Changes made to 2010 technical regulations

2010 Regulations: talent first This year, the organisers of the Dakar have decided to balance the sporting aspect by changing the technical regulations in the car and bike classes. Some petrol vehicles will benefit from an aid that will allow...

2010 Regulations: talent first

This year, the organisers of the Dakar have decided to balance the sporting aspect by changing the technical regulations in the car and bike classes. Some petrol vehicles will benefit from an aid that will allow them to reduce the gap that grew with the diesel technologies that have been dominating the debates. On two wheels, the decision to build for the 2011 horizon a field only for bikes of maximum 450cc will allow to level all bikers. This measure will partly be effective for 2010.

Bikes: on equal terms

For several years, more and more of the top bikers have won specials or finished in the leading ten overall positions using under 450cc bikes. At the same time, the smaller capacity machines have been more and more present, representing 40% of the registered riders at the start of the 2009 Dakar. Financially more accessible and more reliable than the older bikes of the previous generations and now more adapted to the demands of off-road rallies, the 450cc still have a deficit in performance that prevent them from reaching even higher ambitions. This difference will be totally erased for the 2011 Dakar during which only bikes with engines under 450cc will be accepted.

A restrictor in 2010 for the amateurs over 450cc: In order to reach this objective of levelness between competitors that will open the number of potential victory contenders, a transition measure has been taken for the 2010 Dakar. Aware of the important number of competitors already having bikes of over 450cc, the organisers have decided to accept them for this edition with the obligation to set up a restrictor reducing the power of the engine. This restrictor, conceived to limit the performance to the level of the 450cc, will be provided by the rally organisation. On equal terms, the champions will battle it out using the qualities that define the discipline: physical endurance, piloting, navigation.

Autos: A helping hand for the "petrols"

The vehicles propelled by a turbo diesel engine have taken an advantage over their rivals, and have notably built an important gap on most of the amateur crews that take on the rally. In order to reduce this margin and allow the most competitive of the lot to be part of the battle in front, the crews that have an atmospheric petrol engine (over 2 air valve/cylinder) will be authorised to increase the size of the air arrival restrictor, from 32mm to 34mm.

The regulation for the turbo diesel engines remains unchanged. The professional teams registered or supported by a constructor will be submitted to the current T1 regulation (art 6P3).

David Castera: "The restrictors will be delivered in September"

For the 2011 event, only bikes with engines below 450cc will be allowed to compete, but drivers owning KTMs more powerful than this can still, of course, enter in 2010 -- on condition that a restrictor is installed. David Castera answers the various questions being asked by the competitors in question.

Why is this regulation limiting the engine to 450cc being introduced?

We all want a competition in which real contenders are more numerous, and in which the drivers are competing with similar machines in their hands. In order to achieve this, new constructors must be able to come to Dakar with real ambition. We know that the solution is to limit engines to 450cc. Yet we are also aware that some drivers own very sizeable engines ! All the pilots, professional or amateur, can of course participate in the 2010 edition - but with a restrictor to limit air intake to the engine.

How will the drivers concerned obtain this restrictor?

We are working with a developer specialising in motor engineering, who will be responsible for developing the restrictor to be installed on +450 cc engines.

Then, the UTAC -- which is an independent technical analysis laboratory as well as an accredited European Union expert in the regulation and equipment of motor vehicles - will validate the results of our research.

Following this validation, the ASO will deliver these restrictors for the month of September -- in time for the period when drivers are beginning to prepare their machines. The system is very quick and simple to install -- it only takes about ten minutes to fit one to a bike undergoing preparation. Once it is in place, the restrictor will be visible at a glance, enabling stewards to check that a driver has not removed it.

How does it work?

The restrictor is an aluminium ring to be positioned between the carburettor and the air filter. In concrete terms, air flow will be reduced, and the ring diameter calculation will result in performance equivalent to that of bikes with 450cc engines. In terms of pure power, the 660cc will still have a slight edge so as to compensate for the difference in weight, which could otherwise penalise them.

What effect does the restrictor have on the mechanical balance of the engine?

There won't be any effect at all. On the contrary, by minimizing the load on the engine, it's almost as though the driver was being obliged to drive economically. Risk of overheating will therefore be reduced. Engine reliability will be intact.

-credit: aso

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Series Dakar