Time Flies! The Dakar Rally is the most challenging motorsports event in the world, crossing nearly 6000 miles of inhospitable African desert terrain over the course of two weeks. Experience matters, and...
The Dakar Rally is the most challenging motorsports event in the world, crossing nearly 6000 miles of inhospitable African desert terrain over the course of two weeks. Experience matters, and Team Rally PanAmerica, backed by PAi and Top Oil, has more experience than any other American team. Riders Jonah Street and Casey McCoy are rally and desert racing veterans supported by an excellent rally support crew with 10 Dakar Rallies under their belts.
Team Rally PanAmerica, as a private rally racing team without support from any manufacturer or big name sponsor, builds its own very special rally motorcycles and assistance trucks in a small San Francisco shop.
With some luck added to years of hard work, Team Rally PanAmerica hopes to be the first truly independent team in decades to make it onto the podium in Dakar.
In September, the team tested their '07 rally bikes in the California desert. The new, lighter and more powerful custom-built rally bikes exceeded the team's expectations. Suspension guru James Sidall from SPS Suspension helped find the perfect rally suspension setup. Engine wizard Niles Follin of Scuderia West has coaxed significant power from the engines while improving their already proven reliability. Robb McElroy and Charlie Rauseo have assembled the rally bikes and the team's specialized Ford assistance trucks in the team's cramped San Francisco shop. The Fords will stay in Africa for a while after the rally to help Wheels2Africa (www.wheels2africa.org) delivering aid and equipment to needy villages. This month the team is putting the finishing touches on the vehicles before they leave by sea for Europe in early November. See the team's website for details about the vehicle send-off party in San Francisco on Saturday November 4.
For several years now, grassroots supporters have been a big part of Team Rally PanAmerica's rallying success. To give something valuable in return, the team established the Rally PanAmerica "Riff Raff," the team's supporter group. The team is the riff raff of the Dakar, a little group working hard beyond the lights of the factory establishment, so they thought "Riff Raff" was a fitting name for their fans. To join the Riff Raff, visit www.rallypanam.com.
This year has added another facet to the team's operation: custom bike building. They have built exclusive race-ready rally bikes for a select few clients headed to the Dakar. Look for four or more Rally PanAmerica bikes competing in the Dakar Rally in 2007.
The Dakar Rally starts in Lisbon, Portugal on January 3, 2007, and finishes in Dakar, Senegal on January 21. It can be difficult to get reliable information from Africa when the race is running, but Team Rally PanAmerica will send daily updates, with incredible photos, from the desert via our new satellite internet connection. Make www.rallypanam.com your source for inside information before, during and after the Dakar.
-credit: team rally panamerica