The Dakar is a big event at the start of each year and this year we get to celebrate several South African riders taking on the challenge.
Saudi Arabia (04 January 2022) – On the morning of the 1st of January 2022, thousands of car, bike, truck and rally enthusiasts took to the dunes of Saudi Arabia in the hopes of becoming the next Dakar Rally champion.
We have been watching the event, and noted several South African participants. We thought is would be great to honour each of them.
The Dakar is being hosted in the Kindom of Saudi Arabia for the third year running. The massive sporting event always kicks off the new year and is the first major sporting event each year.
“In its third outing in Saudi Arabia, the Dakar continues to explore new landscapes with an even more substantial presence of sand in the specials. Whether on the tracks or surfing vast chains of dunes, the riders, drivers and crews will go head to head on all sorts of sandy terrain, knowing that the nuances of navigation in Saudi Arabia, where competitors have to avoid losing their bearings in a hodgepodge of tracks, are a real game-changer in the battle for the top honours.” – Dakar
Take a look at the grueling route. There are a total of 12 stages running from the 1st of January to the 14th of January.
Racers in the Motobike Category
Aaron Mare #6
Aaron is racing a Hero 450 Rally for Hero Motorsports Team Rally. He has been riding since he was 4-years-old and is one to watch.
Bradley Cox #49
Bradley is racing a KTM 450 Factory Replica for Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team. This year marks his first participation in the Dakar.
Stuart Gregory #84
Stuart is racing a KTM 450 Factory Replica for his own independent team. He has self-funded his way to the event. Previously, Stuart competed in the 2019 event, taking himself all the way through to stage 8.
Walter Terblanche #87
Walter is racing a KTM 450 Factory Replica for Bas Dakar KTM Racing Team. He first made his debut in 2017 where he had to abandon the race during stage 4 and has returned to the sport to finish the race.
Charan Moore #123
Charan is racing a KTM 450 Rally Replica for his own independent team. This year marks his first participation in the Dakar.
Werner Kenny #153
Werner is racing a KTM 2022 model for his own independent team. This is his first participation in the event. He is actually from Lesotho but is racing under the ZAF listing. He hopes to become the first person from Lesotho to finish a Dakar race.
Racers in Auto FIA T1/T2
Giniel De Villiers and Dennis Murphy #207
Racing a Toyota GR DKR Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing, Giniel De Villiers drives and Dennis Murphy as co-driver. The team’s Dakar history is an incredible one! Giniel has taken part in 18 consecutive rallies.
Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings #225
Racing a Toyota GR DKR Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing, Henk Lategan drives, joined by Brett Cummings as his co-driver. Henk started his Dakar journey in 2021 while this is Brett’s fourth time in the race.
Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer #230
Racing a Century CR6 for Century Racing, Brian Baragwanath drives, joined by Leonard Cremer as co-driver. Brian first started his Dakar journey as a quad rider in 2015 but in moved over to the car category in 2021 after a 5-year break due to injury. This is Leonard’s first Dakar.
Shameer Variawa and Danie Stassen #233
Racing a Toyota GR DKR Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing, Shameer Variawa drives, joined by co-driver Danie Stassen. Shameer launched his Dakar career in 2019 but had to abandon the race during stage 9. He returned in 2021, finishing 21st. This is Danie’s first Dakar event.
Christiaan Visser and Rodney Burke #253
Racing a Century CR6 for Century Racing, Christiaan Visser drives alongside co-driver Rodney Burke. Christiaan has two decades of racing experience. Rodney made his Dakar debut in 2016.
Schalk Burger and Henk Janse Van Vuuren #271
Racing a Century CR6 for Century Racing, Schalk Burger drives alongside co-driver Henk Janse Van Vuuren. Schalk and Henk both make their Dakar debut this year.
Ernest Roberts and Henry Khone #286
Racing a Century CR6 for Century Racing, Ernest Roberts drives alongside co-driver Henry Khone. The 2022 Dakar is Ernest and Henry’s first appearance in the sport.
Racers in T4 FIA SSV
Geoff Minnitt and Siegfried Rousseau #441
Racing a BRP CAN-AM Maverick XRS for South Racing CAN-AM Geoff Minnitt drives alongside co-driver Siegfried Rousseau. Both Geoff and Siegfried are making their Dakar debut this year.