Vicus and Bombardier ready for third title in Dakar. Today (Wednesday, 1 January 2003), South Africa's Vicus van Deventer finds himself lining up amongst the 2003 Telefonica Dakar race competitors, in Parc Chone, Marseille in the south of France.
Vicus and Bombardier ready for third title in Dakar.
Today (Wednesday, 1 January 2003), South Africa's Vicus van Deventer finds himself lining up amongst the 2003 Telefonica Dakar race competitors, in Parc Chone, Marseille in the south of France. Racing quad number 171 in the Experimental Class, the two-times former class-winner is aboard a DS 650 Baja Bombardier and ready to secure his third win in the world's most grueling cross country rally over a distance of 8550km.
Bombardier is a company renowned for its wide range of transport products, ranging from quads through boats, trains and aeroplanes. The 653cc liquid cooled four-stroke Rotax powered race machine, top of the range in their quad stable, is an artwork of modern technology. With 23% more horsepower and 14% more torque than its closest rival, it's the fastest production sport All Terrain Vehicle and has proved to be highly reliable.
A five-speed constant mesh transmission supplies the power to the rear wheels through a standard 530 o-ring chain drive. Dual A-arms in front and a single preload, compression and rebound adjustable rear shock absorber ensures that the power is transmitted to the ground, ensuring its excellent race ability.
With many more features, this quad is definitely a machine aimed at marathon racing such as Dakar, and Bombardier should be able to celebrate its abilities and success at the finish!
The man Vicus van Deventer, who is he really? Not your regular outgoing type of character, but highly religious and exceptionally dedicated to his cause, more of a lonely, quiet type who sticks to his mission and focus on the job at hand. The 39 year old, skinny North West dairy farmer from the Lichtenburg district is as tough as it gets.
Unorthodox, if the funds do not allow transporting a quad engine by courier to France for the start of the Dakar race, he carries it into the plane as hand luggage. When there is no transport available to travel to the start of the Dakar, he gets on the quad and rides it for almost 800km across Europe, through rain and snow.
This year Vicus has all the kit he needs, and he proudly boasts Bombardier clothing, but when he parts with the motorcycle-riding boots, you will not find socks on his feet. His mother tongue is Afrikaans and he is not fond of communicating in English, but then, he has won Dakar races without using route maps, because he does not understand the French instructions.
When he gets onto that quad, however, and the rear wheels kick out stones and dust, you immediately realize that this man has no fear and an enormous amount of skill on a quad. He has numerous South African titles to his name and he has won the Experimental Class of the Dakar twice.
What can really be expected of Vicus van Deventer on the Bombardier in the 2003 Telefonica Dakar Race? Last year he experimented with a Bombardier and finally retired when the damage caused by the sand as a result of riding for a long distance on a flat tyre completely seized the rear bearings. This year he carries a spare wheel, professionally built additional fuel tanks and Bombardier in Canada supports him. In addition the Nissan trucks carry spare parts for him. With such a professional Bombardier outfit, his skill, perseverance and knowledge of the race, Vicus van Deventer and Bombardier should bring the Experimental Class title home.