Dang with all this speak of rally in Baja I totally missed this:
A PANAMERICAN DAKAR CHALLENGE
The Dakar Challenge is building on its success in South America, where it is present through the Desafío Ruta 40, by spreading its wings to the North American circuit with a double event. The plans were explained in detail this weekend to the drivers of the Baja 250 (USA), who were thrilled by the prospect of earning a place at the Dakar.
The Dakar Challenge
has a keen eye for spotting new talents capable of shining in the world reference of off-road rallies, which could be hiding in any of the many countries with a motor sports culture. Just like South Africa and Australia, the United States are one of the countries whose terrains are perfect for off-road racing, a format which attracts many drivers and riders who have a special connection with the world of the Dakar. This is why the Baja 250 in San Felipe hosted the unveiling of the Dakar Challenge calendar last weekend, including a double event in the US circuit. For several years now, the cars racing on these tracks, especially in the SCORE category, have been allowed to take part in the Dakar. Roger Norman, the man in charge of the HDRA and SCORE INTERNATIONAL championships, agreed to make two of his major events part of the Dakar Challenge. The results at the Baja 500 (Mexico) and the Reno 500 (USA) will be combined to give two pilots (a car driver and a motorcycle rider) who meet the criteria a place at the 2014 Dakar.
The principle of selecting two vehicles in each of the various legs of the Dakar Challenge
will also apply to the other events organised this year. Therefore, at least eight up-and-coming drivers and riders will be on the start line of the Dakar next January, ready to spring a surprise.
The legs of the Dakar Challenge
May 31 – June 2: Tecate SCORE Baja 500 (Mexico)
June 15–22: Desafío Ruta 40 (Argentina)
June 20–23: Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race (Botswana)
July 12–14: Reno 500 (USA) September
20–27: Australasian Safari (Australia)
Backed by its success in 2012, and the performance of its winners on the 2013 Dakar, the Dakar Challenge once again moves to a higher gear, with a selection extended to 5 events, now for 8 crowns.
The Challenge will be contested on three continents: the Americas: North and South, Africa and Oceania. At the departure of the 2014 Dakar, there will be two representatives for each event: one on motorbikes and one in cars.
The all-terrain rallies that are contested throughout the season will bring together enthusiasts from all countries and all directions. Often amateurs, these drivers sometimes reveal talent that cries out to be expressed against the best competitors in the discipline. It is precisely to give the most promising of them the opportunity to shine on the reference event that the Dakar Challenge was designed and created. Three rallies and two Bajas will support this broad initiative to detect the virtuosos of the handlebars and steering wheel. At each of them, the least experienced competitors (*) may register for the Dakar Challenge. At the end of the races, the best in the general classification will win registration for the 2014 Dakar.
Eight vehicles will therefore depart on the Dakar after having been successful in the Dakar Challenge. The first meeting is fixed from 31 May to 2 June in Ensenada (Mexico) on the prestigious Baja 500 where the competitors will obtain a half-pass to be confirmed in July in Nevada. All the great North American names of the Dakar are already amongst the best performers in the prestigious Baja: Johnny Campbell, Quinn Cody, Jonah Street and Robby Gordon, … to mention only the winners…
The timetable of Dakar Challenge events:
- From 31 May to 2 June 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 1: Baja 500**
- From 15 to 22 June 2013: Desafío Ruta 40 - Dakar Series
- From 20 to 23 June 2013: Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race
- From 12 to 14 July 2013: Dakar Challenge USA 2: Reno 500**
- From 20 to 27 September 2013: Australasian Safari
suddenly my race plans for 2013 have had a major shift...