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What holds back American Teams for the Dakar?

MKR44

Well-Known Member
JMO, there might be 3 people that know RG's real DAKAR budget. Robby, Baja Bob, Robby's accountant.
RG is also currently the only person in North America that knows what it takes to win a stage, test (on a limited basis in North America. And it appears he's tested more for 2016 than any other year) and has the Speed to win (at least a stage) IMO , Mark Miller is next closest, but time away makes Mark irrelevant. Sorry Mark. Find the money, buy a ride ,prove me wrong. How about doing it on your own, like RG?
Is Eric Vigouroux still considered French? Eric could get it done, IMO. Has he sold his rigs?
 

Offspring

Well-Known Member
Nobody else wants to do it, or they would. Plenty would love someone else to do it and then put them in the seat. IMO the desire/ability for another american team to step up is just not there. I'd like to see that change.
 

Petepecas

Well-Known Member
The US being one of the biggest economies in the world and you guys think money is the issue? You're all mad. Rallying is not in the American auto racing culture. No fan base, why even go? There's money, there's talent, but no fan base. Kinda like with soccer 20 years ago in the US... Only girls used to play it... Go figure...


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Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
Pete if there is no interest isn't that basically the same thing as no money? Who is going to bankroll a multimillion dollar effort with no return on their investment?


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Bricoop

Well-Known Member
The US being one of the biggest economies in the world and you guys think money is the issue? You're all mad. Rallying is not in the American auto racing culture. No fan base, why even go? There's money, there's talent, but no fan base. Kinda like with soccer 20 years ago in the US... Only girls used to play it... Go figure...


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And there's no fanbase because the television coverage sucks. Television coverage sucks because sponsors won't shell out the cash. Sponsors don't want to pay because there's no fanbase. The old chicken or the egg.
 

Petepecas

Well-Known Member
Not true, look at all the class 11 guys in Baja. No money, lots of heart, off Road culture. If the U S had a rallying culture, a foreighn sponsor would pick a contender and sponsor him/her. You gotta build up to it, not drop in with a half baked hunk of metal and a million bucks to try and beat generations of destilled rallying culture. Not about the money...


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Petepecas

Well-Known Member
And there's no fanbase because the television coverage sucks. Television coverage sucks because sponsors won't shell out the cash. Sponsors don't want to pay because there's no fanbase. The old chicken or the egg.
TV coverage does not suck, in this day and age, with all the technology available if there was a Rally Culture, people would tune in, log on or whatever and follow the Dakar, kinda line what we all do here on RDC once a year. The money is there, gotta build the fan base first. How many here follow the WRC?


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Bricoop

Well-Known Member
TV coverage does not suck, in this day and age, with all the technology available if there was a Rally Culture, people would tune in, log on or whatever and follow the Dakar, kinda line what we all do here on RDC once a year. The money is there, gotta build the fan base first. How many here follow the WRC?


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Disagree. Look at the coverage the Tour de France gets in the states. Hours of live coverage every day with multiple replays. While Dakar gets a daily 30 minute summary. Other countries get hours of live Dakar coverage, not so in the US.
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
Not true, look at all the class 11 guys in Baja. No money, lots of heart, off Road culture. If the U S had a rallying culture, a foreighn sponsor would pick a contender and sponsor him/her. You gotta build up to it, not drop in with a half baked hunk of metal and a million bucks to try and beat generations of destilled rallying culture. Not about the money...
So if it was less expensive you don't think more Americans would race in the Dakar Rally? We aren't talking about Class 11 money here, we are talking about money that makes TT racing look cheap. Even "big budget" teams don't want to spend that kind of coin to go "adventure racing" and not be competitive for the win.


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CBVRacing

Well-Known Member
Great thread. I was thinking about this myself for quite a while.

Having raced the Dakar 4 times as a privateer (2 in Africa and 2 in Sth A) on a motorbike, managing all by myself from the land Down Under far from everything, organising it all is not the simplest exercise.

On the topic of media coverage. ASO owns all rights to everything regarding the race, and unless a media outlet is willing to invest staff, entries etc in covering the Dakar then willing to buy the rights to show images to a very large US market there will be limited TV Coverage. But this is only money.

Regarding the budget. Yes the numbers are spot on for the race and the largest numbers will go toward a team that has tested extensively and built a car that last the day only - than have an army of mechanic re-building a car, and if done correctly, rebuilding a car with new components as preventive maintenance only. The largest budget goes to the team that has tested the most to identify the weakest components. In saying that the Euro team do not have the advantage of rough races you have in the US, so they need to test more by heading to Morocco. Being in the US is an advantage and there is nothing stopping a team driving up and down baja 14x in a row to test both men and machines on much rougher terrain than Dakar. The dunes, high temperature, and altitude can also mostly be tested in the US if you go to the right places at the right time. In my view, US Teams should have a clear advantage there with the amount of racing available and the deep knowledge around racing car manufacturing.

