter next year?

Evan said...

I'm sure that there is at least one Dutch family making the race in an RV, determined not to buy anything along the way they have brought all their supplies from Holland. If only we could find them...

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