Canadian Rally Race Team "Rally4Life" accepts prestigious invitation from Bowler Offroad to drive factory car in DAKAR 2011
What is the difference between "competing" and "completing" in a race like the DAKAR?
More than simply a letter in the alphabet - as rally duo Mark Jennings-Bates and Mick Extance recently came to find out. The difference is a complete change of focus for their 2011 attempt at the Dakar Rally; now that prestigious "Bowler Offroad" has offered them a factory team vehicle for the race.
"The opportunity of a lifetime" is how driver Jennings-Bates describes recent discussions with the international vehicle manufacturer. "Our co-driver (Extance) has always been keen to convey to Bowler the nature of our campaign and he was confident we could be working with them in some form of relationship."
That relationship is now flourishing with the offer of a factory supported team attempt. "It means our strategy has changed radically to one of competing closer to the front of the pack then we ever envisioned; although the focus naturally remains on finishing", stated Jennings -Bates
Drew Bowler, Founder of Bowler Off-Road is confident that with their factory support the team can achieve a solid finish. "We have known Mick for several years and seen his courage and determination as a motor bike entrant in the DAKAR. Mick's experience along with Bowlers long standing reputation of finishing the event - means this team can push to the finish line."
Jennings-Bates and Extance will be testing the Bowler Nemesis, a 500hp super-charged Dakar vehicle (that has a fearsome reputation) in early July, followed by an appearance with the Bowler Factory Team at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK July 3-5, 2009.
The Rally Team called "Rally4life"; is not only anticipating to be the first Canadian team to finish the DAKAR in a vehicle; they are also raising $4 million or more for two charities (Just A Drop.org and FeViva.org) through their own cause and website at www.rally4life.org. The charitable aspect of their journey plays an equal role of importance for the team.
"We are starting to garner national attention to the philanthropic side of this adventure. We recently partnered with a TV production company and are in the process of developing a two part television documentary with full multi-platform support - that will follow our progress before, during and after the Dakar and air in the United Kingdom and North America" added Jennings- Bates.
The team has also begun scheduling the "Rally4life Road Show" across Canada and the UK, spreading word about their DAKAR attempt and charitable goals through media interviews and speaking appearances.