Flying solo on Dakar

2011-12-28 07:31

Cars competing in the Dakar often have a crew made up of a pilot and a co-pilot, but there are a handful of adventurers who decide to face the challenge on their own. They are, in a sense, pioneers in a new way of living the rally raid adventure…

They want to face the desert alone, but have decided to rule out the bike or quad. This small group of pilots has decided to take up the challenge of riding solo in the car category and will therefore have to do without the navigation support and conversation of a co-pilot.

Italian driver Eduardo Mossi and Spaniard Ignacio Corcuera are among this group of loners. Corcuera is a first timer in the Dakar but has broad experience driving solo in improvised raids: "When I participated in the Rally of the Pharaohs, for example, I drove alone from Bilbao to Egypt and then returned home by my own means”.


In a completely different style, the starting line also welcomes other kinds of vehicles, among them single-seat buggies, which feature minimal structure with a favorable power to weight ratio. The first of these vehicles appeared some years ago and their childhood flaws caused premature dropouts.

However, Tim Coronel, the best ambassador of this subcategory, has an immaculate record behind the wheel of his McRae buggy, with which he clinched the 34th position last year. "This year my goal is to finish in the Top 20”, the Dutchman warned.

His rival could be former Moto GP driver Jurgen Van den Goorbergh in another buggy that aims for no less: "Unless we have major problems, we should be able to finish in the Top 20”.

The Xtreme Plus team, a bit less ambitious in terms of ranking, intends to develop a buggy that is less costly and attracts bikers willing to go for a four-wheel vehicle that is both affordable and reliable. Willy Alcaraz, who boasts 20 participations in the Dakar, will challenge solo drivers in the road towards Lima behind the wheel of his Polaris RZR 900.