Originally Posted by KustomizingKid
I must just come from a different world than some of these posters... I can't even fathom spending as much as the house I grew up in on one race.
I worried that my transparent approach to explaining the true costs would perhaps elicit this kind of post. I agree that it's crazy amounts of money, but there is so much interest about Dakar on ADVRIDER that I thought I could help shed some light on the true costs.
One thing to keep in mind is that the race gets such great media exposure that it is actually pretty easy to get a large part of the race sponsored. Look at Patrick Beaule or Pyndon - in Pat's case, he covered 70% of his budget with sponsorship/support. I bet Pyndon did very well as well. So the numbers I'm quoting are the total budget but not the total spend.
You mention that it's one race, but in fact it's 70 hours of racing (typical day is 4 hrs of liason and 6 hrs of racing, x 14, with 2 easy days on day 1 and 14). When I raced hare scrambles, it was a 2 hr race, so it would take 4 seasons of racing to do the same amount of hours. So in a crazy way, it really is the "race of a lifetime".
I respect what you wrote and I have to tell you that I feel very fortunate to be able to afford to be there. When you drive through the poorer parts of SA, that feeling is even stronger, to the point of feeling guilt about it (i.e. "hmmm...what if all the $$ being spent on this race went to fixing up this village/city"). But in the end, men are men because we have crazy dreams and we push ourselves to achieve what doesn't seem possible.