Canadian rally driver Mark Jennings-Bates teams up with Dakar veteran Mick Extance next
week in the UK to get an introduction to the vehicle they will be driving in the 2011 Dakar for the
Jennings-Bates who has been active in the Canadian rally scene since 2005 has teamed up
with Dakar veteran, Extance for his latest adventure, the Dakar Rally in 2011. Extance, who is
the highest placed Briton in the Dakar and holds numerous records from his several attempts so
far has agreed to co-drive for the team, something that Jennings-Bates feels is critical to their
success. “As far as I am concerned, the person in that co-drivers seat is driving the car as much
as any driver. Without complete cooperation between the driver and the co-driver and an
instinctual understanding of how each other works, the optimal speeds for each day of the event
can never be attained. As Derek Ringer, WRC co-driver once stated, driving fast in rally is the
easiest thing to do! Finishing and placing high is not easy. I am really excited that Mick has
agreed to share his wisdom of this prestigious event and work with us” said Jennings-Bates.
With the Bowler factory team offering the duo a seat in their factory Nemesis for 2011, they are
now free to focus on their in-car relationship, which starts with a training day in Derbyshire on
July 5th. The media are welcome to attend and interviews will be available with driver and codriver
as well as team principal, Drew Bowler.
All the action will be captured by Antares Media, who will producing a two-part documentary on
their challenge. It will also have full multi-platform support giving glimpses of progress not only
in training for the Dakar and the race itself but the other “challenge” the drivers have set
Entering the Dakar 2011 is not enough for Mark and Mick. They have decided to highlight the
plight of people on this planet who do not have ready access to clean water and sanitation.
Every 15 seconds a child dies because of lack of this problem. The number of people in this
situation is staggering as at the last count it stood at two billion, six hundred thousand! “Our
goal is to raise $4m for FeViva and JustADrop charities to help alleviate these problems” added
Leesa Beeson, the teams publicist.
About Bowler Offroad:
Bowler Offroad is the manufacturer of off road racing vehicles based on the Land Rover
Defender, Discovery and Range Rover chassis. The company is located in the village of
Hazelwood, near the town of Belper in Derbyshire, in the United Kingdom. The company was
founded by Drew Bowler who originally designed and produced the Bowler Tomcat which
evolved into the Bowler Wildcat. In December 2007 the manufacturing rights to the Wildcat were
sold by Bowler to Qt Services, to provide support to existing Wildcat owners while Bowler
concentrated on production of their newer vehicle, the Bowler Nemesis.
About Mark Jennings-Bates:
Since he was a teenager, Mark Jennings-Bates, one of Western Canada’s top rally competitors
has been drawn to adrenaline adventures. After emigrating to Canada in 1988, Mark has been
actively involved in adventure pursuits including climbing, paragliding, dog sledding, sailing,
Himalayan mountaineering and now rally driving. He has always enjoyed the opportunity to be
completely focused on a singular goal in these types of adventures. Mark is also successful
Realtor in the Okanagan area.
About Mick Extance:
Google his name and you will find all you need to know about Mick Extance from his shoe size
to his favorite food and of course his amazing history with bikes. Mick has achieved so much in
his lifetime and he is THE most successful British Dakar rider. The Dakar is known for being the
hardest rally in the world covering 9000km across some of the toughest terrain on the planet.
Mick however, is not content with being the first Brit across the finish line on his last three
attempts. Mick’s goal for January 2011 is to be the first British entrant to have ever finished the
Dakar on a motor bike and subsequently in a car.
The DAKAR began in 1977, when Thierry Sabine got lost on his motorbike in the Libyan Desert
during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. Saved from the sands in extremis, he returned to France
promising himself he would share his fascination in this area with as many people as possible.
He proceeded to come up with a route starting in Europe, continuing to Algiers and crossing
Agadez before eventually finishing at Dakar. Due to political instability in Africa, the Dakar was
run in South America in 2009, the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa.
Since then, the Paris-Dakar has never failed to challenge surprise and excite. Over the course
of almost thirty years, it has generated innumerable sporting and human stories. The rally’s
history and stories are testament that the Dakar is above all else a sentimental and emotional
affair. The competitors are most attached to this dimension. More information and previous
DAKAR winners can be found at: www.dakar.com