One of the most notorious races in the world of automobile sports is called The Dakar. This race is a test of skill and endurance. Although entrance to this competition is open to anyone, only a select few will ever complete it.
This first version of this race took place in December 1977. At the starting line in Paris, 187 vehicles waited to begin their arduous journey through the desserts towards the ending point in Dakar, Senegal. Only 74 cars would survive that first 6,200-mile race, facing some of the roughest terrains in the world. These drivers had to navigate their way through sand dunes, across mudflats, and over surfaces like camel grass, rocks, and gravel. This was one of the toughest tracks that these drivers had ever encountered.
The extreme challenge of this track meant that people would continue to return year after year to find out if they had what it takes to make it to the finish line. By the mid-2000s this race had become so popular that up to 700 vehicles would enter the competition. This led to certain concerns for the safety of the participants. There was a constant threat of terrorist attacks in Mauritania, one of the countries that the race passed through. It was then decided that the location would need to be changed if it had any chance of surviving. In 2009, 501 vehicles entered the first ever Dakar race to be hosted in South America.
Currently, there are five different competitive classes that are allowed to enter this off-road race. These categories are motorcycles, quad bikes, cars, trucks, and UTVs. However, cars are definitely the most popular of all of the different classes. This category consists of cars that weigh less than 7 716 pounds. These cars are then divided into seven sub-categories. The sub-categories range between cars that are powered by petrol or by diesel. They also separate light and heavy vehicles, as well as their drive type.
In general, cars that were manufactured by Mitsubishi have been the most successful in this race. Cars that are also known for their ability to perform well on this race track are Volkswagen, Citroen, Porsche, and Peugeot. The car that these experts drive is not the only thing that determines their success. It also takes a little luck and a lot of hard work and determination to be able to survive this gruelling competition.