Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DAKAR 2010 ARGENTINA-CHILE...Ford Raptor Sold by Metro Ford to Compete!

Metro Ford LM will participate indirectly in the DAKAR 2010 ARGENTINA-CHILE Race that will take place January 1-17. Javier Campillay, a native of Chile, purchased three Ford Raptors from us and will be driving one of them in the race.

The adventure began back in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan desert during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France still in thrall to this landscape and promising himself he would share his fascination with as many people as possible. He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. The founder coined a motto for his inspiration: "A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind." Courtesy of his great conviction and that modicum of madness peculiar to all great ideas, the plan quickly became a reality. Since then, the Paris-Dakar, a unique event sparked by the spirit of adventure, open to all riders and carrying a message of friendship between all men, has never failed to challenge, surprise and excite. Over the course of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories.

In 2009 the 31st edition of the Dakar, the first one in Latin-America, saw the victories of Marc Coma in the bike category, Josef Machacek in the quad category, Giniel De Villiers in the car category and Firdaus Kabirov in the truck category. In total, 113 bikers, 13 quad riders, 91 car teams and 54 truck teams finished the rally-raid, that was notably marked by the exceptional enthusiasm the Dakar generated amongst the crowds in Argentina and in Chile.

The Dakar is about dreams. It also makes use of its stature to develop initiatives to help peoples or territories in difficulty in the countries it visits. In partnership for the past several years with Dakar Actions in promoting environmental awareness in the Sahel, the rally has been collaborating for the past year with the Un Techo Para mi Pais foundation, which provides temporary housing for families struggling to reintegrate into society.

Etienne Lavigne presented the association with a check for $112, 000 during the 2009 edition. These funds financed lodging for 40 families in Chile and another 40 in Argentina. This year, the competitors, most notably the Chileans have joined Un Techo para mi pais in mass. To symbolise their involvement, 14 among them took part last week in a breakfast organised in a slum of Lo Barnecha, 20 kilometres from Santiago du Chile. For Francisco « Chaleco » López, Claudio Rodríguez, Francisco Vial, John McKendrick, Jorge and Juan Pablo Latrach, José Melo, Francisco and Ignacio Casale, Manuel Jamett, Fernando León, Javier Campillay and Rodrigo Andrés Caballero it was another opportunity to lend their support to the association and to relate their passion for the rally to the local children.

For the second consecutive year, the Dakar is welcomed in South America for a challenge of 9000 kilometres leading the riders and crews on the roads, the tracks, the mountains and the deserts of Argentina and Chile. From the 1st to the 17th of January, the competitors will fight it out on 14 stages: the loop to cover, anti-clockwise, will include a thorough visit of the Atacama Desert and its gigantic dunes. The white sand close to Fiambala or the grey one in the area of Nihuil will complete the spread of colours and the variety of difficulties all along the event.

At the end of the registration period, just a few days before the vehicles are welcomed to start the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean on a boat leaving Le Havre, the list of competitors confirms the status of the Dakar: with 184 bikes and quads, 138 cars and 50 trucks, the race remains the most attractive in the world. The expected media coverage, with footage broadcasted in 189 countries provides an outstanding relay for the constructors, the partners and the countries involved. At the moment of launching the celebrations of the bicentenary of its two nations, Argentina and Chile will actually be represented three times more than last year with competitors able to create a surprise.

It’s probably in the bike class, where the field has already been transformed by the new regulation adopted, that a “native” rider could triumph. The Aprilia factory believes just as much in the future of the 450cc bikes than in the chances of Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez. Concerning the French, David Frétigné, 3rd last year on a 450cc Yamaha, or David Casteu who will launch the Sherco brand in the 450cc adventure, intend on being rivals for the winners of the last four editions, Marc Coma and Cyril Despres who will be riding with a bridle limiting the performances of their big cylinder KTMs. The 450cc machines developed by Honda and BMW will also be candidates for a place in the Top 10.

In the car class, the new situation should provide an intense confrontation. With more and more performing vehicles and two top quality recruits, Stéphane Peterhansel and Nani Roma, the BMW X-Raid team will show up with fine arguments against the title holders. The Volkswagen armada including the likes of Giniel De Villiers, Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al Attiyah, are forced to excellence. In the truck race, the Kamaz of Kabirov and Chagin will also have to keep a close eye on ambitious Ales Loprais, in his Czech Tatra truck.