For the love of Das Auto

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For the love of Das Auto
Since the dawn of time man has been fascinated by discovering new places, accepting the most difficult of challenges, competing, living dangerously. Our forefathers had to hunt for the food that they ate. They fought with the fiercest of beasts and a man
was respected for the dangers that he overcame and for the ferociousness of his adversary.
Before society evolved into the world that we behold today, man lived in the wild. At every corner there was danger, there was a challenge. In order to survive, a man had to be ferocious. Why is the lion the king of the jungle? It is because the lion lives
on meat. You take meat out of the equation and the lion goes with it. This is what is referred to as “the survival instinct”. Man in similar fashion has evolved over centuries to fight and resist whatever stood in his way.
This evolution has continued to this very day and we see people willing to put their lives on the line just for the sake of newer thrills. The adrenaline rush, the danger of it all fascinates us, inspires us to look for newer means to challenge the status
quo and the “dullness” of the lives that we live, in this civilized, modern world.
Enter, the Dakar Rally. In 1977 Thierry Sabine, French wrangler and motorcycle racer got lost in the sands of the Libyan Desert during Abidjan-Nice Race. During this time he decided that the desert would be a good location for a regular rally, where every
amateur of racing life could check his abilities.
In December 1977 - he arranged an edition of the race with the start situated in Paris and winning-post in Dakar. A distance of approximately ten thousand kilometers through the most inhospitable driving conditions on the planet. The reason for this madness?
A chance to tell the world that “I won the Paris-Dakkar rally”? No. It’s much more than that. For those with a love of driving and living on the edge, the entire experience of the Paris-Dakkar rally is something magical. It’s about conquering the unconquerable.
It’s about stretching the boundaries for man and machine. It’s about the experience of a lifetime.
Recent rallies pass through Morocco, Western Sahara and on to the grasslands and deserts of Mauritania. The segments running through Atar and the sand dunes and canyons of Mauritania's Adrar Region which are the most challenging in all off-road racing competitions.
The three major competitive groups in the Dakar are the bike (moto) class (including the quadbikes sub-class), the car  class, (which ranges from buggies  to small SUVs), and the T4 truck class. Many vehicle manufacturers exploit the harsh environment the
rally offers as a testing ground, and thus to demonstrate the durability of their vehicles, although most vehicles are heavily modified or purpose built.
Over the years the Paris-Dakkar rally has claimed the lives of a number of participants and spectators. The reason being that it is an off-road race held in the most inhospitable conditions on the planet. Many riders crash, lose sight of the course of the
race and get lost in the deserts and sand dunes. The 2008 Dakkar rally was cancelled amid terrorist threats and in 2009 the rally was held in Chile and Argentina in South America.
The Dakkar rally has been criticized over the years for a number of reasons. Some say that it is a very dangerous race due to the nature of the course and should thus be cancelled. Others have said that organizing such an event in a place where people are
dying of hunger and draught is unacceptable. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano called the race a "vulgar display of power and wealth in places where men continue to die from hunger and thirst."
Despite all the criticism leveled against the Dakkar rally, we must pause for a second and think about different moments of madness throughout history. Why did a country spend billions of dollars for the sake of getting a man on the moon even though the
moon could have been studied with the same amount of detail from the surface of the earth? Why do people climb Mount Everest? Why do people pay to swim with sharks? The answer to all of these questions is because when it comes to taking risks, putting it on
the line just for the sake of an experience, we are all mad to some extent. Taking away Dakkar would amount to taking away the “madness” inside of us. Therefore, for the love of the automobile, for the love of the madness of men, let there be Dakkar. Let there
be an ultimate motorsport experience.



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