The 2015 edition of the Dakar Rally is less than a day away.
665 competitors representing 53 nations and in 410 vehicles are preparing to take on the most grueling rally raid on the planet. This event has been held since 1979 and has turned dreamers into legends and put champions on their knees.
The road to Dakar glory is far from glorious. It's vicious, agonizing, and full of unknown danger. This year’s route will take competitors west across the Andes mountains and into Chile, then north to Bolivia, tearing through barren desert and wilderness. The will cross the Andes a second time and then head back to Buenos Aires on a different route. The rally is 5,772 miles of vastly different terrain with two marathon stages, during which no assistance is allowed.
This rally is not for the faint of heart ... 27 competitors have lost their lives during this untamed rally. Over 40 people who were just following the event have been involved in fatal accidents since its inception in 1979. We haven't seen a Dakar without a death since 2011, unfortunately.
Man and machine vs. nature
These tragic statistics just epitomize what is really at stake in the pursuit of immortality. Dakar is not a contest of man vs. machine, but man and machine vs. nature. It's an event like no other, one that has slipped through the cracks and escaped the modern revolution we've seen wash over all other forms of motorsport.
Dakar is more than a rally, but a state of mind, a willingness to do something that may very well cost one their life but is still worth the price, a fearless endeavor to attain victory, a crusade made for real racers.