The Dakar Series Rally Raid

Today, January 1 2011, represents the official start of the Dakar Series Rally in Argentina.  The challenge here is, though, that other than the official web site, there's almost no way to get news or updates on the rally as it goes along.

For those that have never heard of the Dakar rally; it's the pinnacle of offroad racing (although I'm sure fans of the Baja 1000 might argue that point). The Dakar traditionally ran from Paris France to Dakar Senegal (with a few years of different routes), but has now moved to South America, where it runs from Buenos Aires Argentina to Arica Chile and back; a distance of over 9500 Kilometers.  This is no simple little offroading trip.  Many thousands of kilometers, over 5000 of which are done at racing speeds, the Dakar Series rally is truly brutal to both drivers (cars and trucks) and riders (motorcycles and quads).  Here's a little sample of some Dakar footage from the 2003 rally which actually ran from Marseille to Sharm el Sheikh;

This is not an event for the faint of heart or weekend "class 6 dirt road offroader".  No poseurs allowed.

So, I hope you enjoy the footage, and I will most likely be posting some updates as the rally progresses ... it's the race/rally to watch for the next two weeks.