Motorsport barely has an ‘off season’ these days. The FIA Prizegiving seems to run straight into the Monte, Formula e and Grand Prix car launches. In years – decades – past the off season was punctuated, post-Christmas by the most magical of races – the Dakar Rally. I will really miss it this year.
“But wait!” I hear you exclaim, “The Dakar is running this year, it’s in Saudi Arabia.”. That’s as maybe – ‘The Dakar’ is a fantastically organised & supported event – but after it moved to South America in 2009 it lost some of it’s soul… in my opinion. Perhaps the rebirth should have come with a new name?
In its place – in the spirit of Thierry Sabine and those epic races to Senegal – rose the Africa Eco Race. A secure, responsible, eco-aware reimagining of the great race by multiple winners Jean-Louis Schlesser & René Metge. Working in close collaboration with Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal, the spirit & route of the original Dakar rally was regained and combined with social & ecological projects.
Africa Eco Race – Eco & Solidarity: https://www.africarace.com/en/node/121
The plan for the January 2021 Africa Eco Race was to be an event held entirely within Senegal, but Covid considerations eventually put paid to even these limited plans. But, I have an idea. Check out this video of the 2020 event, put an asterix in your diary for January 2022, and together we can enjoy celebrating the real – the only – race to Dakar.