Racers. There are so many talented racers in the US that can drive fast, they have the skills, but racing the Dakar is not about pushing hard for 1 day, it is about pushing for 14 days non-stop, without making (too many) mistakes. There is absolutely no points in spending an extra $50k to gain 40HP if every freaking day you take the wrong turn or go for a non-necessary loop (no names here) but I have seen a few regulars (two in the car and they still manage to get lost). Steady, high rhythym and being very prepared physically and mentally as a racer/co-pilot does help a lot BTW ;) The race strategy is huge as well and the best racers will plan 2-3 days ahead for the best possible result in the end.

Lack of US racers. I don't buy the fact that money is the issue. To me if you really want to do something you can find a way to do it. The Dakar is a beast, you don't have too many races in the US that relate to this but shipping a 20ft container to South America or Europe for the many 7 days races that exist should not be a big issue for teams that already have 6 or 7 figures budget. So it comes down to a good racer to actually want to expose himself in the world's most dangerous race (not the fastest) being in places with nothing around (albeit less scary now the race being in South America).

There are a few less-known teams from the US that have taken upon themselves to participate. Thumbs up to them for showing the way. If they can do it, then surely a big name can do it -- if they really want to race the Dakar and gain the necessary experience, they CAN do it but only if they do it for themselves, not the money or coverage. The Dakar is not a show, this is real, and it will expose you as a person whether you decide to race it or...not.

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Petepecas

Well-Known Member
Lack of US racers. I don't buy the fact that money is the issue. To me if you really want to do something you can find a way to do it.
If there is a will, there is a way, again, if the Rallying culture existed in the US, the brave few who would do it for passion, would eventually find the financial support. The problem with a lot of folks is that they think that throwing a wad of money will instantly buy heritage and real passion. Nuff said...
 

MKR44

Well-Known Member
If there's a will ,there's a way. Passion for Rally 'the DAKAR'. That is American Robby Gordon. Yet all ya'all RDC elite berate RG every chance you can. How about damn'd if you do ,damn'd if you don't.
How about 'Robby Gordon puts up,so shut up' .as sayings go, Just say'n
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
If there's a will ,there's a way. Passion for Rally 'the DAKAR'. That is American Robby Gordon. Yet all ya'all RDC elite berate RG every chance you can.
What forum are you reading? I feel like ever year prior to the rally there is all this speculation and rumors and talk about how this is RG's year and the other teams are running scared.


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Petepecas

Well-Known Member
If there's a will ,there's a way. Passion for Rally 'the DAKAR'. That is American Robby Gordon. Yet all ya'all RDC elite berate RG every chance you can. How about damn'd if you do ,damn'd if you don't.
How about 'Robby Gordon puts up,so shut up' .as sayings go, Just say'n
Why the angry reply? Did you read the title of the thread? It says American Teams, and last time I checked America starts up in Alaska and ends in Tierra del Fuego. Jeezzz... Why does every thread have to end up with the same BS?


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MKR44

Well-Known Member
@Petepecas,
Angry reply? not so much. just say'ning's
Did you read the title of the thread? Yes, and the author of the threads first post. From Mr.Suhaib Kiani.

What holds back American Teams for the Dakar? followed by post #1
What is it that has been preventing a significant presence of US offroad teams at the Dakar in South America? Is it the budget, is it awareness, is it the 16 days, is it RG (one way or the other), is it the cuisine (based on what BJ said on landing back home), is it the inability to drive down there or not knowing just where to start? Its probably a combo, but would be good to know from people who might have given it some serious thought or discussed it with others.

Sorry, my reading comprehension lead me to believe from the first sentence Mr, Kiani meant North America ,as that is where 49 of the 50 states that make up the 'US' are. Just say'n.
 

Suhaib Kiani

Well-Known Member
I should have explained my RG mention better perhaps though I didn't think it would cause any issues as I didn't mean any disrespect to RG or to American teams...

The question was whether its RG that holds back North American participation (one way or the other). One of the ways he could be holding everybody back by making them lazy in watching the RG Dakar campaign every year and waiting for him to get it right. Once there is a competitive formula for people who work with 2wd, gasoline and big tires it would kinda clear the ground for others to be competitive at the Dakar against the more conventional Euro/Jap 4x4s. One more way could be the 10 years of RG participation and only one third place finish to show as yet, which I guess is not very encouraging. I don't know and hence the question....

On the general topic though, I feel RG does have everyone's respect out here at RDC and there is more routing and prayers for him here every year than is perhaps apparent. On my part, I am an RG fan and supporter while most of my friends are not. For every Petepecas out here I have two down in the deserts where I race :) No, its not been easy going and he better win next year, or else I shall be forced to sell my Jeep and buy a Mitsubishi.... or worse a Mini.
 

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
I see Eric V. is selling the car that BJ raced in 2014. I recall it had competitive speed, but needed to get sorted. Their is no asking price, but it might be a nice starting point for a North American team.

 

Petepecas

Well-Known Member
This is rally passion, and culture. Not a gazillion dollars to build, but amazing
.... this is what I´m talking about.
 
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