America’s Only Dakar Rally Motorcycle Team Starts Penultimate Stage
January 15, San Juan, Argentina
After spending the first week of the world’s most grueling race in driving rain and mud, America’s Rally Pan Am rider, Ian Blythe, finds his pace in the heat and deserts of Argentina. Blythe posted an eighth place finish on Stage 11, beating all other Americans on the stage, including notable factory riders. Blythe, who has been steadily moving up the leaderboard, posted an 11th on the previous stage. He sits in 25th position overall.
Blythe’s performance illustrates both the potency of his talent as a rider and the breadth and depth of team Rally Pan Am’s experience. The 2016 edition of the Dakar Rally is the team’s 11th Dakar. The team has a long history of putting pressure on the factory teams, despite it’s underdog status.
“We came to the Dakar with three goals only. First is always to finish this race,” says Team Manager, Dave Peckham. “Second, we wanted to have a respectable overall position. Finally, we wanted to have some highlight moments, and the last two stages have given us that.”
Today the team sets off on the penultimate stage, a 931 kilometer route from San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz. This is the last “hard” stage of the race, though certainly none of the stages are “easy”. Tomorrow the team will ride to the finish of the race in Rosario.
Rally Pan Am is a privateer team, without factory-level support. The team is sponsored by If You See Kay Wines, ICO Racing, Motion Pro, Craftsman, Klim, MX1WEST and others.