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get good coverage from Red Bull tv app,also the Dakar web site.Can Am has many cars entered this year.the sxs class is very exciting! looks like it's going to be a great race this year.
 

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here is the article:

Hordes of motorcycles, cars and trucks rumble across the desert, launching themselves over sand dunes, careening through dry washes and bouncing over stone roads. Drivers struggle to maintain control while navigating this wasteland with a map and compass.

“Rally raids” aren’t exactly left-turn racing on a paved oval. Picture a real-life version of “The Road Warrior,” then add some crucial mathematics.

And that’s what Casey Currie loves.

“You have no idea where you’re going … you have to figure it out,” Currie says. “Things can go wrong. You can drive off a cliff.”
Hordes of motorcycles, cars and trucks rumble across the desert, launching themselves over sand dunes, careening through dry washes and bouncing over stone roads. Drivers struggle to maintain control while navigating this wasteland with a map and compass.

“Rally raids” aren’t exactly left-turn racing on a paved oval. Picture a real-life version of “The Road Warrior,” then add some crucial mathematics.

And that’s what Casey Currie loves.

“You have no idea where you’re going … you have to figure it out,” Currie says. “Things can go wrong. You can drive off a cliff.”
The 36-year-old Corona man has devoted his life to off-road racing. Now he has a chance to make history in the renowned Dakar Rally.

More than 350 vehicles are expected to leave the starting line in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, embarking on a course that traverses 4,881 miles in 12 daily stages, beginning at the Red Sea and looping eastward toward the Persian Gulf.

“This is one of the biggest tests of man and machine on the planet,” says Parker Kligerman, a NASCAR veteran who will anchor NBC Sports Network’s coverage beginning Monday. “It’s incredibly complex.”

The Dakar Rally is also controversial.

Scores of racers, crew and spectators have died in its 40-year history. There are environmental concerns and political issues, with the event taking place for the first time in a country that has drawn global scorn. Currie chooses to focus on the finish line.
“No American has ever won it,” he says. “The challenge is there.”
His grandfather was an off-road racer. So was his father. For 60 years, his family has run a business that manufactures drive-train components.

So it makes sense that Currie took to riding dirt bikes at 5, then transitioned to jeeps as a teenager. As a student at Cal State Fullerton, he found time to race trucks for Nissan and, eventually, formed his own team.

“Definitely skipped the party days,” he says. “I was too busy trying to run a business on a shoestring budget.”

The unpredictable nature of off-road racing — varying surfaces, changing weather, navigational challenges — appealed to him. “Every sand dune is different,” he says.

His resume grew to include two-seat, high-tech dune buggies in the side-by-side vehicle, or SSV, class. After victories at the Baja 1000, Rallye du Maroc, Mint 400 and Winter X Games, he set his sights on a bigger prize.
Preparing for the Dakar Rally can take months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Currie made his first attempt last year, when the event was held in South America.

Entered in the SSV class, he hired a Spaniard to ride beside him as navigator. His partner spoke only broken English and they got lost on several stages, wasting precious hours circling back, trying to find their bearings.

“A lot of navigation issues,” he recalls. “I mean, it was frustrating.”

But a fourth-place finish earned Currie the award for best rookie and encouraged him to try again. In a race that historically has had few American participants, he will compete alongside talented U.S. racers such as Bobby Patton in the car class and motorcycle riders Ricky Brabec and Andrew Short.
It was 1977 when a Frenchman named Thierry Sabine got lost while riding his motorcycle in the Libyan desert. The stark, arid landscape inspired him.

The event he created the following year drew nearly 200 racers. The Paris-Dakar Rally, as it was previously called, was named for a course that stretched from France to the capital city of Senegal.

In rally raids, drivers leave the starting line at staggered times, navigating by way of a daily “road book” that contains instructions bordering on cryptic. They must follow a compass heading for an exact number of kilometers, then turn to another heading for another stretch, and so on.
No road signs. Sporadic landmarks. No GPS devices allowed. Racers often must steer around obstacles and zigzag through valleys, finding their way back on course while accounting for the additional distance.

Periodic checkpoints offer some help: If drivers reach the correct spot, they receive a signal from computerized gear on their vehicle. If not, they must often retrace their routes.

“You could be going the right way and people are going the opposite way because they’re lost,” Currie says. “But you don’t really know if they’re lost or you are.”

The hard work continues after dark as crew members scramble to repair battered machinery, trying to keep their teams alive in a rally where, on a given year, one-third to three-quarters of competitors drop out before the finish.

“To win it, so often the racers talk about mixing those times when you go for speed and those times when you have to restrict yourself because the terrain is too grueling, too much risk,” Kligerman says. “It’s not just a sprint … the cunning riders and drivers will give up certain stages to make sure their bike or car survives for the next day.”
Road books for each stage are handed out the night before, affording little time to study. That only adds to the mystery.

“I think all the riders love to discover new deserts, new places,” Spanish motorcycle rider Laia Sanz says, adding that the 2020 venue “can go back to the origins a little bit.”
The Black Year. That is how organizers refer to 1986, when founder Sabine and four others perished in a helicopter crash while surveying the course.

Death has always been part of the Dakar Rally.

Twenty-eight competitors have been killed since 1978, according to various media accounts. Even more troubling, dozens of spectators and residents have been struck along the course. In 2006, a later stage was canceled after two boys died in separate incidents.

“The Paris-Dakar, a race which many classify as a sporting event, in reality has very little to do with healthy competition,” the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano wrote. “The trail of blood grows longer from year to year.”

Environmental concerns, raised by Greenpeace and others, center on damage wrought by all those vehicles tearing across the wilderness and, in one case, allegedly damaging an archaeological site.
Politics entered the mix in 2008, when organizers had to cancel at the last moment because of terrorist threats along the route in Mauritania. They shifted to South America for 11 years, then decided to move again this winter.

