Madness in the Desert – Paris Dakar Rally BBC Documentary
This amazing BBC documentary tells the story of the legendary Paris Dakar Rally. From the humble beginnings of the endurance event created by French motorcycle racer Thierry Sabine, to the dangerous and ultimate demise of the legendary rally that races from the French Capital of Paris through the wild and ultimately war torn Western Sahara and finishes in the capital of Senegal, Dakar.
In 1977 Dakar Rally creator Thierry Sabine got lost in the Ténéré Desert whilst competing in the Abidjan-Nice Race. During his time lost he decided that it would be the ideal location for a new kind of rally, one that any amateur racer could enter. A rally that would cross the entire Western Sahara region and come to a thrilling end in Dakar.
Becoming arguably the biggest and most lethal motorsport event in the world, the Paris-Dakar or simply ‘The Dakar’ as it is now known still continues to this day, however for the last few years it has been hosted in South America due to terrorist threats that the organisers received back in 2008.
I have been lucky enough to see a checkpoint of the Dakar Rally some 15 years ago when I was in Granada, Spain when the Rally was still from Paris to Dakar. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it or probably will again when the teams came rolling into a traditional Spanish city in desert thrashing 4×4’s and twin engined support trucks. Peering through the open window of a Dakar 4×4 parked outside a McDonalds restaurant where the driver and co-drivers grabbed their last bit of western food for a couple of weeks at the equipment and engineering, got me hooked on this race and I still have a massive fascination and respect for it now. Is it a pipe dream to want to enter one day?