Game on as Dakar start nears
MOST GRUELLING RACE: Competitors and spectators are getting ready for the start of the Dakar on January 5, 2013.
The 2013 'Dakar' rally will use a new course stretching from Lima, the capital of Peru, to Santiago in Chile. The 35th race will set off from the Pacific coast in Lima for the first time in its history.
Spectators and competitors are in for an exciting ride as Peru's geography means drivers and crews will face giant dunes at the start of the race. Chile will set the stage for the first duel in the desert and, after crossing the Andes, Argentina will test contenders' stamina with gruelling stages.
Stay with Wheels24 for full coverage of the Dakar Rally which starts on January 5, 2013. We'll have daily reports and images.
Close focus will be on the quads section because of the growing interest in it. The unique sensations they provide and the traditional culture of cross-country racing in South America, has helped the quad category flourish ever since the Dakar first came to this continent in 2009
Two competitors representing South Africa will try their luck on the tough desert challenge. Six drivers - two of them South Africans who will compete in the car and motorcycle classes - and their crews are given the opportunity to try their luck and compete with the best in the world.
The Mini dream team is preparing to prove that dynamite comes in small packages, Stéphane Peterhansel, Joan “Nani” Roma and Krzysztof Holowczyc - Mini's "dream team" contenders for the 2013 Dakar title. The three leaders of the X-Raid team will have to face a number of hurdles in 2013, however, including new regulations
Meanwhile, the boys with big toys are getting ready to put their names in the record books. As the clear trucks winner of Dakar 2012, Gerard de Rooy embraced the challenge of confirming the domination of Iveco trucks. The Dutch team will have to manage the new generation of Kamaz pilots, which still has little experience of major events.
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The 9500km haul through Argentina and Chile was the longest, highest and toughest Dakar yet. Among the survivors were Toyota South Africa's Giniel de Villiers, Dirk von Zitzewitz, Leeroy Poulter, Rob Howie and privateers Thomas Rundle and Juan Mohr.
Giniel de Villiers was not the only South African to make waves at the 2014 Dakar, truck driver Albert Geel was co-driver in the fastest truck running in the grueling rally.