The Dakar is a non-stop rally car race that takes place in the Southern African continent between May and September every year. The Dakar rally, previously known as Paris-Dakar Rally, has become one of the world's most renowned off-road rallies and it is also among the toughest endurance races available for those who wish to participate.
The main reason for this is the sheer difficulty level and the number of competitors that are available. There is a minimum requirement for participants but the number of participants at the Paris-Dakar Rally is close to 600 and climbing. The course is located in the desert near the town of Rakonda and there are numerous checkpoints along the way that you need to pass before you reach the finish line. The overall course length is around 595 kilometers long and the total mileage is close to ten thousand kilometers!
The race involves four teams: two each of Mitsubishi rally cars and Ford Escorts. These cars are accompanied by several trucks and trailers as well as all sorts of other equipment such as water, food, and fuel. They are driven by rally driver's and their drivers compete in a very high level rally driving competition, with the objective of making it to the finish line in the fastest possible time.
The race is organized by the government of the Republic of Namibia, the country where the Dakar rally was first held. The main organizers are a company that is called Paris Dakar MRT. This company has a dedicated team of professionals who have a great deal of experience in organizing these kinds of competitive events. These professionals are backed by a large group of participants and sponsors who have donated millions of dollars to help make the Paris-Dakar rally what it is today.
The competition consists mainly of Mitsubishi cars, which makes it more difficult for Mitsubishi drivers to score points and make it to the top of the podium than Ford Escorts and other Ford vehicles competing in the rally. Although this might seem like a disadvantage for Mitsubishi, the fact that they are only able to bring one vehicle along as opposed to five means that they have an advantage over other teams, allowing them more flexibility in the strategy.
The race starts and finishes in the city of Paris-Dakar, but the organizers prefer to call this area the “Lap of Champions.” The course follows the southern edge of this beautiful city, until it reaches the edge of the Sahara Desert of Morocco. Once the route is complete, the cars travel down the desert towards the city of Ouarzazate. Finally the rally car drivers travel towards Nasser el Kefra before heading back towards the finish line.