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How to spectate Dakar in person?

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
#2
It's hard to see much racing while chasing the rally. Think about chasing B1K the full length and still trying to stop and watch. You just don't have time for much side action since you're driving so much. The assistance route is almost as long as the race course. The one case where spectating is good is when they have a loop day where the bivouac doesn't move. Another problem is the course is secret. They NEVER publish the full course route. The one solid piece of info is the official spectating points, which there are generally 2 or 3 each day. ASO publishes those locations a few days ahead of time. Of course there are a lot of locals there, so it can get a bit crowded. One other major issue is getting into the bivouac. Unless you are a race team member or you have some official activity approved by ASO, you can't get into the bivouacs. And that's the best place to hang out since you get to talk with everyone there and see the vehicles up close. I suggest you talk to Darren Skilton (when he gets back) to see what options he may suggest. Another possibility before the next Dakar is to go to Sonora Rally and see what rally is all about there. Sonora starts just south of Yuma, so easy t get to and lots of fun!
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
#3
To echo what Hog Wild said, the ASO does not make this very fan friendly at all. The first year I went with Darren Skilton (2010) there were quite a few adventure motorcycle tours following the rally. When I went in 2016, there were none. My understanding is that ASO put a stop to that, which seems kind of dumb to me (but it isn't my race).

I think that the easiest thing to do would be to go down to the start and check out scrutineering, and then follow the first couple stages before returning to the start city. You could see some of the race through the publicized checkpoints and potentially even get a pass to get into the bivouac if you talk to the right people. Chasing the entire race is not really that much fun (trust me).
 

GEO_DXB

Well-Known Member
#5
1) VIP Dakar tours. You need to email a dedicated person at ASO and they have these VIP offers. Probably damn expensive.

2) Photographers offer space in their cars if they have free space. Dont really quote me on it but around 8'000 Euros is what you will spend + probably need to pay for Media pass (else I dont see how you can get in to the bivouac) + whatever personal expenses you will have out of the box if you want a dry martini in the middle of the night in Peru or somewhere. They follow the route and go offroad for photo opportunities. Maryan Chitka was looking for someone this year to fill 1 empty space. Even if you are not a photographer its fine, only thing is you will need to live with their schedule and with how they want to cover the race.

3) Find someone who can offer you an opportunity to work for them at Dakar - from wrenching to a pair of spare hands. Happens with privateers.

4) Rent a place if a T5 support truck. Some teams offer that if you want to see the "dark side". I think Boucou assistance do.
 
#6
If you dont get credentials your best bet would be get in touch with the locals on facebook for example, they know where to go to spectate, not just specte
To echo what Hog Wild said, the ASO does not make this very fan friendly at all. The first year I went with Darren Skilton (2010) there were quite a few adventure motorcycle tours following the rally. When I went in 2016, there were none. My understanding is that ASO put a stop to that, which seems kind of dumb to me (but it isn't my race).

I think that the easiest thing to do would be to go down to the start and check out scrutineering, and then follow the first couple stages before returning to the start city. You could see some of the race through the publicized checkpoints and potentially even get a pass to get into the bivouac if you talk to the right people. Chasing the entire race is not really that much fun (trust me).
It was pretty fun, except when we had the 80km/hr in Bolivia xD...

Your best shot is to talk to the locals, I can see in facebook groups that they know where the rally will be every day, but you'll need someone to speak spanish.
 

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
#7
1) VIP Dakar tours. You need to email a dedicated person at ASO and they have these VIP offers. Probably damn expensive.

2) Photographers offer space in their cars if they have free space. Dont really quote me on it but around 8'000 Euros is what you will spend + probably need to pay for Media pass (else I dont see how you can get in to the bivouac) + whatever personal expenses you will have out of the box if you want a dry martini in the middle of the night in Peru or somewhere. They follow the route and go offroad for photo opportunities. Maryan Chitka was looking for someone this year to fill 1 empty space. Even if you are not a photographer its fine, only thing is you will need to live with their schedule and with how they want to cover the race.

3) Find someone who can offer you an opportunity to work for them at Dakar - from wrenching to a pair of spare hands. Happens with privateers.

4) Rent a place if a T5 support truck. Some teams offer that if you want to see the "dark side". I think Boucou assistance do.
Geo. What are your thoughts on spectating at one of the middle East races - ADDC/Dubai/Qatar?
 

GEO_DXB

Well-Known Member
#8
Easiest is to come join us. Any pair of hands is welcome really - we got all sorts of vacancies to fill so to say. Mechanical, administration, media, someone to track things live, drive support cars etc etc.. Or just hang out with our lot (bring beers).

Dubai is easy to follow. Fly in, get a hotel room, get an able 4x4 and you can see it all. Race is basically outside the city, maybe 40 mins of driving but within civilization. You should be able to drive in soft sand/dunes. Its a 2 day event so easy to cover. Plenty of people go around the track, you can cut through sabkhas (flats between dunes) , there are farm roads etc... I blew the engine a day before and drove last year as support for Desert Dog in my F150 that weights hell knows how much with all the mods, never got stuck. Nice compact race and easy to do. One member is coming this year.

Abu Dhabi is a bit different - deep in Empty Quarter not too far from Saudi border. Only admin and tech are in Abu Dhabi itself at F1 track. Either stay at the 7 star Qasr Al Sarab (book now!!!) or 80km away in Liwa (city), there are 2-3 hotels. Or enjoy the bivouac... Hot and sweaty and sandy in bedouin tents (or I could give you one ) but kinda staying right in the center of the action. Need to really know how to drive in there, those dunes scare the hell out of me and you need a few cars driving together. There are some spectator spots on roads etc. or some places you can reach relatively safe. Also some people can help you - either hang around in their cars or they can drive for you. ADDC is definitely a race to see, so beautiful.
 

GEO_DXB

Well-Known Member
#9
Qatar is a no go for us now because of politics, but its also pretty easy to follow, a lot of gravel roads and island is small.
 
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