The idea behind the Dakar Challenge is to get drivers who have never taken part in the Dakar and/or have never placed within the top 10 overall results of any round of the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship to compete - with all main expenses covered - in the 2013 Dakar. This year's Australasian Safari is one of the events, but unfortunately for car drivers, the Dakar Challenge component of the Safari is only open to motorcycle competitors.
To be in the running for the Dakar Challenge, you first have to have the relevant car licence, register for one of the two events that are open to the car category, and most importantly, sign up for the 'Dakar Challenge' as part of the event. There's no additional fee to sign up for the Dakar Challenge, and no change to the event's normal registration closing date. If you complete the event as the top-placed Dakar Challenge participant, and finish within the top 70% of the best Car drivers in the general rankings, you'll win your entry into the 2013 Dakar.
The winner will not only receive free entry to the Dakar, but will also receive event insurance, return sea transport for their vehicle (Europe to South America return only), GPS and safety gear hire, and catering at all bivouacs. The winner will have to provide their own race vehicle, driving gear, camping gear, etc., and will be responsible for their personal travel costs to and from South America, plus non-bivouac accommodation, subsistence, and assistance crew (if selected).
There are very specific terms and conditions for putting your name down for the Dakar Challenge, so interested parties are advised to check the full details at www.dakar.com where there is a downloadable regulations sheet.
Only one winner from each of the four events selected for this year's Dakar Challenge will win the chance of a lifetime to compete in the 2013 Dakar. For car drivers, the first opportunity will take place between 23rd and 25th June for amateur car drivers participating in the 'Toyota 1000 Race Desert' in Botswana. The second car crew will be chosen from the Pharaohs Rally in Egypt, while the 'Taklimakan Rally' in China and Australasian Safari, both in September, are where the two motorcycle riders will be chosen.
Dakar Challenge labelled events:
23rd to 25th June 2012: Toyota 1000 Race Desert (Botswana) / Open to the car category only
(TBC) September 2012: Taklimakan Rally (China) / Open to the bike category only
21st to 29th September 2012: Australasian Safari (Australia) / Open to the bike category only
29th September to 6th October 2012: Pharaohs Rally (Egypt) / Open to the car category only
Entry conditions: to never have participated in the Dakar, nor to have finished in the top 10 of an FIM (bikes) all-terrain rally, nor to have featured on the FIA (cars) list of priority drivers.
Full entry requirements and further details can be found at www.dakar.com