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