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Dakar Australia?


Well-Known Member
I don't know a lot about Australia. I imagina as much as a typical American who reads National Geographic and Smithsonian and watches their channels on TV.

My question is how feasible is a Dakar style race in Australia? I know there are vast undeveloped areas but isn't there a pretty strong environmental opposition/regulations to your desert racing already?



Well-Known Member
From what I've heard from real Australians is that there is no racing or even recreational off-road driving allowed on "public" land. It all has to take place on private property.


Well-Known Member
There have been car events around Australia for a long time, the first ones were 'offroad' in the sense that the roads were so rough (lots of welding during the event) during a 10 000 mile event - Redex Trials, (Repco - round australia -1979)
The Wynns Safari (1985)was one of the early long distance true off road events in Australia. It has become uneconomic to run long distance offroad events in Australia - costs exceeded sponsorship.
After a variety of routes were tried, the one most used was a West Australian 'link' rally starting from Perth/ area.

Australasian Safari - Wikipedia

The Off Road History Lesson Begins

#4 I think there are different rules state to state in Australia on public land use. How public land is delineated and managed.
e.g Victoria - off road driving(not racing) allowed on 'State forest' tracks but tracks are closed during wet season to reduce damage. ( terrain damage is readily apparent in some high use off road areas of Australia)
There is a strong winch (ultra 4) type competition in Australia.
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Well-Known Member
They have had event like the Dakar before call the Australasian safari which was link to Dakar series. This event unfortunately no long runners. The problem with running events down under is cost of shipping race vehicle to Australia from European or USA and Australia strict vehicle import and export of vehicles. It could possible run but very costly. The outback of Australia also is not easily accessible from any main city or ports so teams would have drive to middle of Australia if you would want event in desert. Spectating such event would be tricky and distances would be very long.

Australia does have good off racing scene very similar vehicle to USA off racing scene so event many be possible if you have lot of sponsorship which could be possible because strong Motorsport industry.

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
I don't know a lot about Australia. I imagina as much as a typical American who reads National Geographic and Smithsonian and watches their channels on TV.
Wait you are the typical American or you read National Geographic? I kid, I kid...


Well-Known Member
Shipping to Perth from Sete is 7887 miles. Le Havre to Buenos Aires is 6139. Shipping would be a little more but I would say not a deal breaker


Active Member
I'm sure if there was a few of you guys interested it would be worth contacting a few teams down here in Aus. I know we have already had a few of you guys come down and jump in with some of the teams running down here.

The biggest issue we are having at the moment is our engine size limits, which we are trying to have changed to make it a bit easier to come down and bring your own car.


Well-Known Member
Also the time of the year would be a problem in Australia - in the Southern Hemisphere summer the same time as Dakar is run, the heat would be just as extreme as South America but everyday. If the route goes north into a 'Big Wet' it can be 40 Celsius and 100 percent humidity. Few competitors would return for a second event.

In the remote parts of arid Australia - natural scientists are still finding new plant species to give some idea how unexplored some parts are.
Another big killer for this sort of event in Australia is insurance. IF the event can get coverage the cost is prohibitive, used to be involved in rallies as on official years ago and it was expensive then. To the point that unless you had a full field the event was a financial loss, even worse if you offered discounted entry fees. And you couldn't allow more entrants as some events have restrictions on the number of competitors as a condition of the permits.