“Classic broken routes, but also big unknowns,” says Josef Macháček
Despite the next Dakar Rally does not start until January 2nd, 2022, the organisers have already let participants and others to have a first look at the new route for the longest and the most challenging rally raid competition in the world. And the current light prototypes category winner Josef Macháček (Can-Am DV 21) is happy.
The organisers are trying. Comparing to the previous two events, this time, we’ll be racing through unknown areas next to the UAE border. Originally, we were supposed to have one stage there two years ago, but they cancelled it in the end. But once we get to Riyadh, it’s going back to normal, with lots of rocks and riverbeds….
And lots of preliminary retirements…
You could say that. This time, the organisers have shortened crossovers, where not much happens anyway. But rocks and riverbeds are tricky, with difficult navigation. Stéphane Peterhansel could tell stories about that. Back in 2003, when the rally was ending in Sharm El Sheikh, he lost a wheel just before the end and he lost a victory.
It looks like there will not be as many dunes as before?
Rocks are much worse. Dunes are easier these days, you can’t get lose and they don’t require complicated navigation. Also, you won’t come across a really long and high dune anymore. Sure, you can make an error and get stuck, but that’s all.
But the mechanics are not going to be too happy?
It’s all about speed. If anybody wants to go through rocks or riverbeds with 120 kph, they have to have equipment for that. That’s why I and David have placed our best to reliability for Dakar 2021. And since I’ve won, it was a good strategy. Now, we aim to work on the speed as well.