SAN DIEGO—A car/truck racer and a motorcycle/ATV racer from two upcoming major desert races in the U.S. and Mexico will earn free entries by way of the Dakar Challenge 2013 into the 2014 Dakar Rally, it was announced officially today by Roger Norman, owner of both the SCORE International and the High Desert Racing Association desert racing organizations.
The fastest qualified driver and rider in the Dakar Challenge 2013 will receive the corresponding free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally from combined finishes at the 45th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico (May 30-June 2) and the 2nd annual Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 (July 12-14).
Officially announced jointly at the pre-race racer’s meeting at the recent 27th annual MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 by SCORE and A.S.O (Dakar organizing group), the special competition is open to all SCORE classes except 1/2-1600 and 5/1600 and racers who have not previously been a competitor in the Dakar Rally, even as a crew member.
“The Dakar Challenge has been initiated to help provide a wonderful new opportunity for talented up-and-coming SCORE and HDRA racers the possibility of competing in one of the most popular motorsports events in the world,” said Norman, a former champion racer who is in his first season as owner of the iconic SCORE International, producers of the world’s foremost desert racing series.
The two North American desert races will join the Dakar Challenge project and involves three other rallies on three continents for a total of four car/truck and four motorcycle/ATV entries who earn the entry package into the next Dakar Rally. They are the first races in North America to be part of the Dakar Challenge.
The Dakar Rally, originally known as the Paris to Dakar Rally is an annual rally raid type of off-road race, organized by Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris to Dakar, Senegal. The rally has been run in South America since 2009. The 2013 Dakar Rally started in Peru and finished in Chile while going through Argentina. The race is open to amateur and professional entries.
After making a unique presentation to the racers in San Felipe, Xavier Gavory, A.S.O. Head of Competitions Department-Sporting Coordinator, commented, “The Dakar Challenge is a significant link between desert racing around the world and the Dakar Rally. This is a broad initiative to detect emerging virtuosos of the handlebars and steering wheel and allow them the opportunity to quickly expand their racing resumes beyond, in this specific case, the SCORE and HDRA racing series. This cooperative adventure will provide significant exposure for the participants as well as the Dakar, SCORE and HDRA.”
The timetable of Dakar Challenge 2013 events:
-May 31-June 2, 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 1: Tecate SCORE Baja 500**
-June 15-22, 2013: Desafio Ruta 40 – Dakar Series
-June 20-23, 2013: Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race
-July 12-14, 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 2: Eldorado HDRA Reno 500**
-Sept. 20-27, 2013: Australasian Safari
Participant eligibility: Never having participated in the Dakar Rally, or finished among the top 10 in an FIM all-terrain rally (motorcycles), not having been in the list of FIA priority drivers (cars/trucks) and/or the Elite A.S.O. lists.
**The SCORE and HDRA races lead to a common general classicifcation and a single winner per category (one for motorcycles, one for cars/trucks)
Regulations and other information on Dakar Challenge 2013 are available at http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/dakar-challenge.html.
The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance race, called a rally raid rather than a conventional rally – the terrain the competitors traverse is traditionally much tougher, the race being split into separate daily stages with bivouacs spread throughout the course.
Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, open desert and rocks among others.
Covering a racing distance of over 3,000 miles over a two-week period, among the SCORE stars who have participated in the Dakar Rally include Robby Gordon, Larry Ragland, Mark Miller, B.J. Baldwin, Daniel McMillin and Andy Grider in car/trucks along with Johnny Campbell, Kurt Caselli, Quinn Cody, Jonah Street and Chris Blais in motorcycles/ATVs.
The 2013 Dakar Rally was the 34th running of the event and the fifth successive year that the event was held in South America. The event started in Lima, Peru on January 5 and finished in Santiago, Chile on January 19 after fourteen stages of competition. 448 vehicles in four classes of competition started the event, which comprised a total distance of over 5,000 miles. The motorcycle category was won by French rider Cyril Despres for a fifth time, riding a KTM; Marcos Patronelli (Argentina) took his second win in the quad competition riding a Yamaha; Stéphane Peterhansel (France) captured his eleventh overall Dakar victory (fifth in the car category) alongside co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret at the wheel of a Mini; and Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev’s maiden victory re-captured the truck category title for Kamaz.
For more information, visit www.score-international.com.