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Let’s go Sand Surfing!

From 29 December to 15 January the Amaury Sport Organisation and the French ASN, (the FFSA) ran the third Dakar Classic alongside the 45th Dakar cross-country rally, in Saudi Arabia for the fourth time.  Eighty-eight classics from the bygone days of the event took the start in an overall field of 355 vehicles, which included bikes, quads, cars, trucks and buggies, starting from a new bivouac on the Red Sea coast and heading deep into the Arabian Desert.

Gian Enrico Dutschler and Emanuele Soriano (Nissan Terrano) and Jaap Bolk and Marcel Van Wort (Mitsubishi Pajero) tackle the dunes on day 1. The latter pair experimented with biofuel this year with the ambition to run a carbon neutral Dakar

From the start some names from the 2022 event were on the leaderboard, with Jerome and Anne Galpin starting out strong in their ex-Thierry Saby Protruck.  Signing an almost perfect score in the first regularity test, the couple, who are the NASCAR importers for Europe in real life, remained amongst the top performers throughout the 13 days of competition despite the stiff opposition.

Sea Camp, the starting place for all this madness, on the Red Sea coast.

Spanish team of Fernando Naverrete Perdices and son-in-law Cristobal Mora Reinosa entered the Dakar to fulfil the former’s childhood dream, and after success in the Panda Raid for the latter

 In the dune test, one of the novelties of this edition, the 4×4 number 700 Toyota HDJ80 of title holders Serge Mogno and Florent Drulhon made a perfect route to rally all the way-points placed in the dunes, while another couple, Christophe and Corinne Berteloot, joined the party in third place before displaying their form with a win in the final regularity section in their similar Toyota. In the end, all the award winners were driving the same model of car.

Husband and wife winning team of Juan Morera and Lidia Ruba and their Toyota.

For a full report of this and other events, see our March 2023 issue – also available in digital format

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.