“The choice we made … was not an easy one,” rally executive Yann Le Moenner said at a recent news conference.

Human Rights Watch and other groups have accused Saudi Arabia of “sports washing,” hosting boxing and golf championships to rehabilitate its global image. The kingdom, which has been criticized for an array of human rights violations, including the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, recently signed a five-year deal with Dakar organizers.
“More than a dozen women drivers will take part in the Dakar Rally while Saudi women activists languish in jail for promoting the right to drive,” Ines Osman, director of the MENA Rights Group, said in a statement. “Saudi Arabia should not get a free lane because it is hosting a prominent sporting event.”

Currie is aware of the criticism and has worried about his safety in the Middle East, where recent events in Iraq have heightened tensions. His decision to compete boiled down to a single thought.

“For me, this race is the one,” he says. “If I don’t compete in Saudi Arabia, then I’m not competing at all.”
The holidays were busy, devoted to testing and fine-tuning his Can-Am racing vehicle, fussing over the clutch and shocks and tire pressure. Physical fitness was also crucial.

“Obviously you’re going to the gym,” Currie said.

Dakar forced him to do even more, working with a specialist to improve his map-reading and strategic skills. More than anything, 12 days of hard driving will force him to keep his cool.

“I grew up racing one-day events where, if you have a bad day, you can get frustrated and lose your temper and go home,” he says. “Now I have to control myself.”

Limiting the damage on bad days and rebounding the next morning will be key. Currie hopes that new American co-driver Sean Berriman — “someone who speaks English” — will make a difference.
Arriving in Saudi Arabia last week, he made it through Thursday’s “scrutineering,” as race officials checked to be sure his vehicle met technical standards. On Friday, Currie and other competitors were allowed a brief “shakedown,” driving a portion of land outside the city of Jeddah.

The dirt roads and dunes gave them a sample of things to come. Just enough to get excited about.

“There’s so much desert and terrain,” he says. “It’s really the perfect opportunity to race.”
 

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That was a good read, thanks for posting that. I look forward to keeping tabs on this race
 

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Going to be a fun race to track. UTV class should get lots of coverage this year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Free app for I Pad/I Phone Dakar 2020 gives all stats on everything daily.
 

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casey was second in first stage, 6th in 2nd stage, still 2nd overall. can am has 5 in top 10.
 

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daka rally getting ready to start and one of top contenders is an American in can am: https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2020-01-04/ I can't believe GPS not allowed!
The vehicles don't have a GPS in the way that we normally use one, with maps & tracks, but they do actually have one; the difference is that theirs only shows the heading that they are on. Once they get within 1 km of the virtual checkpoint an arrow appears on the screen and directs them to the checkpoint. They get a verification and it then gives them another arrow and the next heading before it shuts off and just shows the heading again. The mystique and challenge of the Dakar is navigation. In the past teams were given the Road Book the day before the stage and had a 'Map-man' that would use google earth or other means to find different, faster, routes that still allowed the driver to hit the way-points and checkpoints. This year there are extra rules about having additional notes, maps, etc and they are even taking away cell/satellite phones from the competitors before each stage. On six of the stages the bike/quad guys get their tulip notes/road book 25 minutes before the start of the stage and the cars/trucks/ssv classes are handed the road book just before they take the start.

Here's is a fun "About Dakar" video 10000000_811840972594567_3158876492620890112_n.mp4 (hopefully this works)
 

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I was puzzled about gps because I first heard no gps and then nbcsn said the rally cars have them
 

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This years Dakar has been great so far. I love that they get the road books right before. Had Andrew Short not had that issue with his roadbook holder that cost him a huge penalty I think he would easily be contenting for a podium in the bikes.
 
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This years Dakar has been great so far. I love that they get the road books right before. Had Andrew Short not had that issue with his roadbook holder that cost him a huge penalty I think he would easily be contenting for a podium in the bikes.
Yeah, Shorty has had a tough first week, crashes during the shakedown and then on most of the other stages too; the worst being on the super-marathon stage where he ruined his navigation tower. They only had 10 minutes to do any prep for the next day and couldn't get any outside assistance, not even from other riders. They allowed him to repair the tower the next morning because it wouldn't be safe for him to ride without the road book, he was penalized 30 minutes plus he had to do the repairs while on the clock, so he lost about an hour. He had a good ride yesterday in stage five and crashed again about 3 km from the finish. Shorty is great in the dunes and I was looking forward to seeing him run toward the front and maybe make up some time, but while doing so today he stopped and gave up his rear wheel/tire to Toby Price who is still in contention and then ran 170 km on the rim to finish the stage and the liaison.
 

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Yeah, Shorty has had a tough first week, crashes during the shakedown and then on most of the other stages too; the worst being on the super-marathon stage where he ruined his navigation tower. They only had 10 minutes to do any prep for the next day and couldn't get any outside assistance, not even from other riders. They allowed him to repair the tower the next morning because it wouldn't be safe for him to ride without the road book, he was penalized 30 minutes plus he had to do the repairs while on the clock, so he lost about an hour. He had a good ride yesterday in stage five and crashed again about 3 km from the finish. Shorty is great in the dunes and I was looking forward to seeing him run toward the front and maybe make up some time, but while doing so today he stopped and gave up his rear wheel/tire to Toby Price who is still in contention and then ran 170 km on the rim to finish the stage and the liaison.
I saw that he stopped to help out Price. Pretty cool how the racers will help each other out. What also cool to see the top 4 or 5 all running together. The bike racing has been awesome so far.

UTV racing has been interesting as well. Guthrie is doing really well for his first Dakar. I think Currie is going to pull off the win, which would be incredible. Poor Blade and Cyril had some bad luck.
 
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